Prior to the start of this season, Virginia fans may have recognized the name T.J. Thorpe...and the association was probably not very positive.
With just 4:05 remaining in a game that the Hoos had controlled, UNC back-up quarterback Mitch Trubisky found former Tar Heel T.J. Thorpe unbelievably wide open in the end zone, giving the Tar Heels the lead. Carolina would go on to win after Virginia showed why they're Home of the Twelfth Man (On the Field), with Thorpe leaving a bunch of dejected fans behind in Charlottesville on Homecoming weekend.
Well, now Thorpe is a Wahoo!
A former SuperPrep All-American, T.J. brings in a lot of diverse talents. At North Carolina, Thorpe caught 42 passes for 574 yards over the course of three seasons. T.J. contributed on special teams returning kicks, amassing a school record 960 return yards in 2011. His 100 yard return against Clemson last season (see below) made him just the 14th in ACC history to achieve that feat. Unfortunately, he struggled with a broken foot which made him miss the entire 2012 season and some games in 2014.
The Durham, NC native impressed immediately upon arriving on Grounds, and excelled in camp.
#UVa has now officially conducted three practices this camp. Still not sure if T.J. Thorpe has dropped a pass.— Andrew Ramspacher (@ARamspacher) August 9, 2015
Thorpe looked to be the ideal compliment to outside receiver Canaan Severin, but the injury bug that had plagued the wide receiver returned as he suffered a broken right clavicle during a closed scrimmage last week. He has already undergone a successful surgery to repair the break, and is expected to miss 10 weeks for recovery. Virginia could possibly see Thorpe return for Virginia's trip to North Carolina the weekend of October 24th.
T.J., aptly named to wear the orange and blue in Charlottesville, provides the Hoos a speedy and nimble interior receiver option. Offensive Coordinator, Steve Fairchild, called him a talented young man and realizes the diverse skill set T.J. brings to the Cavalier offense. With injuries to receivers Umar Muhammad-Wyatt (lower leg) and Doni Dowling (ACL tear), expect to see true freshman David Eldridge in the slot in Thorpe's place.
Thorpe has remained optimistic regarding the injury.
How many guys do you know break the collarbone and 3 days later are without the sling #soldier— TJ Thorpe (@ThorpeTJ) August 16, 2015
When Thorpe returns to the lineup, he will bring depth and options to the receiving corps for Matt Johns. Until then, watch this sweet kick return on repeat.