Pronounced: Oh-llama-day Za-key-us
If running back Taquan “Smoke” Mizzell is a great running back who happens to be a great receiver as well, then sophomore Olamide Zaccheaus could be a strong receiver who runs the ball at a high level. Zaccheaus was fourth on the team in 2015 in both receptions (21) and receiving yards (216). Additionally, he was the third-leading rusher on the team with 262 yards on 33 attempts, which effectively gave him the highest average on the team with 7.9 yards per carry; Nicholas Conte averaged 10 yards on just two attempts.
Zaccheaus set a single-game school record with 231 kick return yards against Boise State - yes, during that Boise State game. His average of 23.1 offensive yards per game was third on the team among guys not named Matt Johns, behind Mizzell (55.9) and Albert Reid (32.7).
So, what does this mean? Under previous offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild, “power running” was the name of the game, and while the versatile Zaccheaus was fairly involved, Mizzell, Reid, and Canaan Severin were looked to the most on offense. Also, Zaccheaus was recruited to UVa as a running back due to his size; his relatively small stature has proved to work in favor of the agile receiver. Under the much more up-tempo style of new offensive coordinator Robert Anae, fans can definitely expect Zaccheaus to receive more targets after the graduation of both Severin and T.J. Thorpe.
Zaccheaus lined up as the X receiver last year, serving as backup to Severin. Keeon Johnson, David Eldridge, and Andre Levrone will also be lined up wide with Zaccheaus, but don’t be surprised to see him on the jet sweep a couple times a game, like he did many times last year against Virginia Tech.