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Virginia HC Bronco Mendenhall named ECU graduate transfer Kurt Benkert the school's starting QB.

Former ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill, who was surprisingly fired this offseason, is now at Virginia as the assistant head coach and linebackers coach. This means Benkert looked better than previous starter Matt Johns this offseason. Benkert missed the 2015 season due to a knee injury.
Aug 24 - 10:41 AM

Virginia sophomore WR Olamide Zaccheaus' status for the season-opener remains uncertain due to a hamstring injury.

HC Bronco Mendenhall wouldn't delve into a specific timetable or the like, merely saying that Zaccheaus remained a question mark due to his August hamstring blues. The 5-foot-8, 185-pounder could still potentially suit up for the opener against Richmond on September 3, but stay tuned. Last season, Zaccheaus caught 21 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed 33 times for 262 yards (7.9 YPC) and an additional score. He and RB Taquan Mizzell make for a versatile offensive combo.
Aug 22 - 3:20 PM

Virginia OC Robert Anae says he doesn’t know who his starting quarterback will be in the opener.

We do know who the former BYU OC is picking from, a three-man group consisting of Matt Johns, Connor Brewer and Kurt Benkert. Johns, a fifth-year senior, is the incumbent. Brewer shined this spring and Benkert is an intriguing East Carolina transfer. "Right now, we do not have a definite quarterback standout in the program," Anae said. "Shoot, if there was, I wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be talking to me. They’d already have a quarterback standout and nothing’s wrong. Something is wrong." The Cavs kick off Sept. 3 against Richmond.
Aug 4 - 6:26 PM

According to Virginia senior C Jackson Matteo, freshman QB Sonny Abramson is dealing with an undisclosed injury.

Per Matteo, Abramson suffered the mystery injury during a workout. Without knowing the severity of the sidelining ailment, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder's status for August and beyond remains somewhat cloudy. The three-star gunslinger was a longtime Virginia commit (dating back to November of 2014) before signing with the Cavaliers in February. When healthy, has a "high ceiling for development," according to the ESPN 300. He ranked as their No. 36 pocket passer in this current freshman class.
Jul 23 - 4:25 PM

Virginia senior OL Eric Tetlow and senior OL Sadiq Olanrewaju are retiring due to undisclosed injuries.

Both young men were three-star recruits for the 2013 cycle and both young men missed the 2015 season due to unspecified injuries. Olanrewaju played in 13 games from 2013-2014 and participated in spring practice before opting to step away from football. He and Tetlow will remain at Virginia on medical scholarships as they near the completion of their bachelor degrees. In terms of how these retirements might effect the Cavaliers, they should be considered depth blows, rather than outright crippling losses.
Jul 8 - 12:20 PM

Virginia senior RB Taquan Mizzell said that in regards to HC Bronco Mendenhall's new offense, he has "definitely bought in."

"The coaches keep saying, ‘Just remember we’ve still got other stuff coming, so make sure you lock in and focus because we’re going to throw you as much as you can handle,'" Mizzell explained. Last season, the 5-foot-10, 195-pounder broke the single-season ACC record for receiving yardage by a running back, racking up 721 yards on 75 catches. He also rushed for 671 yards. Mizzell has always been a pass-catching weapon out of the backfield -- he logged 29 as a freshman and 39 as a sophomore before exploding for the 75 last season -- but has yet to find an equal level of success on the ground. Prior to 2015, his previous career-best for rushing yards in a season was just 280 yards.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 5 - 2:02 PM

Virginia DL coach Ruffin McNeill said that he is "excited to be coaching and teaching."

East Carolina somewhat unexpectedly fired McNeill after the end of the 2015 season. The 57-year-old subsequently landed on his feet as a DL coach under new Cavaliers HC Bronco Mendenhall. "I love teaching and coaching, coaching and teaching, and coach Mendenhall is a great man to work with and for," McNeill said, "and these kids here at UVA are excited and energized and wanting to have a great 'coach me, coach' mentality." For his part, Mendenhall said that McNeill offers a "tremendous" complement to his own coaching style and personality.
May 30 - 1:24 PM

Virginia redshirt junior ILB Micah Kiser was named to the Lott IMPACT trophy watch list.

