Virginia football announced Friday (May 11) that rising sophomore John Kirven and rising redshirt junior James Trucilla will no longer play due to medical reasons. Both players plan to remain part of the program, head coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
“It is unfortunate when someone’s career ends prematurely,” said Mendenhall in Virginia’s official release. “We appreciate what John and James did as players for the program and they will remain a part of the team and always be members of our football family. I am excited they have decided to work as student assistants in our program. Both John and James came to UVA to enrich themselves as students in addition to playing football. I am excited to watch them continue to grow and mature as young men and to carve out their futures.”
Through Twitter, Kirven wrote: “After months of contemplation, it is time to announce that I will be medically retiring from football due to my history of injuries. Although my football career was short lived, I cherish every moment I spent on the field and in the film room. I thank my parents, friends, family, teammates, and coaching staff for lifting me up through this phase of my life. Although I will no longer be playing football for the University of Virginia, I will remain involved with the team by working in data analytics. I look forward to what the future holds. God bless, and as always, Go Hoos!”
— John Kirven (@Johnkirven) May 11, 2018
Trucilla, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, redshirted as a true freshman during the 2015 season. He would play in 13 of Virginia’s 25 games over the course of the next two years, contributing at defensive end and nose tackle. Kirven, a native of Raleigh (N.C.) and Woodberry Forest (VA) graduate, played in 10 of 13 games last season as a true freshman. The 6’5”, 265-pound first year flashed a promising future as a defensive end.
Six scholarship defensive linemen — Juwan Moye (transfer), Steven Wright (transfer), Christian Brooks (will no longer play due to injury), Christian Baumgardner (transfer), Kirven and Trucilla — have left the program since last fall, leaving Virginia with limited experience and razor-thin depth on the defensive line 2018. UVA will feature newly added grad-transfer Dylan Thompson, rising juniors Eli Hanback and Richard Burney, rising sophomore defensive end Mandy Alonso, rising redshirt freshmen Isaac Buell and Tommy Christ, and incoming first years Aaron Faumui, Jordan Redmond and Samson Reed. This spring, Mendenhall moved rising junior Ryan Bischoff over from the offensive line and rising sophomore Osiris Crutchfield from tight end to the defensive line, which is where he began his Cavalier career.
Of those projected scholarship defensive linemen next season, only Hanback and Alonso have significant starting experience.