"We were very specific, in terms of what we wanted," Rose said. "We lost some kids to some (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs, so we felt good about the kind of kids we were recruiting. But we didn't want to turn around and sign a bunch of kids just to say we have a bigger class."
Hampton announced only five recruits on signing day, including all-state running back Paul Robertson from Division 6 state champ L.C. Bird.
The Pirates' late signees are Brendan Cole, a defensive back from Hampton who spent the past two years at Christchurch School, and Kyle Dinkins, a productive quarterback from suburban Detroit.
Cole chose HU over Massachusetts and Norfolk State. He is 6-3 and 215 pounds, and the Pirates view him as a safety. He began his high school career at Bethel, but transferred to Christchurch, he said, "to mature more and get a better feel for what college life would be like."
Cole's older brother attended Hampton, and he went to Pirates' games as a youngster. He also has several friends on the team.
He said that he felt comfortable with the coaches and players and that he chose HU for academic reasons. "A degree from there looks good," he said, "and it's close to home."
Dinkins, 6-1 and 225 pounds, was a four-year starter at Ecorse Community High School. He passed for 9,800 yards in his career and took his teams to the playoffs for the first time in school history.
Dinkins had scholarship offers from Syracuse, Memphis and Northern Illinois. Interested FBS programs viewed him as an athlete and wanted him to play other positions, while he wanted to play quarterback.
"We recruited him as a quarterback because we think he can play the position," Rose said.
The Pirates also had a connection, because offensive coordinator Earnest Wilson coached Dinkins' father, Mansfield, in Arena League football years ago.
Rose also completed his coaching staff recently. He reached back to the recent past and hired Bernard Clark as defensive coordinator. Clark was Rose's first defensive coordinator, in 2009, and led a group that ranked 13th in total defense nationally.
Clark left after one year and coached at Pittsburgh and Colorado State, where coincidentally he worked under new Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild.
"Bernard did a great job for me," Rose said, "and I'm happy to have him back."
Clark will coach linebackers, in addition to being the coordinator. Rose also hired Curome Cox as a defensive assistant. Cox was a standout defensive back at Maryland who played five seasons in the NFL before he began coaching.