While UVa football hasn’t returned to grounds for workouts, the Cavaliers’ program hasn’t been silent over the past few months. Between increased activity on the recruiting trail, adding impact transfers and speaking out about current events, Bronco Mendenhall’s program remains engaged.
The Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator, Robert Anae, became the latest coach to speak out against racial injustice Thursday. On the field, Athlon Sports released its preseason All-ACC team, and the Cavaliers put eight players on the various squads.
Anae supports BLM
UVa football offensive coordinator Robert Anae released a video statement Thursday, addressing George Floyd’s death and racial injustice in the U.S. The video, which spanned almost two minutes, showed Anae speaking from his home.
At one point, he briefly mentioned a moment from his past that reminded him of Floyd’s death.
“I would like to say it’s been roughly 45 years – I was in high school – a similar event happened to an older cousin of mine, and the pain and the rage has never gone away with that,” Anae said. “With that being said, I’d like to make a statement that I’d be honored to be part of the movement.”
Anae held up a sign that said “Black Lives Matter” during this portion of the video. He’s the latest UVa coach to post on social media about Floyd’s death and racial injustice in the United States. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall released a statement on social media on May 30.
Virginia’s offensive coordinator started the video by saying he usually uses his Twitter profile for recruiting purposes, but that he wanted to pause from that given the recent events. Anae’s Twitter activity in June has all been related to racial injustice and Virginia players protesting or using their platforms to spark change.
Eight Cavaliers honored
Eight Virginia players earned spots on the Athlon Sports preseason All-ACC teams. Linebacker Charles Snowden led the way for the Cavaliers, earning a position on the second team. He’s the only Cavalier on the second team. No UVa players made the first team.
Five Virginia players made the third team. Defensively, safety Joey Blount was joined by linebackers Zane Zandier and Noah Taylor. On the other side of the ball, wide receiver Terrell Jana and offensive lineman Olusegun Oluwatimi earned spots.
Defensive lineman Aaron Faumui and offensive linemen Ryan Nelson were named to the fourth team.
Five defensive players made the various teams, with UVa having three linebackers earn honors. The position group is arguably Virginia’s strongest entering 2020, especially with solid depth behind the three Wahoos honored. Coaches rave about Nick Jackson, and he’ll be in contention for a starting role alongside Snowden, Taylor and Zandier.
The Cavaliers added a player to the Athlon Sports All-ACC teams at defensive line, linebacker and safety, but no cornerbacks made the list. With Bryce Hall gone, the Cavaliers are relatively unproven at the position.
Offensively, the Cavaliers lacked representation at quarterback and running back. Two offensive linemen made the list in addition to Jana at wide receiver.
UVa is one of eight ACC teams to put at least eight players on the Athlon Sports preseason All-ACC teams. Clemson, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh were the only three programs to place at least 10 players on the various teams. Clemson, a College Football Playoff contender, led the way with a whopping 14 selections, including four players on the first team.