While neither Virginia running back Kavell Conner or cornerback Devin Fentress were as heavily recruited as others in their home state, both players committed to big-time programs this week and could be sleepers.
Conner, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder who committed to Clemson to play safety, and Fentress, a 5-foot-10, 164-pounder who committed to Penn State as a defensive back, both flew under the radar this year in Virginia when it came to recruiting. However, both their coaches feel they have something special to bring to a program.
"Kavell is very quick for his size and he's a great character player," said Midlothian (Va.) Manchester head coach Tom Hall. "He's our team captain and has been for years and is a very good leader. He was all-state as a junior and could play on either side of the ball in college. Clemson wants him as a safety and he's fine with that."
Conner also had an offer from Pitt and interest from Oklahoma, West Virginia, Boston College, Maryland and many others. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 16 scores as a junior running back and had 43 tackles and two sacks on defense.
Fentress, who had 56 tackles and two interceptions as a junior, chose Penn State over D1AA offers from James Madison and Richmond and interest from North Carolina, NC State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
"Devin has tremendous speed at running back and is a quarter-miler on our track team so he knows how to stretch it out when he breaks the line of scrimmage," said Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch head coach Lew Johnston. "On defense, he has good ball skills and reacts well. He's strong for his size as well. He also has great recovery speed."
Fentress was a two-way starter as a junior and will play both ways this year as well. Penn State was the first school to offer him, sending their written offer this week.