Perkins

ANDREW SHURTLEFF/THE DAILY PROGRESS

Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins (3) runs with the ball during the Belk Bowl last season in Charlotte.

QUARTERBACK

Starter: Bryce Perkins

Backups: Brennan Armstrong, Lindell Stone

Outlook: Last season, Perkins set UVa single-season records with 3,603 yards of offense and 34 touchdowns. In his final year of eligibility, he’s poised to once again be one of the most explosive athletes in the ACC and maybe find himself in the Heisman discussion. Armstrong is big and mobile, and he looked good in limited action last fall.


RUNNING BACK

Starter: PK Kier

Backups: Mike Hollins, Wayne Taulapapa, Lamont Atkins, Chris Sharp

Outlook: Virginia has no shortage of bodies in the backfield, but there isn’t much experience to speak of. Playing behind Jordan Ellis the past two seasons, Kier leads the group with just 32 career carries. At 235 pounds, he is a load to bring down, though. Hollins’ strength has impressed the coaches this summer and fall, and Taulapapa is elusive for his size. Coming out of spring ball with Kier recovering from a concussion and Hollins not yet on Grounds, Taulapapa led the race to replace Ellis. Kier and Hollins have since overtaken him.


TIGHT END

Starter: Tanner Cowley

Backups: Christian Baumgardner, Grant Misch

Outlook: Evan Butts came on at the end of last season, but tight ends are rarely featured in offensive coordinator Robert Anae’s scheme. Last fall, Cowley made four starts and caught four passes. He may see a few more balls come his way this year as the Cavaliers try to replace slot receiver Olamide Zaccheaus’ 93 receptions, but he’ll spend most of his time blocking. After appearing in two games in 2017, Baumgardner wasn’t on the roster last year. This spring, Misch moved from defensive end to tight end.


WIDE RECEIVER

Starters: Hasise Dubois, Joe Reed, Tavares Kelly

Backups: Terrell Jana, Terrell Chatman, Dejon Brissett, Ugo Obasi

Outlook: Dubois and Reed are the senior leaders of the group. The former is a big-bodied receiver who will be a security blanket for Perkins on underneath routes. The latter is one of the most explosive players on the roster and finished last season second on the team with seven touchdown catches. Kelly is undersized but also one of the fastest players on the roster. Jana may be the team’s best route runner, and both Chatman (Arizona State) and Brissett (Richmond) are graduate transfers. At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Chatman is a big target, while Brissett gives the Cavaliers another deep threat.


TACKLE

Starters: Ryan Nelson, Ryan Swoboda

Backups: Bobby Haskins, Ja’Quay Hubbard, Zachary Teeter

Outlook: Nelson started every game at left tackle last season as a true freshman, and he put on about 15 pounds in the offseason. Penn State graduate transfer Alex Gellerstedt’s season-ending knee injury left a hole at right tackle, which is currently being filled by Swoboda — a 6-10, 300-pound sophomore who briefly moved to tight end last fall. Haskins saw limited reps last season at both tackle spots, and Hubbard, a true freshman, came in ranked as the No. 2 offensive tackle in Pennsylvania.


GUARD

Starters: Dillon Reinkensmeyer, Chris Glaser

Backups: Ben Trent, Joe Bissinger, Gerrik Vollmer, Martin Weisz

Outlook: Reinkensmeyer started 12 games last season at center, and he has played all five positions on the line. He is the unit’s unquestioned leader. Glaser started seven games last fall at left guard. With Reinkensmeyer and Glaser limited this spring, Trent and Bissinger saw the bulk of the snaps. Bissinger’s performance during the summer conditioning session earned him a spot in the Cavaliers’ Dirty Dozen.


CENTER

Starter: Olusegun Oluwatimi

Backups: Tyler Fannin, Gerrik Vollmer

Outlook: Oluwatimi spent last season on Virginia's practice squad after transferring from the Air Force Academy. This offseason, his competition with Fannin has been one of the team’s most hotly contested position battles. Fannin was poised to start at center last year before a foot injury suffered in fall camp cost him his freshman year. Both can also play guard.

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