With under four days remaining until the Virginia Cavaliers football team opens its 2022 season, UVA released its depth chart for the game against Richmond on Saturday at 12:30.
Most notably, the starting offensive line for game one is, from left to right, McKale Boley, John Paul Flores, Ty Furnish, Derek Devine, and Logan Taylor. Boley at left tackle is filling in for the injured Jonathan Leech and will be the first true freshman to start at tackle for Virginia since eventual fourth overall pick D’Brickashaw Ferguson back in 2002.
Ty Furnish seizing the starting center job is something of a surprise especially since the coaching staff was actually pushing now-backup Jestus Johnson to take the starting job back at the beginning of camp.
Otherwise, on offense, there aren’t too many surprises altogether. Perris Jones staying ahead in the running back room is as expected after he pulled ahead of Mike Hollins near the beginning of camp.
Defensively, the hyped up d-line will start with Kam Butler at defensive end, Jahmeer Carter at nose tackle, Aaron Faumui at d-tackle, and Chico Bennett as the first Bandit. There should be a strong two-deep group there, though, with Paul Akere at DE, Devontae Davis and Olasunkonmi Agunloye at NT, Ben Smiley at DT, and Jack Camper at Bandit. Mike Green is a name not listed on the depth chart but who could see snaps as the season progresses.
At linebacker, Nick Jackson holds a starting spot at MIKE while James Jackson will open up as the starting WILL. Tony Elliott did mention today that that is partially a result of Josh Ahern’s one-half suspension from a targeting call against Virginia Tech last season which he would’ve served in the Fenway Bowl had the ‘Hoos played in it.
In the secondary, Fentrell Cypress and Anthony Johnson are the two expected names to be the outside corners while Darrius Bratton set to play field safety as the Spur. While there isn’t tons of experience on the backend of the defense, those three guys have spent time in the program and will be hoping to improve on last year’s performances. At free and strong safety, sophomores Lex Long and Jonas Sanker are two slightly unexpected names to take those spots. Senior Antonio Clary should add depth in the safety room.