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Virginia Football strengthens line with pick up of two big transfers

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Hoos beef up the O-line with transfers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma State

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Virginia
Montelus one of two offensive line transfers to the Hoos.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia’s offensive line received two boosts Tuesday when Notre Dame transfer John Montelus and Oklahoma State transfer Brandon Pertile signed their grants-in-aid to play at UVA this fall. Each player will have one year of eligibility. Virginia has now collected three offensive linemen transfers this off-season: Notre Dame’s Colin McGovern signed with UVA earlier this month.

Both Montelus and Pertile come to Charlottesville looking for redemption. Montelus was highly-regarded out of high school. He was a consensus 4-star recruit in the class of 2013, according to 247 Sports. He made little impact at Notre Dame, however, playing in only 6 games during his career. Pertile, meanwhile, has bounced all over the country during his college career. He played at Georgia State as a true freshman before moving to Mesa Community College in Arizona in 2014. He moved to Oklahoma state in 2015 and will graduate in May.

Montelus and Pertile should contend for starting spots this fall. Virginia only returns four linemen with significant playing experience: seniors Jack McDonald and Jack English, junior Jake Fieler, and sophomore RJ Proctor. English will compete with McGovern and Pertile at tackle, while Montelus, Proctor, Fieler, and McDonald will slug it out for the interior starting slots. English started 11 games at left tackle in 2016, while McDonald started 11 games at right guard.

The additions of Montelus and Pertile mark further progress in the effort to rebuild Virginia’s line depth. UVA added five offensive line recruits in the 2017 freshmen class. As it stands, Virginia will enter 2017 with 16 offensive linemen on scholarship. The Hoos only had 12 scholarship linemen in 2016.

With Montelus and Pertile coming aboard, UVA now projects to have 87 players on scholarship for 2017. The NCAA limit is 85, so two players will need to be removed from the roster before the fall. Virginia’s spring football practice will run from late March to late April, so fans might see the roster shake out then.