The University of Virginia football program recruited and landed a graduate transfer offensive lineman out of the Big 10 conference last offseason. It worked out well, with Rutgers graduate Marcus Applefield starting all 13 games for the 8-5 Cavaliers at right tackle in 2018. No doubt head coach Bronco Mendenhall and company are hoping for similar success with Alex Gellerstedt, who announced earlier Sunday evening (January 27) that he will be transferring to UVA from Big 10 power Penn State.
As a graduate transfer, the 6’6”, 311-pound Gellerstedt will be able to play for Virginia in the 2019 season. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“I would like to start by thanking the Penn State community for all of their support over the last 3 years,” Gellerstedt wrote in this tweet. “I would like to thank Coach Franklin for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great program. I want to thank Coach Limegrover for helping me to develop as a player. I also would like to thank Coach Galt III and Coach Galt IV along with the entire strength staff for helping me grow as an athlete. In my time at Penn State I have made friends and had a chance to be a part of a truly special community. With that being said, I am very excited to announce that following my graduation in May I will be transferring to the University of Virginia and finishing my college career in Charlottesville. #GoHoos”
The Dublin (OH) native graduated from Dublin Coffman High School as a consensus 3-star prospect (ESPN, Rivals, 247) in December of 2015, allowing him to enroll at Penn State in January of 2016. He redshirted his true freshman season before appearing in seven games as a redshirt freshman in 2017, playing only special teams in three games and playing special teams and offense in four others. Gellerstedt appeared in only one game – at Michigan on November 3 – this past season. He was listed as the third-team left and right tackle in Penn State’s final released depth chart of the 2018 season.
With Gellerstedt in the fold, Virginia now projects to have 16 scholarship offensive linemen on the 2019 season roster. Up front the Hoos are looking to replace starters Applefield and offensive guard Jake Fieler, as well as guard R.J. Proctor, who started six games this past season and 12 in his Cavalier career, and reserve guard Ben Knutson. The latter two players are transferring out of the program – Proctor will have one year of eligibility remaining while Knutson will have two.
Virginia, which returns only three linemen with starting experience next season, adds at least one graduate transfer offensive lineman for the third straight offseason.