UVa Lands Fifth Commitment

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Virginia received its second verbal commitment in as many weeks yesterday, when The Haverford School (Haverford, PA) offensive line/defensive end prospect Will Barker committed to the Cavaliers.

“He went ahead and called the Virginia coaches yesterday and gave them the thumbs up,” The Haverford School Head Coach Robert Allman said. “He committed. Virginia was everything he wanted. They have a good academic tradition, a football program that’s on the way up, and a big-time Coach in Coach Groh. It was just the right fit. It’s what he wants, and he knows this is the right place for him.”

At 6-7, 270 pounds, Barker plays offensive tackle and defensive end in high school. A multi-sport athlete, he plays basketball and lacrosse in addition to football, and it was this athleticism that really impressed UVa.

“Virginia was one of the schools he wanted to look at before recruiting started,” Allman said. “He and his Dad went down there in March, and before they went I sent UVa some film. Once they saw him in person, they were blown away. They looked at more film and offered him. They love his athleticism. He runs about a five-flat in the forty yard dash. Physically, he’s rock solid and he’s only going to get bigger, and he has a lot of raw potential. He was a two-way starter for us at defensive end and offensive tackle last year, when he really showed how good he can be. He’s athletic enough to play defensive end for them, or he could play offensive tackle. I don’t think they know exactly where he’ll play just yet.”

Barker becomes the fifth player to commit for the 2005 class and joins Kempsville (Virginia Beach, VA) DE/TE Jason Fuller as players to commit within the past two weeks. Coach Allman believes many schools may try to get involved with Barker even with his commitment, however believes his star’s decision is solid.

“Oh I believe he’ll honor his commitment,” Allman said. “We discussed his options, and I told him there he may get one offer or he may get 30, but that ultimately the decision is his. He said ‘Coach, this is what I want and I feel great about it.’

“Virginia was just everything he wanted.”

Barker plans on attending the Nike Camp at Penn State, primarily to “gain experience” according to Coach Allman. There are no definite plans with any other camps.

Academically, Barker is