Virginia Football Notes: David Eldridge Leaves Program

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David Eldridge has decided to leave the Virginia football program.
David Eldridge posted 112 receiving yards with a touchdown at Duke last season. ~ Courtesy Virginia Athletics Media Relations

The Virginia football program announced Tuesday that receiver David Eldridge has left the team. The junior became the third transfer in the last two months. Linebackers Landan Word and Matt Terrell left the program in early March.

Eldridge appeared in 11 of 12 games last season, missing only the Louisville game due to an injury. He finished with 8 catches, 177 yards, and 2 touchdowns with 112 yards and 1 TD coming in one game against Duke.

Eldridge played as a true freshman for then coach Mike London in 2015. He appeared in 7 games that season with 2 catches for 88 yards. If he finds a spot at another Football Bowl Subdivision program, he would have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules.

In October of last season, Eldridge was named in a lawsuit alleging hazing at UVA by former teammate Aidan Howard. There has been no new information on that lawsuit since it was filed and a police investigation began that month. Eldridge told The Daily Progress that “everything was all allegations” and that his reason for leaving is that he wanted a larger role in the offense outside of being a speed threat on deep pass patterns.

The Cavaliers open their season on Sept. 2 against William & Mary.

Spring Football Festival

The spring football festival has been announced for for Saturday, April 29 at Scott Stadium. The gates open at 1 p.m. with practice beginning at 3 p.m.

In addition to the team’s practice session, there are a variety of other activities during the day. On the field between 1-2:15 p.m., youth can participate in a 40-yard dash, target toss, punt catches, and field goal kicks. Other activities include face painting, a photo booth, cornhole, and other games.

Concession stands will be open as well during the afternoon. The equipment staff will also be selling (cash or credit card only – no checks) authentic game-worn jerseys and helmets beginning at 1 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. An autograph session with the team follows practice on the field at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Fontel Mines at Scott Stadium after Richmond's win in 2016.
Fontel Mines has joined the JMU football coaching staff. ~ Kris Wright

Mines Moves To JMU

Earlier this month, James Madison announced that it had added former Virginia receiver Fontel Mines to its coaching staff. The Dukes won the Football Championship Subdivision National Championship last season.

Mines will coach the tight ends and slot receivers for JMU. He spent the previous five seasons at Richmond and was on the staff that defeated the Hoos in Charlottesville last fall. He accepted a job at Delaware when former UR coach Danny Rocco took over as the head coach there, but left after three months to join the Dukes.

Mines played receiver at Virginia where he tallied 68 catches for 737 yards and 5 touchdowns in his career. He moved to tight end in the NFL for four years with the Chicago Bears.

“The opportunity to work for one of the top programs in FCS football and in my home state of Virginia was a major attraction for me,” Mines said in a news release. “Coach [Mike] Houston has demonstrated to be a proven winner at many levels and I look forward to the opportunity to improve myself as a coach. We have a great group of receivers and tight ends and I’m ready to get to work. I also have previous relationships with several guys on the staff and I see this as a seamless transition.”

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