CHARLOTTESVILLE — Virginia Coach Mike London confirmed Monday during his weekly news conference that five-star recruit Andrew Brown, considered the nation’s top 2014 defensive tackle by every major recruiting service, has signed a grant-in-aid and will enroll early at Virginia to participate in spring practice next semester.
A grant-in-aid is a financial aid agreement that allows Brown to enroll before National Signing Day in February.
London raved about Brown’s talents ahead of Virginia’s game at Miami this Saturday, calling him “an immediate pass-rushing threat” for a program that is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. Brown, a Chesapeake, Va., native, is currently participating in the Virginia High School League playoffs with Oscar Smith High.
“You don’t want to anoint a high school guy as being ‘The guy,’” London said. “He still has to go against college-aged offensive linemen that’ll be fourth- and fifth-year guys, but you do look at a skill level and a skill-set that this young man possesses that you can see why he’s as good as advertised.”
Brown’s father, Andrew, Sr., told The Post in an interview this past weekend that he reached out to Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage Thursday and received assurances that London would remain head coach next season. Brown gave an oral commitment to Virginia back in July.
In an email, Littlepage confirmed the conversation with Brown’s father took place and reiterated his stance that London would be back for the 2013-14 season. A Virginia spokesman said Brown signed the grant-in-aid last week.
“To have a player of his caliber, of his ability, is very, very significant for us,” London said. “I’m ecstatic about the fact that he chose us and he’s gonna be a part of this family.”
The Cavaliers are one of two programs in the country — the other is No. 1 Alabama — with two top 10 2014 recruits in the fold. Virginia Beach safety Quin Blanding has already given an oral commitment to Virginia and declared himself “100 percent committed” when asked about the situation Friday night.
Several schools, including Alabama, North Carolina, Miami and Ohio State, have continued to recruit Brown and Blanding with Virginia struggling on the field this season. London, though, remains adamant that he can succeed.
“I believe in the plan and the process and I believe in the guys coming … I believe in the positive part of what this program can be,” London said. “It’s easy to get hung up on the disappointments and the discouragement of what’s gone on, but I believe in the things to come and the process of it getting better.”