UVA football got walloped by the attrition bug Friday, just when some good press had started to surface about the program. Virginia announced that graduate transfers Marvin Zanders and Colin McGovern will not be joining the team in the fall. In addition, Virginia announced that redshirt freshman quarterback Sonny Abramson has left the team.
The losses of Zanders and McGovern could have a significant impact in the immediate future. McGovern, who started multiple games as an offensive lineman at Notre Dame in 2016, figured to compete for a starting job on Virginia’s line. Zanders, who played quarterback at Missouri, would have had two years of eligibility left. Many pundits had penciled him in as the #2 quarterback behind Kurt Benkert in 2017, and as a competitor for the starting spot in 2018.
Virginia’s quarterback depth shrank considerably with the losses of Zanders and Abramson. UVA has only three quarterbacks for the coming season: Benkert, redshirt freshman Devante Cross, and incoming freshman Lindell Stone. Cavalier head coach Bronco Mendenhall has worked hard to restock the position the last two years. He’ll have his work cut out for him once again.
With McGovern, Virginia is projected to have 16 offensive linemen this fall. But it’s completely fair to question how many of those 16 players are ready to contribute at an ACC level. Fans will recall Kurt Benkert running for his life for most of 2016, as offensive line play was a major hindrance.
UVA appears “set” on the left side of the line with seniors Jack English at tackle and Jack McDonald at guard. Jake Fieler lockes down the starting center position in the spring. UVA’s right side remains a question mark, however. Transfers Brandon Pertile (Oklahoma State) and John Montelus (Notre Dame) and sophomore RJ Proctor figure to compete for the starting spots, but none of them participated in spring practice.
None of UVA’s other 10 offensive linemen have any significant game experience at the college level.
The season starts 12 weeks from today...