Pacific Palisades (Calif.) offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz took his second official visit of the year to Virginia this past weekend. The big tackle prospect had earlier visited Cal and still has four schools on his short list.
Schwartz, 6-6, 300 pounds is one of the elite linemen in the West region this year. He has great size, moves well and had a strong senior season.
"I really worked hard on some of the areas where I thought I needed to improve," Schwartz said. "I wanted to work more on finishing my blocks and just being more aggressive and I feel I did that."
As for his visit to Virginia this past weekend, Schwartz said he loved his time back East and it compared favorably with his visit to Cal.
"I left Friday morning and with the time change, got in around 5:00," Schwartz said. "I checked in to the hotel and then went out to dinner with the coaches and some of the players on the team.
"Crutcher Reiss was my host and since it was the night before a game, we had a pretty mellow night. We just went back to his house and I met some of the other guys on the team.
"Saturday, we ate breakfast and then headed over to the game since they played at 12:00. It was an impressive showing as they beat Miami pretty good. I was watching the offensive line pretty closely and I think that was the best I've seen them play. No one has rushed for over 100 yards against Miami all season and they went for around 140 against them.
"The student had just been let out for the break so it wasn't a huge crowd but the students still made a lot of noise and it was good game day atmosphere. They have a nice stadium right in the middle of the campus and I really enjoyed myself there.
"After the game, we went back to the hotel to change, ate dinner and then Crutcher and some of the guys took me out. We had a good time and I felt real comfortable there. I took an unofficial visit to Virginia back in August so I had already seen a lot of the campus and the city but it was still good to go back there again.
"On Sunday, I ate breakfast and then went over to see the freshman dorms, that was one of the things I hadn't seen before. The dorms are cool, they're right by the stadium and I like how everything is pretty close to each other. I also talked with Coach Groh and he just talked to me about how I would fit in there.
"There was no pressure to commit at all. He just told me they would be excited to have me there and things like that. They already have around 22 players committed so I know they don't have a lot of room left but at the same time, they said they're not recruiting a lot of players and told me to take my time.
"Overall, the trip was good and Virginia and Cal are actually similar in a lot of ways. They both have good football programs and are very strong academically. Cal is kind of the Virginia of the West Coast and Virginia is the Cal of the East Coast.
"I still have Oregon and Stanford on my list and all four schools are right there, there isn't one that stands out over the others. I've been to Oregon and Stanford before so I'm not sure I'll take an official visit there. I know enough about each of the schools to be able to make my decision and I'm hoping that by mid-December, I'll be able to have my decision.
"I'm just looking at my relationship with the coaches and also asking myself, 'if football was taken away, would I still want to be here.' That is big for me because I want to enjoy myself away from the football field as well as on it."