A pair of Notre Dame graduate transfer offensive linemen have committed to the University of Virginia, providing the Wahoos with more experience and depth at a position that needs both.
In an article by Sabre Managing Editor Kris Wright, Cavalier head coach Bronco Mendenhall described the offensive line as “one of the thinnest positions on our team. Thankfully we managed it well enough and we held together through a season. We were concerned about that even before last year, but this now is thinner than that. So we’re going to need a combination of amazing first years coming in, which I like – I like our class so far and certainly we have to hold on to them, but I like our guys that are committed. We need maturity and experience. So you could see another or others [that are] graduate transfers at that position because of the need.”
John Montelus pledged to the Cavaliers last month and is now a Notre Dame alum. Colin McGovern, who started eight games at right guard for the Fighting Irish this past season, committed earlier this week. While Virginia has not put out an official release, both players have acknowledged their decisions on Twitter. They each have one year of eligibility.
Might another grad transfer lineman be considering Virginia? Reading the Twitter tea leaves, we can see that a few members of the staff — including Cavalier offensive line coach Garett Tujague — as well as Montelus are following Brandon Pertile, who announced on January 1 that he is leaving Oklahoma State and will use his final season of eligibility elsewhere.
In this tweet announcing his departure, Pertile wrote: “After talking with Coach Gundy, I have decided to Grad-Transfer from Oklahoma State to play my fifth year elsewhere while pursuing a law degree.”
Chris Smith of CommodoresDaily.com Tweeted that Pertile will be at UVA this weekend on a visit.
— Chris Smith (@CSmithScout) January 27, 2017
Pertile, a 6’4”, 315-pound lineman, attended Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida. He has been well traveled in his college career, which began in 2013 at Georgia State (he started four games there). Pertile then transferred to Mesa Community College in Arizona in 2014 before heading to Oklahoma State, where he has been a reserve the past two seasons.
Including current players, Montelus and McGovern, and four high school senior commits, UVA is projected to have 14 scholarship offensive linemen on its roster next season. Pertile could be the next player to keep an eye on as Virginia continues to try and bolster the line through the transfer market.