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New Hoos: Virginia football adds two defensive backs for present, future

Commitments in class of 2022 and via grad transfer bolster UVA’s secondary

NCAA Football: Boston College at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers added immediate and future depth to the defensive backfield this week, with commitments from high school prospect Will Hardy as well as sought-after grad transfer Josh “Hollywood” Hayes from North Dakota State.

Hardy got the party started on Monday with his announcement. A two-way star for Greater Atlanta Christian in Norcross, GA, Virginia sees Hardy as a safety. He is rated as a three-star by both Rivals and 247, with a 247 Composite rating of 84.66. UVA beat out ACC foes Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and Pitt for Hardy’s commitment, along with offers from Dartmouth and a number of G5 schools.

In an interview with 247 Sports, Hardy said that the UVA coaching staff’s closest player comparison for him had been former BYU star Daniel Sorensen—a defensive backfield-mate of Juan Thornhill for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The good vibes rolled into Saturday with the addition of former North Dakota State standout Josh Hayes.

Hayes graduates from NDSU this spring with three FCS titles to his name, starting 52 games as the Bison three-peated in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He was a high school teammate of UVA offensive lineman Zachary Teter at Lake Gibson in Lakeland, Florida. He’ll have one year of eligibility in Charlottesville.

UVA had previously added Anthony Johnson from Louisville to bolster the defensive backfield headed into 2021.