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Quarterbacks Matt Johns, Kurt Benkert taking the lead for Virginia football’s offseason workouts

No news on who may be in the lead to start, but both working hard to connect with teammates in new offensive system

Virginia Media Relations

Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch had an update from Virginia’s offseason workouts, and the leadership roles that incumbent Matt Johns and new transfer Kurt Benkert have taken on.

For now, both players are getting in their offseason work with their U.Va. teammates. Both have already graduated and began graduate school classes Monday, pursuing master’s degrees in higher education.

Next week, team practices begin, under the supervision of the Cavaliers’ strength coach. Virginia will hold those five days per week, then have players-only workouts on the weekends, Johns said.

The article also sheds some light on the process by which Benkert came to Charlottesville, and Johns’s reaction to that development.

Johns said Anae and quarterback coach Jason Beck gave him a “heads up” that U.Va. would be adding Benkert as a transfer, a move that Johns said makes a lot of sense for the program. Johns and Brewer are both going into their final seasons of eligibility, meaning the Cavaliers would have no experienced quarterbacks on the roster for 2017 outside of this year’s incoming freshmen.

“I think bringing Kurt in was not a surprise at all. We needed him to have more consistency and more depth at the position,” Johns said. “He’s very talented on the football field, and he’s a very bright kid. He’s definitely going to be a great addition to our quarterback group, and we’re excited to have him.”

Jackson Matteo, the Hoos’ presumed starter at center, had some choice quotes about his new quarterback.

Matteo walked off the Virginia football practice field last week, gulped some water from a nearby hose, and loudly declared, to no one in particular, “that boy can throw a football.” [...]

“He’s got a big arm, and he’s got a big brain, too,” Matteo said. “He knows the game. He already knows the offense. He’s out there telling me what to do. He knows the protections, knows the calls, knows where to be. It’s cool to watch. He’s going to be pretty good.”

Whichever quarterback takes the reins for the Hoos in September, it sounds like they will have the full faith and support of their teammates.