Jelani Woods Shining At Tight End, Once Again A Featured Position For Virginia Football

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Is Virginia football on its way to another golden era at the tight end position? Good work on the graduate transfer front and a renewed emphasis on recruiting the position has the Hoos headed in the right direction.

Jelani Woods, who transferred to Virginia in February after graduating from Oklahoma State, received high praise from Bronco Mendenhall for his play this spring as well as his character. He appears on his way to being the next in line at a position the staff has placed renewed focus on recruiting-wise. ~ Photo by Jim Daves of Virginia Athletics Media Relations

Highlighted by Heath Miller, Tom Santi, Jonathan Stupar, and John Phillips, tight end usage and production flourished at UVA from 2002-2008. Miller, who currently sits at No. 6 and No. 10 in school history in career receptions and career receiving yards, was a first round draft pick of Pittsburgh and went on to win two Super Bowls and earn two Pro Bowl appearances with the Steelers. Tight ends combined for 76 catches in 2003, 61 receptions in 2004, 43 in 2005, 46 in 2006, 93 in 2007, and 51 in 2008. All but Stupar were drafted, though Stupar did play two seasons in the NFL.

Tight end recruiting was not a primary focus for Virginia in the first years of the Mendenhall era. Mendenhall’s first three full recruiting classes as Cavalier head coach did not include one sure-fire tight end. Rising redshirt junior Grant Misch transitioned to the position after his first year but began his career on defense.