As the Virginia football team wrapped up its summer conditioning session on Friday, the Cavaliers were without two new additions to the team, both of whom are expected to fill big roles this season.
Penn State graduate transfer offensive lineman Alex Gellerstedt’s left knee was heavily wrapped and he was wearing a bulky brace. He was injured after arriving on Grounds this summer and spent Friday’s workout on one of the stationary bikes, which lined one wall of the George Welsh Indoor practice facility.
Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed last week during ACC Media Days that Gellerstedt will miss the entirety of the season.
Richmond graduate transfer wide receiver Dejon Brissett also was on the sideline Friday with a walking boot on his left foot. Brissett had foot surgery summer and has yet to work out with the team. There was no word Friday on a timetable for Brissett’s return.
Gellerstedt was expected to compete for the starting right tackle job. In his absence, sophomores Bobby Haskins or Ryan Swoboda could find themselves starting. Junior Dillon Reinkensmeyer — the veteran of the group — can also play center, guard or tackle.
Brissett has the ability to be the deep threat the Cavaliers spent last season searching for, but his absence won’t be felt as much as Gellerstedt’s. Joe Reed and Tavares Kelly have the athleticism to stretch defenses vertically, Hasise Dubois is a big-bodied possession receiver, Terrell Jana is one of the team’s better route runners and Virginia brought in a deep class of big, athletic freshmen receivers.
With just one graduate transfer available heading into fall camp, this season is beginning in an eerily similar fashion to last year, though.
Last season, offensive tackle Marcus Applefield (Rutgers) was the only one of Virginia’s three graduate transfers who made a meaningful impact. Defensive end Cassius Peat medically retired before the season and Dylan Thompson (Ohio State) only saw a couple of snaps in the Cavaliers’ final couple games.
The Wahoos also brought in three graduate transfers this year. On Friday, former Arizona State wide receiver Terrell Chatman was the only one on the field.