Last year, the Hoos benefited from a few graduate transfers. One, of course, was Kurt Benkert, the starting QB. But another was Jack Powers, a defensive lineman who started twice and totaled 13 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He also had 3 passes defended.
Powers was expected to be the primary backup DL for the Hoos this year. However, today, we were given this announcement from Coach Mendenhall.
#UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall says DE Jack Powers will miss the season with an injury.— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) August 21, 2017
This is a blow for the Hoos depth on the DL. With Powers out, the Hoos have just 5 players on the DL with any playing experience. Already, two of the projected starters are sophomores. With the loss of Powers, the only upper classman on the roster is Andrew Brown.
While this bodes well for the future, it could be problematic this year. The DL is one place where players tend to rotate quite a bit, and the Hoos are expected to run several different bodies out there this year. Some candidates to benefit from Powers’ absence include a pair of redshirt freshmen DE with the same first name. Christian Brooks and Christian Baumgardner are both promising youngsters will great size.
The injury to Powers also makes it highly likely that we will see some true freshmen on the field this year. A couple of candidates from that group are Mandy Alonso at Tommy Christ at DT and Isaac Buell at DE.
We also feel bad for Powers, who was expecting to contribute during his final year of college football. He already redshirted a season in 2013 and spend a season away from football in 2015. So it is unlikely that he’d be eligible for another year. His football career is likely over.