Jeffrey Fitzgerald: Mad About Football

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Jeffrey Fitzgerald

Jeffrey Fitzgerald

  • Defensive end
  • 6-3, 245 pounds
  • Hermitage High School (Richmond, VA)
  • TheSabre Top 30: 8
  • Rivals rank: 3-star; #20 strong-side defensive end
  • Scout rank: 3-star; #41 defensive end
  • Primary Recruiter: Mike Groh

A suggestion for Virginia’s future football opponents: Don’t make Jeffrey Fitzgerald mad. When the 6-3, 245-pound defensive end gets riled up, he just becomes that much harder to handle.

“Jeffrey’s the kind of kid we want to get angry before the game,” said Pat Kane, Fitzgerald’s coach at Richmond’s Hermitage High School, a recent UVa pipeline. “He’s the kind of player that if he gets fired up, if somebody crosses him they’re in trouble [on the football field]. We always hope somebody says the wrong thing to him on the field because then it’s on.”

For Fitzgerald, who describes himself as “a typical tough guy” on the field but “a laidback guy” off it, getting fired up to play football hasn’t been a problem. Staying healthy has been. So anger isn’t the trait he’s needed to exhibit. Patience is.

Fitzgerald missed most of his sophomore year and his entire senior season due to ACL damage in each knee. Still, he was a highly-coveted recruit. Fitzgerald compiled offers from some of the elite in college football, including Boston College, Florida, Nebraska, Penn State, Syracuse, Maryland and Virginia Tech.

Also, despite the injuries, Fitzgerald earned accolades at both defensive end and tight end. He was rated the nation’s #20 strong-side defensive end by, the #28 defensive end by and the #43 defensive end by He was also pegged as the country’s #36 tight end by