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UVa football: Cavs looking for a new go-to receiver for QB Perkins
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While Perkins has one year of remaining eligibility, he’ll need to find another primary target.
 

CHARLOTTESVILLE — When last seen in game action, record-setting Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins was throwing three touchdown passes to Olamide Zaccheaus in the Belk Bowl.

While Perkins has one year of remaining eligibility, he’ll need to find another primary target.

Aside from the departed Zaccheaus, who had 12 receptions for 100 yards in the Cavaliers’ 28-0 bowl win over South Carolina, only one other receiver had more than one reception.

That was Hasise Dubois, who caught five passes for 57 yards. Dubois finished the year with 52 receptions, which easily surpassed his total (24) in his first two seasons.

Joining him in UVa’s receiving corps is Joe Reed, a rising senior who had 25 receptions but was a big-play threat who averaged 18.6 yards per catch and scored eight touchdowns, one on a kickoff return.

On paper, it appears to be a respectable receiving group, but fourth-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall isn’t satisfied.

“When you don’t have a player like Olamide, which we don’t have, and Joe Reed is the closest and he’s been out all spring, those touches [are distributed] among multiple people,” Mendenhall said. “There’s a great chance there will be additional receivers added to our roster through grad transfers. That will most likely be announced in the next week or two. I’ll feel very good about where our receiver corps will be after those announcements.”

Mendenhall also put in a plug for Terrell Jana, a junior who had a total of eight receptions against Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

At tight end, fifth-year senior tight end Tanner Cowley has a total of six receptions in his career, but the Cavaliers aren’t diametrically opposed to throwing to the tight end — witness Evan Butts’ 32 receptions in 2017.

“When we first got here, we weren’t certain of the future of the tight end,” Cowley said. “I think guys like Evan have really done a good job of building the trust and getting us a bigger role. We’re being used pretty much all over the place.”

For now, Cowley is being backed up by Christian Baumgardner, a 6-5, 250-pound redshirt sophomore, and 6-4, 240-pound Grant Misch, a redshirt freshman who was listed as an outside linebacker in 2018.

“Tanner becomes the next Evan Butts with a little more range and a little more height,” Mendenhall said. “With Christian Baumgardner back [after leaving the program], all of a sudden, there’s three tight ends who are doing a really nice job.”

Kicking update

Nash Griffin, who played basketball at Lawrence (Ind.) Central High School with Final Four most outstanding player Kyle Guy, currently is atop the UVa punter depth chart according to Mendenhall.

Griffin has served as the holder on placements over the past two seasons.

“I’m not losing sleep over it,” Mendenhall said of the punting situation, which also includes place-kicker Brian Delaney among other candidates, “but I’m not yet comfortable with our consistency.”

Odds ’n ends

Mendenhall said that outside linebacker Charles Snowden has a “minor” concussion and that clearance could come as early as Wednesday. … Mendenhall will be speaking at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Roanoke Country Club as part of the Virginia Athletics Foundation’s yearly spring tour.

By Doug Doughty doug.doughty@roanoke.com 981-3129
 
https://www.roanoke.com/sports/uva/uva-football-cavs-looking-for-a-new-go-to-receiver/article_683841c1-be45-5a3c-bfbc-17ea59a2eab9.html