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Countdown to Virginia Football: #57 James Trucilla

RS Freshman DT James Trucilla may be the last hope for the Hoos on the 2017 DL.

Virginia Media Relations

Position: DT
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 270
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Hometown: Erie, PA
Twitter: @bighoss2737

The likely starter at DT for the Hoos this year is senior Donte Wilkins. His backup is Andre Miles-Redmond, also a senior. This means that next year, the Hoos will need a DT. And since Miles-Redmond hasn’t been healthy this offseason, Trucilla may be forced into action this year.

Wilkins is 6’1” 290. Trucilla is 6’1” 270. Unfortunately, that may be where the similarities end. Wilkins was bigger coming to college and was forced to lose weight, but then again he was playing in a 4-3 defense. Trucilla will have to add bulk before he’s ready to contribute at DT. Wilkins was also a bit higher rated a recruit. Trucilla is a 3-star across the board. Wilkins was 4-stars according to 247sports. A bigger difference was in offer lists. Wilkins had offers from most of the ACC along with Mississippi State and Penn State. Trucilla had mostly offers from FCS schools.

Still, that doesn’t mean Trucilla can’t play. As a 3-star recruit, obviously scouts from the major recruiting services thought he could play. Though it is possible his rating is inflated because of the school he attended, Cathedral Prep, which is a football powerhouse in Erie, PA.

Regardless, Trucila is here now. And as the only DT on the roster who is likely to be around next year, Trucilla will almost definitely be on the 2-deep next year. The inability of 2016 DT recruit Trystan Hill to make it onto grounds makes that even more likely. As of right now, Trucilla will be the only DT on the roster next year, so he will need to bulk up a bit and develop as a player or the Hoos could be in trouble. Though as mentioned yesterday, Eli Hanback has the ability to slide inside to DT and may end up doing that more next season if Trucilla isn’t ready.

Taking a look at the video on Trucilla’s Hudl page, his quickness jumps out at you. He is beating his man off the snap over and over again. Yes, these are highlight videos, but his quickness looks legit. Bronco Mendenhall probably wants bigger DTs for the middle of his 3 man DL, so Trucilla may never be an every-down player. But his quickness and motor make him a situational option. He could also play on the outside if needed.