ACC Recruiting: Virginia's Waiting On Curtis Grant

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IJanuary 27, 2011

Patience is a virtue that Cavalier fans are tired of hearing about.

For too long, Virginia football has been using the "wait until next year" phrase to appease a fan-base starving for a winner. Fans must wait for coach Mike London to bring in his players and let them grow and evolve as players. Easier said then done when your team has become the cellar dweller of the already maligned ACC.

The football program needs a bolt of energy and that anticipation and hope has been personified in one high school phenom: Curtis Grant.

Now, it is rare that linebackers get the kind of wall-to-wall coverage this Hermitage High superstar has received. Yet Grant is undoubtedly one of the top players in the country and ranked as the best linebacker in the class of 2011 by just about every scouting service around. He is the crown jewel of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a prize that may have once seemed unimaginable for Virginia fans a few years ago.

Yet, London and company have pulled out all the stops.  Last weekend, the Cavaliers had one of their most important recruiting trips in decades.  Some of the best players in the country were in Charlottesville, including star athletes Dominique Terrell and Darius Jennings among others.

However, the buck seems to stop at Grant.

He has become a symbol for Virginia fans, that brass ring that has been so hard to grasp.

Grant has plenty of offers on the table, including two rather impressive ones from Florida and Ohio State. The national experts predict that Grant will sign with the Buckeyes and why not?  After all, Ohio State is one of the premiere programs.  It will be a great place for Grant to showcase his skills and compete for national championships.

Yet, Virginia has always stayed on his list. 

He still took the time to go.

That's what really kills Virginia fans.  They know that heart break could be coming there way, but why must they wait for it?  Why must they be strung along like a smitten teenager?

Grant is a talent that could help turn around a program that has been mired in mediocrity for far too long.  He would be an instant upgrade to a defense that suffered major growing pains in transitioning from the 3-4 to the 4-3.

Can he do it alone?  No.

Will his move give some national respect and consideration for Virginia? Absolutely.

Ohio State has a championship pedigree, but Virginia offers a chance to build a program.  To be remembered as a star who ushered in a new era and a new hope for the orange and blue.

Now that is certainly far from guaranteed.

All Grant can know for sure is that he would get the chance to play close to home and work with some of the most passionate and energetic coaches in the game.

It's a leap of faith.  One that many would not make unless they truly believed in coach London and Virginia.

Still, hope springs eternal and that is why the waiting game has become so awful for the Cavalier faithful.

Will losing out on Grant really hurt the program?  Of course not.

Instead, it is the potential glee signing him would mean to Virginia in both the short and long term. 

The Cavaliers have an opportunity to make a move early on in the recruiting game.  Already, coach London has produced an amazing class and should likely get at least one more big name with the four potential superstars left on the radar before signing day.

Still, every day Grant remains on the board uncommitted, Virginia fans will speculate, investigate and propagate rumors and intrigue.

It's better than just sitting around and waiting, right?