Defensive Signee Breakdown

Olu Hall (pictured above) has waited long enough to make an impact on the UVA football field.

On February 24th of 2004, Alex Field became the first defensive commit for UVa's 2005 class. The two star prospect played defensive end and tight end for Broad Run HS, and has great size at 6'6, 240-pounds.

For the second straight year, outside linebacker Olu Hall signed his letter of intent to play with Virginia. The four star prospect was rated as the #1 player in the state a year ago, but failed to qualify to play at UVa. Olu qualified this year, and will be wearing Orange and Blue in the fall.

At 6'5, 255, Jeffery Fitzgerald has the perfect body for defensive end in Al Groh's 3-4 defensive scheme. Fitzgerald, who is ranked 3 stars by, also played Tight End in high school, but will play DE at Virginia. Fitzgerald committed to Virginia on September 1st, over the likes of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Nebraska.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald Video

Ranked 96th in the Top 100, Mike Brown is Virginia's highest rated defensive recruit. The 4-star cornerback (and teammate of Rashawn Jackson) was thrown at only a few times all season. Don't be surprised to see Brown get early playing time next season.

Antonio Appleby was one of six four star players to sign with Virginia on February 2nd. Appleby played defensive end and tight end in high school, but is expected to make the transition to outside linebacker when he reaches Virginia. Appleby's 4.56 forty time gives him the ability to make the position switch.

Antonio Appleby Video

Another player looking to switch positions when reaching Charlottesville is Columbia Senior HS prospect Denzel Burrell. Like Appleby, Burrell will probably be moved from defensive-end to outside linebacker. Burrell's size (6'4''), weight (208) and speed (4.6) is comparable to Darryl Blackstock's when he arrived on Virginia's campus.

One thing that cornerback Chris Cook doesn't lack is height. At 6'2'', Cook fits the new prototype cornerback mold because he has the ability to jam wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. The three star from Lynchburg, VA has been timed at a 4.45 forty.

Chris Cook Video

Virginia's defensive line got a boost when three star defensive tackle Kevin Crawford committed the Hoos. The 6'4'', 275'' DT is the type of player that can man double teams in the middle of Virginia's 3-4 defense.

Overall, this group of defensive players has the ability to continue the defensive improvements at Virginia. Several of these players could contend for early playing time next fall, while the others will serve as solid replacements in the future.

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