Early Wednesday evening, UVA football fans received welcome news. Bronco Mendenhall has not been shy about saying the Cavaliers' biggest need is added depth along the offensive and defensive lines. Some of that depth got added to the fold in the form of 6'4, 295 pound offensive guard Jordan Cohen. Streaking the Lawn caught up with Cohen to learn more about why he chose UVA.
Cohen hails from Owings Mills, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. He played his high school ball for the McDonogh School, and was rated one of the top guards in the country coming out of high school in the class of 2014. A testament to his athleticism, Cohen was also a standout lacrosse defenseman, earning offers to play college lacrosse as well.
Cohen signed with UNC-Chapel Hill and played in 13 games as a freshman after Landon Turner went down with an injury. He picked up his first collegiate start against East Carolina, and his second a week later against Clemson.
But Cohen announced he was leaving the Heels in 2015, and the university granted him his full release in October. After a year away from Division I football, Cohen set his sights on a return to the ACC. He picked Virginia over Louisville after visiting both in recent weeks.
"For me, seeing the type of players on the team and how this coaching staff coaches sold me immediately," Cohen said of Virginia when speaking with STL on Wednesday night. "They coach hard, get their guys better, and have a great time in the process. Seeing practice let me know that I can definitely see myself playing for them and enjoy it. It's just overall a great group of guys that are a family."
It's obvious that Cohen's new family is happy to have him, judging from the coaches' reaction inside the McCue Center.
One coach in particular stood out during Cohen's recruitment. "Coach Tujague was the main guy," said Cohen. "He answered all of my questions honestly and definitely sold me on what they're doing there."
The Mendenhall message that's pushed the current Hoos through tempo runs and freezing workouts seems to be hitting home with Cohen. His plans for the next few months? "Finish up with school first off. Then kicking my training up a notch to be the strongest I can be and in the best shape I can be. That way I have nothing to worry about other than my play when I get there!"
Because of his year out of Division I play, Cohen is eligible to play immediately this fall for Virginia.