Kiser broke out in a huge way last year, leading the ACC with 117 tackles and earning first-team All-ACC honors. Of those tackles, 82 came on run plays. But Kiser isn't a two-down linebacker. The former four-star recruit also recorded 7.5 sacks.
May 21 - 2:00 PM

Arizona State graduate DE Jack Powers transferred to Virginia.

Powers will have two years of eligibility remaining after he joins the Cavaliers this summer. With Arizona State, the 6-foot-6, 290-pounder was listed on the offensive line and appeared mostly on special teams in 2014. He was not with the football program in 2015, but finished out his undergraduate degree and will be eligible to play immediately once he settles in with HC Bronco Mendenhall's new squad.
May 18 - 12:13 PM

Virginia HC Bronco Mendenhall says graduate QB Kurt Benkert is one of three quarterbacks competing for the starting job.

On Monday, Benkert officially joined the Cavs as a grad transfer from ECU. First and foremost, Benkert will have to beat out the incumbent Matt Johns, who was great in 2014 and dreadful in 2015 (17 interceptions). The third horse in this race is 2015 backup Connor Brewer. Of the latter two quarterbacks, Mendenhall said: "I really liked Matt Johns’ leadership, he’s exceptional at that. Connor Brewer, I liked his decision-making. Those two things off and on gave us about the same result through all of spring, but we’re going to need to increase productivity and consistency at the quarterback position."
Source: ESPN.com
May 16 - 7:29 PM

Steelers signed Virginia WR Canaan Severin.

Severin (6’2/205) runs polished routes and used a sturdy frame to box out smaller collegiate corners, at which point flypaper hands took care of the rest. His Combine snub can be attributed to deflated stats via Virginia's McLovin offenses the past few years. What hinders Severin's NFL outlook is 4.59 speed and an inability to consistently separate that comes from athletic stiffness. Consider him a homeless man's Laquon Treadwell without the blocking or the guns. For all his limitations, Severin does have a chance to stick, with the Steelers in particular. Having lost Martavis Bryant to suspension, Pittsburgh's depth chart is wide open behind Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton and Darius Heyward-Bey. Severin will compete with the likes of Eli Rogers, Issac Blakeney, Shakim Phillips and seventh-rounder Demarcus Ayers for a spot.
May 11 - 7:53 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris believes Virginia edge rusher Trent Corney could do some "damage up in the CFL and [generate] NFL looks in a few years."

The Winnipeg Bombers plucked Corney with the No. 8 selection in the second round of Tuesday's CFL Draft. Corney ran a 4.6 40-yard dash at the Houston Regional Combine in February and tested well in the other athletic drills as well. He's an interesting long-term 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB deep developmental sleeper project to keep tabs on.
May 11 - 1:55 PM

Virginia freshman RB Tre Harbison will transfer.

Well that was fast. Harbison was a member of the 2016 recruiting class and enrolled at Virginia in January. Part of this land-speed-record transfer is likely due to the Cavaliers' coaching changes. The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder was recruited by Mike London's regime, with the expectation being that he would play running back in a pro-style offense. After London's exit stage left, new HC Bronco Mendenhall moved Harbison over to fullback. Should the freshman-to-be transfer to another FBS school, he will have to sit out a year due to NCAA regulations.
May 10 - 8:54 PM

Pro Football Focus' Zoltan Buday wonders which version of Virginia redshirt senior QB Matt Johns will show up in 2016.

Johns was superb in 2014, accruing a PFF grade of +9.0 (9th in the 2017 class). Handed the starting job last fall with the expectation of another forward step, Johns instead face-planted, posting one of the lowest PFF grades of any quarterback in the nation (-13.9, 48th). The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder won't get another opportunity to post a 20/17 TD/INT rate, because new HC Bronco Mendenhall won't hesitate to supplant him with a QB who will stick around campus longer.
May 10 - 5:28 PM

Virginia sophomore QB Nick Johns will transfer.

Johns announced his decision on Twitter, with Virginia confirming that he had received an unconditional release from his scholarship. Perhaps playing into his decision, several days ago, ECU graduate gunslinger Kurt Benkert opted to transfer to the Cavaliers. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Johns did not see game action in 2015. For those wondering, he is not related to incumbent junior starter Matt Johns.
Source: ESPN.com
May 5 - 8:57 PM


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