Having moved in this past weekend and started classes on June 10 (the first day of Summer Session II), Jowon Briggs is now officially a student athlete at the University of Virginia. Briggs, who signed a letter of intent with the Virginia football program this past February, arrives on Grounds as UVA’s most highly acclaimed prospect in the Bronco Mendenhall era.
“A bit” of running and three days of lifting per week is how the consensus 4-star prospect prepared for major college football life, which he is getting a taste of right now as summer conditioning is underway. The 2019 Under Armour All-American defensive lineman did not ask any of his future teammates about what to expect ahead of his move from Cincinnati, Ohio to Charlottesville. He didn’t want to.
“I want the surprise,” Briggs said in an interview with TheSabre.com last week, prior to enrolling at Virginia. “I feel I’m ready [for major college football] though.”
Briggs, who measures in at 6’2”, 295 pounds, has a good chance at earning a spot in a Virginia defensive line rotation that returns experience and production in the way of seniors Eli Hanback and Richard Burney, junior Mandy Alonso, and sophomores Tommy Christ, Aaron Faumui and Jordan Redmond.
In UVA’s base 3-4, Briggs sees himself primarily as a nose. However, he notes: “I might be able to move around the DL a bit.”
Earning regular playing time is a goal of Briggs’ in his first year on Grounds. Bigger picture, his focus is to help the Cavalier program build upon last season’s success of an 8-5 record and Belk Bowl win. Briggs wants to help continue the “New Standard” of UVA football.
“My goal right now is to help Coach Mendenhall create a national championship caliber team on and off the field,” Briggs wrote.
“We just have to build on what our upperclassmen left for us,” Briggs wrote. “No complacency and no regression.”
Briggs looks forward to the opportunity to work with Mendenhall and defensive line coach Vic So’oto, who each played major roles in swaying him to Virginia.
“I’ve spoken to coach So’oto quite a bit,” Briggs said. “It’s a player/coach relationship. They are all great people and leaders.”
The college experience on and off the field is something Briggs said he is “excited and ready” for. A standout on and off the field at Walnut Hills High School, Briggs was an excellent student as well as a singer and actor. He hopes to continue his well-rounded ways while in Charlottesville.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to join a choir,” Briggs said. “I’d like to act, but that takes up almost as much time as football. So I’ll look to join a choir of sorts hopefully.”