College Football Recruiting: How the Virginia Cavaliers Beat the SEC for a QB

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IAugust 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 11:  Head coach Mike London of the Virginia Cavaliers exhorts his team against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

We all know that SEC football is as much a religion as it is anything else.

The SEC dominates the college football landscape and as a result, they pretty much get their pick of the litter when it comes to recruiting.

In fact, the battle over blue chip recruits can get outright nasty between bitter rivals.

So it might seem foolish for a team outside of the SEC to dip their toe into the Deep South to try and land a prized quarterback recruit.

It makes even less sense considering your program has not had a winning season since 2007.

Yet, that is exactly what the Virginia Cavaliers did this weekend when they landed Greyson Lambert, a quarterback from Jessup, Georgia.

While the various scouting services have Lambert pegged somewhere between a 3- or a 4-star recruit, his list of suitors is staggering.

According to sources, Lambert had interest or scholarship offers from Alabama, Louisville, Georgia, Clemson, Miami, Purdue, Michigan, North Carolina State, Boston College, Michigan State, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

Virginia did not just beat out one SEC team—the Cavaliers beat out four of them.

While Lambert may not be a top name or a top priority for premiere programs, he is projected as the 20th best pro-style quarterback in the class of 2012, according to Rivals. 

For a program that has lacked stability under center for six seasons now, Lambert could be the future of the Cavaliers program—a program that has made a splash in recruiting under second-year coach Mike London.

So how did Virginia do it?

Well, most college coaches and scouts are going to praise you, make promises and basically tell you what you want to hear.

Apparently, the Cavaliers took a different approach with Lambert. According to Jay Jenkins of the Daily Progress, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor decided to give the quarterback a pop quiz.

He picked his brain on the finer points of quarterbacking, something that had to leave the rising senior stunned. That lasting impression resulted in a commitment and some positive news heading to a team that could use all the hope it can muster.

Lambert has dealt with doubters before. A projected backup last season, Lambert took over after an injury and proceeded to throw for nearly 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. In a way, picking the underdog makes perfect sense.

Virginia appears ready to make an investment in Lambert. The Cavaliers have worked at placing pieces around him and trying to resurrect a dormant program.

Could he be the final piece of the puzzle?