50 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff: Jana Making His Presence Known

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While former Virginia football star Olamide Zaccheaus is impressing in the NFL …

… Bronco Mendenhall and company are in preseason camp, trying to determine who can help replace him.

Zaccheaus was outstanding as a senior in 2018, tallying had 93 of the team’s 228 receptions, 1,058 of the team’s 2,751 yards receiving, and nine of UVA’s 26 receiving touchdowns. That’s over 40% of the team’s catches and over 38% of the team’s receiving yards.

What does Zaccheaus’ departure mean for the Cavalier wide receivers? It’s a question I posed to Terrell Jana answered earlier in the spring.

“It’s opportunity,” said Jana, who is entering his third year at UVA. “It’s a huge gap in the offense.”

The 6’0″, 190-pound Jana, one of my 2019 season “sleeper” picks, has welcomed the opportunity and seems poised to have a significant role on this UVA team.

34 – Jana Making His Presence Known

Terrell Jana scored his first touchdown for the Virginia football program in a big game against Pitt last November. ~ Photo by Kris Wright

In two seasons at Virginia the Vancouver native has only 13 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown, but consider this – he had eight receptions for 122 yards and his only score in three of UVA’s four games last November. Jana had multiple catches in all three of those games – Pittsburgh (3 receptions, 71 yards, TD), Georgia Tech (3 catches, 32 yards) and Virginia Tech (2 receptions, 19 yards).

A knee injury sidelined Jana for the Belk Bowl, but the former Woodberry Forest (VA) star maintained his progress through spring football.

“He’s probably one of the biggest emergers on the offense, just with his leadership role,” quarterback Bryce Perkins said of Jana during the spring. “He’s kind of the leader of the receivers. He’s smart, he’s easy to work with, and he has great speed. He knows coverages, so we’re pretty much on the same page most of the time.”

Jana’s goals from the spring to preseason football were to “get my body right, make sure my knee’s 100-percent. Just gaining separation and being more consistent catching the ball. The more consistent I am the more times the coaches will put me in position to make plays.”

Jana, who told TheSabre.com back in the spring that his knee was “99% healthy,” seems to be meeting those goals. Virginia Sports’ Jeff White reported the following in his Training Camp Notebook on August 10: Wideout Terrell Jana ended practice Thursday by catching a long touchdown pass from Bryce Perkins in the George Welsh Indoor Facility. Such plays are becoming routine for Jana.

While the junior seems on his way towards becoming a significant part of Virginia’s offense in 2019, he is already known as one of the team’s leaders. Perkins alluded to Jana’s leadership abilities above, and this past Sunday he was one of 36 Cavaliers to take part in Round 1 of jersey selection.

“I always considered myself to try and be a leader and someone the team can lean on,” said Jana, who will don no. 13 – former Virginia captain Chris Peace’s number – in 2019 after wearing no. 84 the previous two seasons. “I think my performance has allowed my voice to carry more and I’m speaking up more.”

50 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff
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