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Bronco Mendenhall on the process of evaluating Bryce Perkins as a recruit

It didn’t take long, but the results are starting to pay dividends.

NCAA Football: Virginia vs Ohio Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The process that brought Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins to Charlottesville from Arizona Western Community College began a year ago next month, as the UVA coaching staff prepared to transition away from senior pocket passer Kurt Benkert to a scrambling type that fits better within the system of head coach Bronco Mendenhall and offensive coordinator Robert Anae.

Perkins completed a spectacular 25 of 30 passing attempts for 379 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 45-31 win over Ohio. Those 379 yards were good enough for eighth on the all-time list at UVA for passing yardage in a single game, and the fourth-best aerial performance of the Mendenhall era.

Mendenhall discussed that odyssey on his weekly radio show Tuesday night, saying that his initial impression from Perkins’ game film was that he was “exactly who we’re looking for.”

“But at UVA, that doesn’t come close to completing the process.”

After quarterback coach Jason Beck spoke on the phone with Perkins, the Hoos’ brain trust began to take a look at him in earnest.

“The task of what we call verifying fit,” Mendenhall said. “That starts with academics at UVA, what kind of student [is he], [and] goes right to what kind of person and then all of the work of “is this someone who we want on our team, not just as a player?” And that process went pretty quickly.

“What I remember more than anything is Bryce and his family in my house ... here’s [Perkins] and his mom and dad are in our front room with Holly and I, my wife, were talking, and I was just like, this is a perfect fit for our program. I wasn’t talking as a player, I was talking as a family and as a person and so Holly and I were both just like “man, this would be a perfect fit for us.”

With regards to his suitability on the field, Perkins should well be able to continue his hot start to the 2018 season (see chart below) against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday (12:30 p.m, regional networks). UL is currently 99th in the country with 2.7 points allowed per an opponent’s offensive drive, and the Cavaliers are 57th in Bill Connelly’s most recent S&P+ rankings compared to 76th for Louisville.

Bryce Perkins after Week 3

Statistic Value NCAA ranking
Statistic Value NCAA ranking
Completion percentage 64.1 49th
Yards 670 41st
Yards per attempt 8.6 36th
Touchdowns 7 T-21st
Interceptions 1 N/A
Rating 163.3 26th
Rushing yards 239 58th, 8th among all QBs