Virginia Football Transfer Tracker: Tony Elliott Extends New Offer

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New Virginia football head coach Tony Elliott has extended a scholarship offer to potential transfer, but before we look at the newest player UVA is pursuing, there is another update on those exiting Charlottesville.

Sophomore defensive lineman Nusi Malani is transferring to Washington State. He has officially signed with the Cougars. He’ll join former UVA running backs coach Mark Atuaia, who reportedly will coach running backs at WSU next season.

Malani showed positive flashes as a first-year in 2020 before suffering an injury later in the year. The California native struggled in 2021 but has the physical tools and motor to ultimately develop into a valuable performer on the defensive line.

Malani’s exit leaves UVA with seven projected scholarship defensive linemen on the 2022 roster, eight if Aaron Faumui decides to return. (Virginia’s defensive line scholarship scenario could also change depending on the system. If the Hoos move to a 4-man front, some of the outside linebackers could wind up moving to d-end.) Faumui is in the transfer portal. He and offensive tackle Ryan Swoboda are UVA’s most important remaining transfer decisions.

Including Malani’s news, here is the latest “Transfer Tracker” update:

(**UPDATE** – RB Wayne Taulapapa announced via Twitter that he is entering the portal and will leave as a graduate transfer. He has been added to the list below as well.)

UVA Scholarship Players In The Portal (Note: Those with * are seniors with extra eligibility because of COVID.)

OFFENSE

Ira Armstead, QB, Redshirt Freshman – Transferring to Eastern Illinois

Jacob Rodriguez, QB, True Freshman – Will not return to Virginia

Wayne Taulapapa, RB, Senior* – Will not return to Virginia

Jaylon Baker, WR/DB, Redshirt Junior

Jesiah Davis, WR, True Freshman

Ugo Obasi, WR, Junior – Indicated via Instagram that he will not return to Virginia

Joshua Rawlings, TE, Redshirt Freshman – Has reportedly withdrawn from the transfer portal, will stay at UVA

Kariem Al Soufi, OG, Redshirt Sophomore

Joe Bissinger, OG, Redshirt Junior – Transferring to SMU

Bobby Haskins, OL, Senior* – Transferring to Southern California

Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Senior* – Transferring to Michigan

Ryan Swoboda, OT, Senior*

DEFENSE

Aaron Faumui, DL, Junior

Nusi Malani, DL, Sophomore – Transferring to Washington State

Olasunkonmi Ogunloye, DL, Redshirt Freshman – Has withdrawn from the portal, intends to stay at UVA

Jordan Redmond, DL, Redshirt Junior – Will not return to Virginia.

Noah Taylor, LB, Senior* – Transferring to North Carolina

Tenyeh Dixon, DB, Redshirt Freshman

Joseph White, DB, Redshirt Junior

Players Transferring To UVA

Devin Chandler, WR, Redshirt Freshman, University of Wisconsin. Signed with Virginia in December of 2021, plans to enroll in January of 2022. Will have at least three years of eligibility remaining, perhaps another if he uses the COVID year.

Transfer Portal Offers

Andres Fox, a 6’4″, 245-pound outside linebacker, is transferring out of Stanford after four seasons. On Wednesday (December 29), he claimed a scholarship offer from UVA head coach Tony Elliott.

Fox played in four games his sophomore season (2019) but maintained his redshirt for that year. He played in seven games his true freshman campaign, all six of Stanford’s games in 2020, and six games this past season. The Mobile (AL) native was credited with 13 career tackles, including three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

Since entering the portal, Fox has claimed scholarship offers from Maryland, Florida State and Virginia. His size is comparable to current Virginia outside linebacker Chico Bennett, who transferred from Georgia Tech to UVA last offseason. Bennett, who missed the 2021 season with an injury, could be a defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the system. Fox appears to have a similar skillset.

The defensive line appears to be an emerging focus for Elliott in the portal and on the recruiting front. Jayson Jenkins, a 6’6″, 260-pound defensive lineman, claimed an offer from UVA on Wednesday (December 29). The Notre Dame (Lawrenceville, N.J.) senior boasts offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. He has taken visits to BC and Pittsburgh but decided to wait to sign in the Regular Signing Period.

Hoover (AL) senior defensive end/outside linebacker prospect Terrell Jones, a 6’5″, 245-pound prospect, also claimed an offer from UVA on Wednesday. Jones committed to Illinois this past November but announced on the first day of the Early Signing Period that he had reopened his recruitment.

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