This morning, it was learned that Hermitage defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald had committed to the University of Virginia. This afternoon I was able to catch up with the state’s #6 ranked prospect, who is the 21st player to commit to UVa for the 2005 class.
“I’m pretty excited,” Fitzgerald said of his decision. “I guess I was leaning to them for a while. I’ve always felt real comfortable around the players and the coaches. Everything’s easy going up there…like a family.”
Fitzgerald will join former teammate Fontel Mines and current teammate and UVa commit Jameel Sewell at UVa next Fall. While he has a good relationship with Mines and Sewell, he says he has also developed relationships with other players on the team.
“I went up there a couple of times, so I’ve had a chance to meet other players,” Fitzgerald said. “I think I have a good relationship with all of them.”
Fitzgerald says he looks forward to the “challenge” of playing in the ACC. Another challenge may be adjusting to defensive end in the 3-4 system, but he feels he will be able to do so.
“It may be a little different, but last year we ran a similar defense so I don’t think it’ll be too hard,” the 6-4, 250-pound Fitzgerald said of the 3-4 defense. “I played on the inside, close to the tackle some times. I’ll have to get used to it, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Finally, Fitzgerald says he is excited about Virginia’s 2005 recruiting class. The Cavaliers currently have more commitments than any other program in the country, including 12 from the state of Virginia.
“It’s a real strong recruiting class,” Fitzgerald said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to come in and help the program. Not that they need us to turn the program around, because it is already on its way up now, but hopefully we can help improve the program.”
Academically, Fitzgerald carries a 2.7 GPA and has scored an 860 on the SAT.
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