Player News

Date:

Virginia redshirt senior QB Kurt Benkert (shoulder, knee) has recovered from his injury concerns.

Benkert suffered a shoulder injury against Connecticut in the third week of the season. Rest (plus a few shots) allowed him to dodge offseason surgery. "I feel like I’m out here having fun. Not that I wasn’t having fun before, but my mind is free," said the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder at the start of spring practice. In addition to overcoming his shoulder injury, Benkert has also shed a knee brace that he was wearing at the end of the season. He is looking to improve on a 2016 campaign in which he threw for 2,552 yards (56.2% completions) with a 21/11 TD/INT ratio. Those numbers are respectable enough, though UVA finished the season holding a catastrophic 2-10 record (1-7 in the ACC).
Mar 28 - 5:31 PM

Notre Dame graduate G John Montelus transferred to Virginia.

Montelus has one year of eligibility remaining to his fair name and will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 with the Cavaliers. While he ranked as Rivals' No. 74 overall prospect in the 2013 cycle, the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder was never able to carve out a significant role with Notre Dame. He ultimately saw playing time in a mere six games over the course of his Irish career.
Feb 21 - 4:26 PM

Missouri graduate QB Marvin Zanders transferred to Virginia.

With Drew Lock putting the Missouri starting job on (ahem) lockdown, Zanders is moving on. While Zanders did see the field in eight games this past season, he worked only in mop-up situations, completing 10-of-12 passes for 114 yards and a score. He also posted 198 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Kurt Benkert served as Cavaliers starting QB this past season, but it's not inconceivable that we see a bit of a competition for the job during the offseason.
Jan 30 - 4:50 PM

Virginia received a verbal commitment from three-star 2017 WR Shawn Smith.

Smith had pledged his talents to South Carolina in April, but backed off that to reopen his recruitment in October. Rivals ranks the Brunswick, Georgia, native as their No. 86 wideout in the 2017 class. The 6-foot, 170-pounder's best attribute might be his quickness. Scout.com's analysis team notes that Smith "changes direction well, he makes cuts without losing speed, and he hits the crease quickly when it opens."
Source: Scout.com
Jan 28 - 2:37 PM

Notre Dame graduate G Colin McGovern transferred to Virginia.

As a graduate transfer, McGovern will be eligible to play immediately for the Cavaliers come the start of the 2017 season. The 6-foot-4, 313-pounder appeared in 21 games during his career with the Irish, including eight starts this past season.
Jan 24 - 1:41 PM

Virginia RB Taquan Mizzell rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on nine carries in Saturday's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Fantastic work by Mizzell on Saturday, as the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder averaged 10.66 YPC for the day. This past season, the Virginia standout rushed for 940 yards (5.0 YPC) and five touchdowns while catching 52 passes for 404 yards and two additional scores. He hauled in a total of 195 passes during his Cavaliers career and should he land at the pro level this spring, it is that kind of receiving ability which would make him a palatable third-down option for a needy team. He might have to find his way as a street free agent, though. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline does not see Mizzell being drafted at this juncture.
Jan 21 - 7:31 PM

Maryland and Virginia will play a home-and-home series in the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Maryland will field first hosting honors, with the Cavaliers coming to town on September 26, 2023. Virginia will return the favor on September 14, 2024. This clash has been played out plenty of times in the past. 78, to be exact. Maryland leads the series 44-32-2. The teams last played in 2013, before the Terps joined the Big Ten.
Jan 12 - 5:12 PM

Virginia junior S Quin Blanding will return for his final season of collegiate eligibility in 2017.

Blanding has been one of the most consistent safeties in all the land during his time with the Cavaliers. This past season, the junior registered 118 tackles (2.0 for loss) and a pair of interceptions. Those numbers are right in line with what he had done the previous two campaigns -- he posted 115 tackles in 2015 and 123 in 2014, picking off a combined four passes over the course of those two seasons. What makes this statistical output even more impressive is that he has been able to keep his motivation despite Virginia's dreadful 11-25 record over the past three years.
Mon, Dec 26, 2016 04:53:00 PM

Missouri redshirt sophomore QB Marvin Zanders will transfer.

