Michael Diatta, a three-star defensive end from Tennessee, verbally committed to the Virginia football team on Tuesday.
Diatta becomes the 22nd member of UVa’s 2021 recruiting class. He’s the third player from Tennessee to pledge to join the Wahoos. Diatta selected the Cavaliers over programs such as Georgia Southern, Tulane and Vanderbilt. Despite not receiving many Power 5 offers, Diatta possesses potential.
He lists himself at 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds in his Twitter bio, and he plays with a blend of speed and power. Diatta seems capable of fitting UVa’s defensive scheme as a lineman in a 3-4 defensive system.
He’s big enough and strong enough to stop the run, and he also holds the speed and quickness needed as a defensive lineman to effectively rush the passer. While Diatta may not become an immediate contributor for Bronco Mendenhall’s program, the prospect fits the mold as a developmental player who can contribute after a season or two with Virginia.
Interestingly, Diatta also plays offensive line in high school and his pancake blocks jump out when watching film. He does an exceptional job at hustling in front of receivers on wide receiver screens, sprinting from his spot on the line toward the sideline to bulldoze an opposing defensive back.
Many of Diatta’s highlights come from his work on the offensive side of the ball.
He’s a player who should develop into a more consistent and effective defensive perfomer as Virginia transitions him into a full-time defensive role upon his arrival in Charlottesville. There’s plenty of potential for the defensive prospect.
Diatta projects to be the first defensive line commit in Virginia’s 2021 recruiting class. The Cavaliers’ class includes a handful of players likely to suit up as linebackers, but few of the prospects possess the size to be defensive linemen. Diatta checks all the boxes to join the Cavaliers as a defensive end.
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