Nine prospects signed with the University of Virginia football program during the Early Signing Period. Tony Elliott, less than a week into his new job as UVA head coach, used the ensuing days to determine the positions he would need to recruit in January, ahead of the Regular Signing Period.
“Definitely, (Thursday, December 16) is going to be a different day because we’re going to have to step back and see the numbers positionally,” Elliott said on the first day of the Early Signing Period. “I know right now there’s some guys that are kind of making decisions on whether they are going to stay or whether they are going to transfer out. So, definitely gotta make sure that we protect the program by having the right numbers of scholarship players at each position to have the appropriate depth to go out and prepare for the season. Don’t know what that combination will be. Obviously now it’s kind of my vision going forward, so it’s going to be fun to try to piece that together.”
Some significant transfer decisions did not go Virginia’s way. Full-time starters including center Olusegun Oluwatimi and tackle Ryan Swoboda, and multigame starters Bobby Haskins and Joe Bissinger transferred out after the Early Signing Period. Versatile full-time starter Ryan Nelson opted not to use his free COVID year. Those five departures left a major void in the offensive line.
Facing the prospect of having only nine scholarship offensive linemen in 2022, Coach Elliott and staff targeted the offensive trenches in a major way in January. Houston Curry was the first high school prospect to commit to UVA in the Tony Elliott era. A fitting pledge as Curry hails from South Carolina, the state where Elliott spent his entire playing and coaching career, including the past 11 seasons at his alma mater, Clemson. The Hillcrest (Simpsonville, S.C.) senior was the first of seven high school prospects UVA would land post-Early Signing Period. Six of those recruits are projected offensive linemen, while the other, Terrell Jones, is a defensive line recruit....
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