A logical transfer, here, as even with some wobbly stretches, Drew Lock showed plenty of upside flashes as Missouri's starting quarterback during the 2016 campaign. Lock's strong play has left Zanders out in the cold. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound redshirt sophomore saw playing time in eight games during the 2016 season, completing 10-of-12 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 198 yards and two additional scores. Rivals assigned a three-star rating to the dual-threat gunslinger during the 2014 recruiting cycle.
Fri, Dec 9, 2016 05:27:00 PM

Virginia senior RB Taquan Mizzell rushed for 113 yards on 22 carries in Saturday's blowout loss to Virginia Tech.

Saturday's fine effort in a lost (very lost) cause stands as Mizzell's third 100-yard showing for the 2016 campaign. As the Cavaliers finish out the campaign at just 2-10, there will be no chance at bowl glory for the 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior. He finishes his 2016 season out having rushed for 940 yards and five touchdowns.
Sat, Nov 26, 2016 03:48:00 PM

Virginia redshirt senior QB Matt Johns will start against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Johns takes over for an ineffective Kurt Benkert. The veteran signal-caller has seen only limited work this season, completing 5-of-9 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in three games. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder threw for 2,810 yards with a 20/17 TD/INT ratio over the course of 12 games last season.
Mon, Nov 14, 2016 12:53:00 PM

Virginia redshirt senior QB Kurt Benkert will not start against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Matt Johns draws the starting assignment in Benkert's place. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Benkert's overall numbers are respectable enough -- he has thrown for 2,430 yards with a 20/11 TD/INT ratio in 10 games -- but he has struggled by degrees of late, failing to throw for more than 200 yards in either of his last two games. Benkert holds a 3/2 TD/INT ratio in that space.
Mon, Nov 14, 2016 12:40:00 PM

Virginia senior RB Taquan Mizzell rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Saturday's loss to Miami.

Mizzell also caught three passes for 27 yards. A year ago, the then-junior Cavalier finished the season with a whopping 75 catches in 12 games. He will be falling well short of that hearty number in 2016, as the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder has a still-strong (but more modest) 45 catches through 10 games. As a pure runner, he has rushed for 696 yards and five touchdowns.
Sat, Nov 12, 2016 05:35:00 PM

Virginia redshirt junior ILB Micah Kiser is a "prototypical 3-4 linebacker prospect," according to NFL Media Draft analyst Chad Reuter.

In the Cavs' near-upset against Louisville on Saturday, "Kiser showed his ability to handle coverage duties, play the run, and bring down the quarterback on A-gap blitzes," Reuter wrote. "Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is very athletic, yet Kiser was able to change direction quickly enough within the pocket to drag the Heisman favorite down twice. It was another excellent performance for Kiser, who is having an all-conference season." Kiser, the Cavs' leading tackler, had 14 tackles against the Cardinals.
Wed, Nov 2, 2016 04:32:00 PM

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks says Virginia junior S Quin Blanding is "is the new prototype at the position as a rangy playmaker with corner-like cover skills and rugged run-stopping ability."

"He plays like a Tasmanian Devil near the box, exhibiting outstanding instincts, awareness and athleticism chasing down runners from sideline to sideline," Brooks wrote. Blanding is coming off a 13-tackle (one TFL) performance against North Carolina on Saturday in a 35-14 loss. "Although the number of tackles is certainly impressive, I was blown away with his hustle and effort in a blowout loss," Brooks wrote. "In a game where many players, particularly top prospects, would shut it down, Blanding's intensity and play speaks volumes about his fire and desire as a playmaker."
Source: NFL.com
Thu, Oct 27, 2016 06:54:00 PM


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