Ant Fisher is weeks away from enrolling at the University of Virginia.
“I felt amazing,” Fisher said of his involvement with the Cavaliers. “UVA is the public school, a big school in the state, and I just knew everyone in the community and my family could come see me play. It’s not too long of a drive.”
Fisher opted to stay at home in Virginia, turning down offers from the Army, Air Force, Yale, VMI and Norfolk State to enlist with the Cavaliers as a as a favorite extra.
Fisher had a great senior season which saw him named the Virginia High School League Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year and was also an all-state first-team offensive selection at the all-around position as well as a first team All-State defensive selection at defensive back.
He recorded 45 tackles, including five tackles for loss, 24 pass breakups and five interceptions in his final season at Varina. He was even a threat to opposing defenses last fall: he rushed for 840 yards and 11 touchdowns and had 35 receptions for 640 yards and seven touchdowns. He even threw a touchdown pass on a match-fixing play in the state championship game.
For the Varina defensive back, representing the state school was a big deal.
“It was definitely important,” he said. “At first, staying in the state wasn’t a big concern, but when I found out I was staying home, it just felt better. I knew I was closer and I knew that my mother was not far away.”
When he visited Grounds in the spring, his teammate Varina and future Hoo, carlo thompsonwas by his side.
“We grew up together, we played racquetball together for about eight years. It’s nice to have someone like Noah [Hartsoe]he’s also committed to UVA, he grew up with us too and it’s just nice to know that we all grew up together, so we’re going to be together in college too.”
His visit to Grounds really set the Cavaliers apart.
“I really got a feel for all the new coaching staff,” he said of his trip. “I have to talk to the coach Tony Elliot, and I see how well I could fit into the team. I have to watch the practice; I got to see the exercises and everything they do and it cleared up and let me know this is my home, and I can definitely see myself here for the next few years.”
Virginia defensive backs coach and defensive passing coordinator Curome Cox was not, however, an unfamiliar face. Coach Cox recruited Fisher before arriving in Charlottesville.
“Coach Cox is the first coach who ever offered me so it was good to know he was one of the first people to believe in me. I know he’s going to push me to be the best athlete. ”
Now Keys is focused on bringing another of his teammates to Grounds with him, Kaveion Keys.
“I just tell him I’m going to try to come in, get my feet wet and lead the way,” he said. “So when he comes in, he’s already ahead of the game, he knows a few pointers, and we can repeat what we did in high school.”
It’s not just the keys. Fisher has a clear message to any prospect considering Virginia.
“We have something that is up,” he said. “In the next few years, we’re going to be the college we’re talking about.”