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Freshman WR Nathaniel Beal enters transfer portal

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The big WR had been sidelined due to an ACL injury, but could have earned some playing time next year.

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Virginia vs Clemson
Terrell Jana is the top returner for 2020.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Cavaliers freshman wide receiver Nathaniel Beal has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal. The first Cavalier to enter the portal this year, Beal had not played at all this season, after suffering an ACL injury during summer training camp.

With the depth that Virginia had at WR this year, Beal may not have played anyway, but his 6’4” 210lb frame made him a strong option down the road. And while entering his name into the portal does not necessarily mean that Beal will transfer, it does mean that he’s exploring his options. At the same time, it also means Virginia is not required to honor his scholarship moving forward.

After the Orange Bowl at the end of this month, the Hoos will lose Joe Reed, Hasise Dubois and both graduate transfers (Dejon Brissett and Terrell Chatman) this year, meaning there will be a lot of playing time available in 2020.

The top returner is Terrell Jana, who is actually second on the team in receiving this year and has really come on over the second half of the year. Tavares Kelly and Billy Kemp also return, though both are best used in the slot. Freshman Dontayvion Wicks began to get more and more run as the season progressed and is in line for a lot more reps next year.

Wicks is 6’1”, but with the 6’3” 225 lb Dubois gone, there is a definite need for a bigger WR. Freshman Dorien Goddard fits the bill at 6’3” 220, but that’s about it. Incoming recruit Lavel Davis is 6’6”, but he may not be ready to contribute from day one. This was a place where Beal was an option, assuming he’d recovered from the injury.