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February 5, 2014

Signing Day 2014: Jamil Kamara


Signee: Jamil Kamara
Wide receiver
Virginia Beach (VA) Bishop Sullivan Catholic
6-foot-1, 202 pounds

Rankings: Four-star (5.9), No. 123 in the Rivals250, No. 17 nationally at his position, No. 6 overall in the Virginia Postseason Top 35.

Other offers: Prior to committing to the Cavaliers over Wisconsin and Pitt during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Kamara had offers from a number of programs including Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech, among others.


How he chose UVa: Recruiting is a funny thing sometimes. In the case of Kamara, fans had to wait months and months before finally being able to exhale, knowing they really were getting the state's top wideout.

Prior to his senior season at Bishop Sullivan, Kamara was looking at a number of options but Virginia was always at or near the top of the list. With Quin Blanding and Corwin Cutler (among others) both in the fold, UVa was seen as the team to beat. Ultimately it was a standout official visit in mid December that really pushed Kamara from "very interested" to the "lock" many expected him to be. His connection with UVa's players/recruits as well as his desire to stay home really sealed the deal. It didn't hurt that he saw immediate playing time available in an offense that struggled to gain yardage through the air last season.


Why he matters: A physical, sure-handed receiver who led Bishop Sullivan to a VISSA state championship and racked up 69 receptions for 1,409 yards and 23 touchdowns this past season, Kamara is a very important recruit for a number of reasons.

First off, he gives the Cavaliers an immediate-impact playmaker, someone who can step in from the first day of training camp and make a difference. He told CavsCorner that one of the things he liked about UVa's offense was how a lot of what Steve Fairchild has planned for him matches what he's already accustomed to doing. He'll see plenty of time as a true freshman and, combined with fellow physical receiver Keeon Johnson, will help the offense on contact. It's been a very long time since the Wahoos signed a receiver this physical and this talented in terms of route running.

From a perception standpoint, there's no doubt that Kamara picking anyone other than UVa would have been a huge negative for Mike London and his staff, despite that group signing two five-star defensive standouts and a quality four-star offensive lineman in a small class. Virginia was seen as the clear favorite for so long that losing Kamara would have been devastating to the Cavaliers.

Lastly, Kamara's work ethic, combined with the on-field connection he's developed over time with Cutler, make him a player who can carry the load early and often. There's no doubt that Virginia has had issues at the quarterback position and adding a receiver like Kamara, one who refuses to be outworked, is huge both for the class of 2014 and also for the program as a whole. He brings a confidence and an attitude of not only hard work but success. After winning the state title in his senior year, he has the itch to win and he's not the type who takes losing lightly.



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