UVA taps into fertile Tidewater region with newest commit


Virginia’s latest commitment is a promising defensive prospect — one who raises UVA’s in-state recruiting profile.

Jeremiah Owusu of Hampton, Va., pledged to the Cavaliers on Oct. 23, becoming the 20th member of UVA’s 2017 signing class. Owusu is a consensus 3-star prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings, listed as the No. 554 overall recruit nationally.

Owusu combines a 6-2, 200-pound frame with his ability to play multiple positions. The Cavaliers envision him playing outside linebacker, but Owusu also has the capability to play safety.

Not only is Owusu an important pickup for the Cavaliers due to his versatility, but he’s also significant due to where he lives.

Virginia had nine in-state commitments in the 2017 class prior to Owusu’s pledge to the Cavaliers. But none of them were from Virginia’s Tidewater region.

Owusu’s hometown of Hampton, and the Tidewater region in general, is a key recruiting battle ground for numerous schools. While Mike London and his staff signed numerous players out of Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach in recent years, you have to go back to 2012 to find the last UVA signee from Hampton — wide receiver Jamall Brown.

UVA’s recruiting strategy under Bronco Mendenhall so far has been need-based. Landing a player of Owusu’s caliber could signal a turning of the page for the Cavaliers in the Tidewater region, opening up new possibilities in one of the top football recruiting territories along East Coast.

With Owusu on board, Virginia is winding down its 2017 recruiting efforts. The defensive line is likely the top remaining need the Cavalier coaches are trying to fill.