September was a busy month of recruiting for the Virginia coaching staff. They’ve been on the road visiting high schools and building relationships with the class of 2023. Guards are a major focus of all that activity. Someone that can play the point is on the agenda for sure, and possibly a second guard.
So far, these are the guards that have received the most attention.
Reed Sheppard 6’3 CG North Laurel (KY)
Reed Sheppard is the only true guard with a scholarship offer from Virginia at this point. Most of you already know the situation here. Both of his parents played at Kentucky, and he’s being heavily recruited by John Calipari to follow in their footsteps. Tony Bennett has other ideas. He’s been all over Reed from the start, clear priority treatment. While there are other schools involved, this will in all likelihood boil down to a Bennett vs Calipari battle. Reed is scheduled to visit this weekend, his second time on Grounds.
Jaylen Curry 6’2 PG Chambers (NC)
Jaylen Curry first came to our attention with a standout performance in front of Coach Bennett at a June live period event in Georgia. He was somewhat under the radar at that time. The UVA staff kept tabs on him the rest of the summer. Florida State and Wake Forest are in the mix. Alabama just offered. Assistant coach Orlando Vandross was in Charlotte to see him last week as they continue to build a relationship.
London Johnson 6’4 PG Norcross (GA)
London Johnson shot up the charts this past summer, now with five stars next to his name on Rivals and a list of offers starting to resemble that status. North Carolina might be the early favorite after recently joining the race. A true floor general with good size who always plays under control, he has a lot of the qualities Bennett likes in a guard. UVA’s Jason Williford was at Norcross to see him this week.
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Isaiah Collier 6’3 PG Wheeler (GA)
Coach Bennett came around several times to see Isaiah Collier play over the summer. He’s been widely recognized from the start as one of the top point guards in the class. Along with that comes stiff competition. UCLA, Florida State, and North Carolina headline the programs that are already heavily involved. With the obvious early opportunity UVA has available, someone like Collier could be more in play than is typically the case.
George Washington III 6’2 CG Christian Academy (KY)
George Washington III has the game to match his All-American name. A true combo, he can play off the ball or be a score-first lead guard. He’s a coach’s son, and brings the intangible qualities you expect with that. Another guy that’s moved up the rankings after a great summer of AAU. Ohio State, Louisville, and Tennessee are some of the contenders right now. He’ll be in Charlottesville next week for a visit.
Jahnathan Lamothe 6’4 SG St. Frances (MD)
The Virginia coaches saw a lot of Jahnathan Lamothe over the summer. A well-built big versatile guard out of the Baltimore Catholic League, he’s one of the most prized recruits in the region. Maryland, LSU, and Illinois are among the many programs involved so far. Coach Williford was in to check him out last week.
Gabe Cupps 6’2 PG Centerville (OH)
UVA got a long look at Gabe Cupps this summer while he was playing alongside Reed Sheppard. He’s a popular Big Ten recruit. Ohio State, Indiana, and Michigan are all seriously involved. Another coach’s son, he’s an ultra-competitive true floor general. He’s already visited back in June.
Chase Clemmons 6’0 PG Legacy Early (SC)
Another guard from Atlanta, Chase Clemmons transferred this year to Legacy Early College in South Carolina. He missed the summer with an injury. Coaches haven’t gotten an opportunity to see him play in a competitive setting like all these others. Houston, Auburn, and Georgia are some of his early offers. He visited UVA in June. Assistant coach Kyle Getter made the trip to see him last week.
Parker Friedrichsen 6’3 SG Bixby (OK)
Parker Friedrichsen put himself on the high-major recruiting map in July. Playing for the independent Tulsa Hawks, he made the most of his few opportunities against highly regarded prospects. Particularly in a matchup with Reed Sheppard, grabbing the attention of the Virginia staff. Iowa, Creighton, and the Oklahoma schools are among his offers so far. Coach Getter was in Bixby for him last week. They followed that up with a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.
Up Next…We dig into the 2023 forward to watch.
(Image: Les Nicholson)