As new head coach Tony Elliott continues assembling a staff for the new era of the football program, Virginia Cavaliers fans received some good news on Thursday evening. Perhaps the most critical piece of the 2022-2023 season—Brennan Armstrong—announced via social media that he will be returning for a fifth season at Virginia.
Last season, Armstrong set program records for single-season passing yards with 4,449, single season total offense with 4,700 yards, the most passing touchdowns in a season with 31, along with the most passing completions with 326.
In fact, Armstrong led the ACC in total offense and passing yards while garnering a third-team All-ACC selection. Nationally, the Ohio native was second in the country in passing yards and total offense as he earned recognition as a finalist for the Manning Award and the Johnny Unitas Award while also being named a semifinalist for the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards.
While he publicly ruled out transferring a while ago, there was still the chance that Armstrong took his chances in the NFL Draft or had a change of heart to look elsewhere in college football once Elliott’s coaching staff was decided. Nevertheless, Armstrong seems to view another year as the Wahoos’ quarterback to be the best option for his long term goals.
As he spearheaded an offense unlike any other in Virginia program history, Armstrong likely didn’t receive the national hype he deserved considering the numbers he produced. With a fifth season — his third as the starting quarterback — and a number of his top weapons returning, Armstrong has the opportunity to continue to build on his successes under Bronco Mendenhall.
Of course, there will be questions regarding the offensive system that Tony Elliott and Desmond Kitchings plan to implement and how Armstrong will adapt. Nonetheless, with receivers like Dontayvion Wicks and Lavel Davis Jr. and the sheer arm talent that Armstrong possesses, there’s no doubt that the ‘Hoos will still pose a significant threat through the air.
More than anything, Armstrong’s decision to return for his fifth year is a sign of buy-in to the culture Elliott is trying to build. The senior quarterback is still the face of this program so his commitment to what Elliott is doing should bring with it similar decisions from players considering going elsewhere.