National Signing Day for football is Wednesday, February 3rd—a mere two and a half weeks from today. And new UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff have been working the phones and racking up airline miles as they fill in their first recruiting class in Charlottesville.
One position of focus seems to be the quarterback position. While Matt Johns filled up the stat line with yards and touchdowns in 2015, he also led all FBS quarterbacks with 17 interceptions. In addition, Mendenhall's offenses at BYU tended more toward option-based attacks; Johns flashed mobility last year but wouldn't be considered a true threat with his legs.
So who are the guys in the wings that could give Johns a run for his money as we gear up for 2016?
The former BYU QB seems to be on the graduate transfer market.
Virginia's new staff have offered Cougar senior @T_Hill4 Taysom Hill and have told BYU walkon LB Scott Huntsman he could start for the Cavs.— Dick Harmon (@Harmonwrites) December 30, 2015
Injuries were always a problem for Hill in Provo: his senior season lasted all of one half before a foot injury forced him out of action. But his legs powered the Cougars' offense during three 8-win seasons. Especially with multiple athletic quarterbacks drawing offers as recruits (SPOILERS: see below), an experienced player carrying the torch for one year could set a strong start for the Mendenhall era.
Cross initially committed to Boston College, but reopened his recruiting in December. Very shortly before he officially announced his decommitment from BC, he picked up an offer from the orange and blue.
Virginia offer ✅— Kid Bread (@_DCross_11) December 22, 2015
Cross is a three-star athlete according to 247sports, but has been recruited as a quarterback by both BC and Virginia. The Allentown QB was the Pennsylvania 4A player of the year and, if you like dual-threat QBs, his highlight tapes are appointment viewing. Cross will visit Charlottesville on January 22nd for the big official visit weekend, and several recruiting insiders expect a commitment to Virginia that weekend.
Maybe no one has been a better recruiter for Virginia than Abramson, a four-star "pro style" QB out of New Jersey. Abramson committed to the Hoos under Mike London and has been a big part of keeping the class together as the new regime took over.
While "pro style" may not sound like a fit for Mendenhall's preferred offense ... this dude's an athlete.
Mobile with big arm can work for Mendenhall; after all, Hill's replacement for BYU last year was Tanner Mangum, cut from a mold fairly similar to Abramson.
Viramontes is the newest name on the radar for the Hoos. The California prospect initially committed to Michigan but decommitted as the Wolverines were leaning toward playing him at LB instead of under center. Yes: a quarterback who was being considered as a Big Ten linebacker.
Great home visit with Coach Beck! pic.twitter.com/gjrH7pVOZd— Victor viramontes (@Vicious_Vic10) January 15, 2016
The young blonde fellow in the UVa jacket is Jason Beck, the new quarterback coach for Virginia. Coaches from UCF had also been out to visit him. Viramontes' roster of offers speaks to his talent, and he could be an extremely bright late addition for Virginia.