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Breaking down Virginia's quarterback situation in 2016, and in the years to come

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Adding a transfer with two years of eligibility should provide depth, consistency

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Former ECU quarterback Kurt Benkert announced Sunday that he'll be transferring to UVA as a graduate transfer, eligible to play immediately and for the next two years. He joins a crowded backfield, with five other quarterbacks slated to be on scholarship for the 2016 season.

Here's how the position plays out over the next few seasons, with what we know about incoming recruits and assuming no outbound transfers.

2016 season

  • Matt Johns, senior
  • Connor Brewer, senior
  • Kurt Benkert, junior
  • Nick Johns, sophomore
  • Sonny Abramson, freshman
  • Devante Cross, freshman

2017 season

  • Kurt Benkert, senior
  • Nick Johns, junior
  • Sonny Abramson, sophomore
  • Devante Cross, sophomore
  • Lindell Stone, freshman

2018 season

  • Nick Johns, senior
  • Sonny Abramson, junior
  • Devante Cross, junior
  • Lindell Stone, sophomore

If Benkert hadn't transferred, the Hoos would have had a two-class gap between feasible quarterback starters, potentially thrusting a player with only one year in the system into the starting role. With Benkert on the roster, Virginia could have two straight two-year starters who have had two years to learn the offensive system: Benkert in 2016 and 2017, Abramson or Cross in 2018 and 2019.

If Lindell Stone is as good as reports indicate, he could compete for the starting gig in 2018, setting Virginia up for something it hasn't had in more than a decade: a three-year starter at quarterback.

This smoothing-out of the number of quarterbacks per class year means the Hoos can aim to bring in one quarterback per recruiting class, allowing the coaches to target their energy at higher-caliber players at the game's most important position. (No offense, place-kick holders.) Adding transfers with a year or two of college development can help plug holes as needed—for instance, to the class of 2018.