It’s been a whirlwind few weeks. After losing transfers, Virginia quickly added two huge incoming transfers in Armaan Franklin and Jayden Gardner. Evidence suggests they’re not done either. Meanwhile, we’re about to return to a normal recruiting calendar. And there are signs of things already heating up with key class of 2022 targets.
Not Finished with Late Additions
Virginia is among the many programs that have contacted Georgia Highlands Junior College forward Langston Wilson. He recently reopened his recruitment from a previous commitment to Alabama. The 6’9 high flyer comes with a compelling backstory, which you can read about in the Philadelphia Inquirer. UVA hasn’t offered him a scholarship yet. At this point, it’s only exploratory interest. Maybe he becomes a serious target soon, but it’s telling of Bennett’s plans if nothing else. Wilson fits the mold of former Hoos like Mamadi Diakite or Darion Atkins, a super athletic power forward. That’s sort of the missing piece right now. Expect them to continue searching for it.
The UVA staff has also reached out to 2021 Carmel (IN) wing Brian Waddell. The late blooming 6’7 senior recently picked up an offer from Purdue where his dad played. That’s probably where he’ll end up. But again, it’s revealing of another variety of addition Tony Bennett is interested in. Waddell is a very skilled combo forward. As is 2021 David Joplin, another guy they contacted before he committed to Marquette. The idea here is filling a long term need with someone who could also provide immediate depth for next season.
Dead Period Lifted
The NCAA is finally allowing a return to normal recruiting activity beginning June 1st. For over a year now, there hasn’t been any in-person recruiting. We’re about to get back into normal. Visits, live periods, all the fun stuff that we missed out on last year. I’m pretty excited about it.
It first means visits can resume right away in June. That’s welcome news to the class of 2022, who’ve only known the recruiting process over Zoom calls. Expect everybody to try to get their top targets on campus as soon as possible. Virginia already has one lined up we’ll get into below. There will surely be more.
More importantly, college coaches can go out and evaluate this summer again. The last AAU live period was in July of 2019. It’s been a long time since coaches have seen kids play in the preferred competitive setting. The 2022 class is completely unproven by the usual standards. Expect lots of new names to emerge this summer.
There will be two evaluation weekends in late June, in which players participate in events with their high school teams. Then in July we’re back into AAU with two more live weekends. If you haven’t followed along in a normal summer before, stay tuned. It’s a lot of fun. We’ll have unmatched coverage from the UVA perspective here on Locker Room Access.
2022 Recruits Moving Forward
Virginia’s top target in the frontcourt is Grand Island (NE) forward Isaac Traudt. He’s set an official visit to Charlottesville for the weekend of June 11th. We also expect UVA commit Isaac McKneely to join him that weekend. It’s shaping up as a heavyweight fight for Traudt. He’s added offers from Michigan State and North Carolina this week. Bennett will need to beat the blue bloods to make #IsaacSquared a reality.
The 2022 recruitment we should pay the most attention to right now is for Austin Nunez. The Wagner (TX) point guard could be nearing a decision. I don’t think anything is imminent but it’s probably not that far off either. He’s the only point guard Virginia has offered in the class, clearly the top target for that spot. Arkansas looks like the main competition as the report suggests. Nunez and his parents quietly visited Charlottesville on their own during the season. The Hoos picked up the latest crystal ball pick on 247Sports.