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Texas redshirt sophomore QB Matthew Merrick transferred to Virginia.

Tip of the hat to 247Sports' Jamie Oakes for the news. Merrick took a leave of absence from the Longhorns in March in order to focus on academics. The 6-foot-2, 197-pounder, a three-star dual-threat quarterback for the 2015 cycle, is expected to join the Cavaliers as a walk-on after he wraps up his summer courses at Texas. He will need to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer regulations and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining come the start of the 2018 campaign.
Source: 247Sports
Jul 11 - 6:11 PM

Virginia senior WR Doni Dowling (shoulder) was only able to run and lift weights this spring.

Dowling had right shoulder surgery in December. Earlier in his career, in January 2015, Dowling tore his right ACL. He should be good to go when camp kicks off next month. Last season, Dowling finished third on the team with 50 receptions, first with 626 receiving yards and second with four receiving touchdowns. He and Olamide Zaccheaus for a strong 1-2 perimeter punch for the Cavs.
Jul 11 - 2:20 PM

Virginia redshirt freshman CB Chuck Davis won $100,000 in the Virginia Lottery's Take 5 game.

Having a good start to the Fourth of July weekend? We hope so, but it probably isn't as good as the start to young Mr. Davis' holiday. A freshman transfer from Nebraska who sat out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer regulations, Davis decided to try for a dance with Lady Luck and purchased the lottery ticket after a recent morning workout. His grandmother was the one who suggested the winning numbers. Even the NCAA will not get to play Grinch with this one, as lottery winnings are not within their tentacled grasp.
Source: wtvr.com
Jun 30 - 7:45 PM

CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso ranks Virginia senior S Quin Blanding as the No. 55 overall draft prospect.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Blanding has already posted 358 tackles over his three-year career. "He'll check the 'production' box of the scouting process, that's for sure," Trepasso wrote. Last year, he had 118 tackles, two picks and two TFL.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 30 - 1:30 PM

Virginia named graduate assistant Vic So'oto defensive line coach.

So'Oto played his college ball under Virginia HC Bronco Mendenhall from 2005-2010, when Mendenhall was coaching up BYU. He joined the UVA staff as a graduate assistant last season. So'Oto steps in for Ruffin McNeill, who joined Lincoln Riley's staff at Oklahoma earlier this month.
Jun 22 - 4:56 PM

ESPN's David M. Hale passes along that according to Virginia coaches, redshirt senior QB Kurt Benkert has made "huge strides" this offseason.

Hale forwards the opinion that Benkert could potentially pass for 3,500 yards during the coming season. "He won't be pushed by Matt Johns this time around," Hale writes, "and he's arguably the only experienced weapon the Hoos' offense currently has." He also thinks the fact that Virginia is likely to be playing from behind in most of their games should help Benkert to pad out his statistics. This past season, the redshirt senior passed for 2,552 yards (56.2% completions) with a 21/11 TD/INT ratio. Earlier this offseason, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder said that he "know[s] the offense like the back of [his] hand." Beyond his increased comfort in the system, Benkert should be helped greatly by the fact that he has fully recovered from knee and ankle injuries which hampered him at times in 2016.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 9 - 7:21 PM

Virginia redshirt senior QB Kurt Benkert indicated that he feels far more comfortable in the offense this spring.

"I know the offense like the back of my hand. Not that I didn’t know it before, but I am not thinking about my job when I get up to the line of scrimmage anymore," Benkert said of the difference between 2016 (when he joined the team as a graduate transfer from ECU) and 2017. It helps matters that the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has fully recovered from knee and ankle injuries sustained this past season. In his inaugural year with the Cavaliers in 2016, Benkert threw for 2,552 yards while posting a 21/11 TD/INT ratio.
May 9 - 9:49 PM

Virginia redshirt sophomore WR Warren Craft (shoulder, foot) did not participate in practice this spring.

Craft played in five games last season before being forced to sit out the second half of the season due to shoulder and foot concerns. While the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder was unable to practice with the team as he recovered from offseason surgery, he indicated that he has been lifting and working to regain his strength. His availability for August camp should clarify over the next two months or thereabouts. ESPN graded him as a four-star recruit for the 2015 cycle.
May 4 - 6:22 PM

Virginia has self-imposed recruiting sanctions after reporting a violation to the NCAA.

The Cavaliers' recruiting sins were deemed to be of the Level II variety by the NCAA. In a released statement, Virginia said that the violations in question took place over a two-week stretch last April/May. Per the university, "The violations involved assistant football coaches, after a brief greeting, engaging with prospects to take a photograph." 32 such engagements took place during the aforementioned time period. As a result, Virginia has self-imposed sanctions including a cut of spring 2017 evaluations from 168 to 150 and reduction from six off-campus contacts to four off-campus contacts for those prospects with whom coaches took photographs.
Apr 7 - 5:24 PM

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

Texas redshirt sophomore QB Matthew Merrick is stepping away from the football team to focus on academics for the time being.

This is not to say that Merrick is completely done with football at Texas. According to the school, he will reevaluate his playing future at an unspecified point down the road. Rivals ranked the 6-foot-2, 197-pound dual-threat gunslinger as a three-star recruit for the 2015 cycle. After taking a freshman redshirt in 2015, he did not attempt a pass this past season.
Mar 21 - 8:49 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

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

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


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