Even with the arrival of highly-touted grad transfer Dylan Thompson, Virginia Cavaliers fans will have to wait a bit for him to make his debut in orange and blue.
The defensive lineman from the Ohio State Buckeyes will not play in Saturday’s season opener against the Richmond Spiders, UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall said on the season premiere of his weekly radio show on Tuesday.
“He’s completed, according to our trainers, one of his acclimation practices, and so it’ll still be a little bit of time before he’s able to join us,” said Mendenhall. “It’s a regular practice, other than in Ohio, it’s in Virginia, which is acclimation with like capital letters. So a lot more sweating, and a lot more heavy breathing, and a lot more wondering what this is that he’s gotten himself into. The NCAA requires that from every player, so our entire team goes through the acclimation process together; he’s just now having to do it on the tail end.”
How has the atmosphere changed after three fall camps under Mendenhall’s leadership? “Increased expectations,” he said. “All that last year did [in] framing the offseason was, it’s not enough. We know there’s more, we want more, and we expect more, and we’re not afraid to say that. It’s what we’ll shoot for every single year, and those things kind of reflect a healthy football program at UVA where you’re always in contention at the end of the year.”
Finally, Mendenhall said that the week’s guest, senior wideout Olamide Zaccheaus, was named one of the team’s three captains by a team vote and that it was no accident that he chose the fourth-year as the team’s representative at Media Days earlier this summer.