Following a dominant 43-0 shellacking of William & Mary in their season opener, the Virginia Cavaliers are set to kickoff against Illinois this coming Saturday in Charlottesville. Ahead of the game the ‘Hoos have released their depth chart with a few notable positional updates.
UVa's depth chart for this weekend's game against Illinois. Nick Grant listed as the starting FS.— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) September 6, 2021
Jacob Rodriguez has joined Keytaon Thompson as guys with a "football player" designation. pic.twitter.com/9uWmhuth22
To start, not much has changed overall with the offensive depth chart. The offensive line depth chart is exactly as it was last week.
After that, Derrick Starling, who reeled in a 65-yard bomb of a touchdown pass from Brennan Armstrong on Saturday, and Artie Henry have swapped spots as backup receivers behind Dontayvion Wicks and Ra’Shaun Henry, respectively.
Sophomore Sacket Wood is now listed as the third string tight end while Jacob Rodriguez is also newly listed as the fourth string quarterback.
Of note, Rodriguez is also listed alongside Keytaon Thompson at “FBP” or Football Player after taking four carries for 31 yards (7.8 ypc) against the Tribe on Saturday.
On the defensive side of the ball, the only change on the line is Olasunkonmi Agunloye jumping Ben Smiley III to become the second string left defensive end while Smiley III is now listed as the third (“or”) option.
Moving to the linebackers, Virginia has eliminated the “SAM” (strong side) linebacker position where Noah Taylor started last week. Instead, Taylor is now listed as the starter at position “X” with D’Sean Perry — who wasn’t listed for the William & Mary game — backing him up there. Otherwise, the linebacking core remains the same heading into the weekend.
The secondary is where the UVA staff has really chosen to shake things up after game one. To start, Devante Cross moves from the “SABRE” strong safety position to take over as the starting nickel cornerback, a position not listed in last week’s depth chart. Junior Coen King moves from backup free safety to backup Cross in the slot.
Meanwhile, Nick Grant moves from corner to free safety and Fentrell Cypruss III takes his spot. Anthony Johnson also jumped Darrius Bratton at the other corner position with Bratton now backing up Cypress III and Elijah Gaines sitting second behind Johnson.
With Grant at free safety and Cross at nickel, Joey Blount takes over at “SABRE” as the strong safety with Jonas Sanker making the chart as his backup after going unlisted last week. Antonio Cleary also jumped from backup strong safety to backup free safety.
As for the special teams units, the only change is at kick returner. After a 14-yard return on Saturday, Mike Hollins takes over from Ronnie Walker Jr. as the starter while Perry’s Jones is listed alongside him.
The Wahoos kickoff against Illinois on Saturday at 11:00 am as they look to start the season 2-0.