Is Antonio Clary Ready For Bigger Role At Virginia?

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Virginia opens with William & Mary.
Antonio Clary is competing at defensive back and punt returner for Virginia. ~ Photo courtesy Jim Daves/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

It’s been a tough 17-game stretch for the Virginia football team’s secondary. The Cavaliers allowed 34.6 points per game in the final seven games of 2019 and 29.6 points per game in 2020. Pass defense has been at the heart of some of those high totals as the Hoos gave up 304.4 passing yards per game last season and 19 passing touchdowns. Those two numbers ranked near the bottom nationally (123rd and 94th out of 127 teams).

UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall addressed some of those issues by shuffling his coaching staff’s responsibilities and by bringing in a pair of transfers in Anthony Johnson from Louisville and Josh Hayes from North Dakota state. Joe Comer, who last played at Louisville, also joined the program. Plus, the return of “Super Seniors” Joey Blount and De’Vante Cross added unexpected experience to the mix. Understandably, those moves have been at the center of conversations this offseason.

There’s a returning upperclassmen that’s often overlooked, though. That’s the topic for the latest “50 Thoughts Before Virginia Football Kickoff” series article – “Is Antonio Clary Ready For Bigger Role At Virginia?”

Clary, as some fans might remember, was on the fast track to playing time when he arrived at UVA in 2019. He played in five