As players from the Virginia Cavaliers football program continue to enter their names in the transfer portal, UVA’s star linebacker Nick Jackson is reportedly doing so as well, but maintaining the possibility of returning to Charlottesville. According to this story from Mike Barber at the Richmond Times Dispatch, Jackson said that this is the “hardest decision I’ve ever made,” while adding that he’s “not ruling coming back to the Cavs out.”
Jackson, a three-time All-ACC selection and two-time second teamer, recorded 354 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and eight PBUs in 46 games for UVA. He’s consistently been one of the best players on the defensive side of the ball for the Wahoos over the last three plus seasons and helped lead Virginia’s resurgent defense this year under new Defensive Coordinator John Rudzinski.
After playing four years for Virginia, Jackson presumedly has one year of COVID-19 eligibility remaining. The news that he’s at least still considering coming back has to be some sort of consolation. Him returning would be a huge deal for the Wahoos and for Tony Elliott as the team will need all the veteran presence it can get in year two of Elliott’s tenure. With Brennan Armstrong almost definitely heading elsewhere and a number of other critical pieces leaving the program, it looks like the program will be headed to a full on rebuild in the coming seasons.
Fortunately, UVA did pick up two transfer commitments yesterday in quarterback Tony Muskett and offensive tackle Daijon Parker and another today in Northwestern wide receiver Malik Washington. The news of offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Garrett Tujague leaving the program and heading to N.C. State was a blow, but at least the Wahoos are still bringing guys into the program.