Chris Graham: The top recruits want Mike London, so … he’s staying?

Andrew Brown Sr., the father of consensus national Top 10 football recruit Andrew Brown Jr., “wanted to ensure Mike London is gonna be there, because that could change the situation around,” Brown Sr. said in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

mike-london-ndSo Brown Sr. called UVa. athletics director Craig Littlepage, and told the Post that Littlepage assured the family that London will be back as coach in 2014.

Littlepage then assured the Post of the same. The AD confirmed to the paper that he had spoken to Brown Sr., and “reiterated that Mike London will be our coach.”

“I told Mr. Brown that in spite of some negativity we are committed to improving the program. … I didn’t want uncertainty to factor into Andrew Brown’s desire to be at UVa. playing for Coach London,” Littlepage wrote in an email to the Post.

The negativity surrounding the London administration hasn’t involved recruiting. London’s first three recruiting classes have all been ranked in or around the Top 25 by Rivals.com (25th in 2011, 27th in 2012 and 28th in 2013).

The recruiting has gone great, and may get better next year, with Brown, a defensive tackle, and another consensus national Top 10 recruit, safety Quin Blanding, committed for the Class of 2014.

What hasn’t gone great is, well, you know, the messy little part of football involving playing football games. Virginia has lost its last eight games against FBS opponents, and stands at 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the ACC in 2013, the third losing season in four year for London at UVa.

London, for his part, continues to think that things are progressing on the right track, in spite of the obvious failures on the field.

“I believe in what we’re doing. I believe, again, that we’re on the right path of developing these players as they start to mature and get bigger, faster, stronger,” London said in his weekly press conference on Monday. “I believe in the plan and the process. I believe in the guys that are coming as we just talked about, and more to come like that. I believe in the positive part of what this program can be. I mean, it’s easy to get hung up on the discouragement and the disappointments of what’s going on, but I believe in the things to come and the process of it being better.”

The things to come part already includes Brown, who is technically no longer a recruit, since he has decided to enroll at UVa. in January to participate in spring practice. Because he has signed a grant-in-aid, London was able to comment on Brown’s down deal.

“Andrew is a dynamic player on the defensive side that he’s the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country, and I know that his ability, his accomplishments, his work ethic, I mean, there’s so many different things about him that he brings to the table that makes your football team a better team,” London said Monday.

Of note is that the Post article looking into the matter of Brown and Blanding and their status vis-à-vis their commitments to UVa. football this past weekend stated that both had said in separate interviews that they were likely to come to Virginia even if London were not part of the equation.

“I committed because of him, but it’s not that we’re keeping Coach London’s job,” Blanding told the Post. “The players want to play for Coach London because he’s a great dude, a down-to-earth guy. We have his back 100 percent, and that’s why we ride with him.”

         
 

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