Who should new Virginia coach Tony Elliott target in 2022 class?
Virginia has finalized a deal to bring Tony Elliott to Charlottesville as its next head coach. The former Clemson offensive coordinator has his work cut out for him on the recruiting trail. Virginia currently ranks No. 49 in the team rankings and there are still a number of major targets left on the board.
Take a look at five 2022 prospects Elliott needs to call as soon as he is on the job.
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Virginia almost got Rice when he originally announced his commitment and it's worth a renewed push from Elliott to see if there is any chance of flipping the five-star. Rice's connections to the Cavaliers are well-documented and there is certainly a soft spot in his heart for the team his grandfather played for and where his family went to school.
We're only a few days away from the first day of the Early Signing Period so there isn't much time for Elliott to get Rice to change his mind.
Meadows is the crown jewel of Virginia's class at the moment but teams have been reaching out to him for months to try to get him to flip. The Cavaliers have had some talent on their offensive line in recent years and Meadows should help continue that trend.
It probably won't take much for Elliott to reassure Meadows and his family that Charlottesville is the place for him, but it's a call the new head coach needs to make.
Elliott may have his work cut out for him with Hardy. The Virginia commit put together an outstanding senior season and there are a number of suitors pursuing him. The defensive back out of Georgia is somebody Elliott is familiar with but it is important for the two to quickly build a strong relationship if he hopes to keep Hardy in the fold.
A former Northwestern commit, Smith is the type of playmaker Virginia could use on either side of the ball. The Cavaliers were one of his top contenders prior to the coaching change and Elliott could quickly regain momentum if he reaches out soon after he gets started.
Maryland is the other top player for Smith's commitment so time could be of the essence.
Gibson, a former Navy commit, has seen his stock rise after an impressive senior campaign. He was close to committing on Thanksgiving but held off so he could take an official visit to Virginia for the game against Virginia Tech.
He committed to Maryland, but Elliott has some good connections to people around Gibson. If the chips fall correctly, Virginia could end up flipping him before National Signing Day.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Saturday: Who should be awarded fifth star?
Sunday: Who should be No. 1?
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings | Recruiting updates on all uncommitted offensive players in Rivals250 | Five schools that received boost from new rankings | QB Rankings Spotlight | RB Rankings Spotlight | WR/TE Rankings Spotlight | OL Rankings Spotlight
Thursday: Defensive position rankings | Recruiting updates on all uncommitted defensive players in Rivals250 | DL Rankings Spotlight | LB Rankings Spotlight | DB Rankings Spotlight | ATH Rankings Spotlight | Flip Watch