Antonio Appleby had never visited the University of Virginia until this past weekend, and it only took one experience for him to be sold on his future school.
“The visit was incredible,” Appleby said. “I was really blown away and I wasn’t expecting it. I had a chance to meet more of the coaches like Coach [Al] Groh and Coach [Danny] Rocco. They are great guys. The academics are great. They have so many recruits coming in that they are going to be really strong. Everything just seemed like the right fit for me.”
Appleby admits he thought about committing immediately following the visit.
“Ever since I came back I’ve been thinking about committing,” Appleby said. “Coach Groh asked those of us who were thinking about deciding soon what else would we be looking for in a school. I thought about that and realized that Virginia had everything I was looking for. I told my parents about it. My Mom wanted me to wait a little longer, but I think she’s all right with it now. It was basically my decision, so I went ahead and did it.”
A defensive end in high school, the 6-4, 230 pound Appleby will likely play outside linebacker for UVa. After learning about the 3-4 defense on his visit, he felt his talents would be well suited to play outside linebacker.
“Before I went to UVa, I wasn’t really a fan of the 3-4,” Appleby said. “But after Coach Rocco showed me some tape, I thought this is for me. It fits my style perfectly.”
The 16th verbal commitment for the 2005 class, Appleby believes UVa is putting together something special for the future.
“I’m excited to be a part of this,” Appleby said. “This class is crazy (laughs). We are going to do big things.”
Asked if it will be tough to stick with his choice if other schools continue to recruit him, Appleby replied “No. I’m a Cavalier now.”
Hoping for more…
Appleby would like to help UVa bring in several more key players for the 2005 class, including Eleanor Roosevelt (MD) star Derrick Williams and Ragsdale (NC) tailback Toney Baker.
“I’m going to try to recruit,” Appleby said. “I want to get the Williams kid from Maryland and Toney Baker. I don’t know...
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