Cavalier Corner

February 2021

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FEBRUARY 2021 19 BY VINCENT BRIEDIS A s the clock hit zero on UVA's 2020 season in Blacksburg this past December, there were still some unknowns for the Virginia football program as it transitioned toward 2021. The NCAA had already granted all student-athletes an extra season of competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but which Cavaliers would use this gift? Virginia fans learned the answer when head coach Bronco Menden- hall announced Dec. 21 that eight Cavaliers — who under normal circumstances would have ex- hausted eligibility after the 2020 campaign — will return to the roster for the 2021 season. D e f e n s iv e e n d s Mandy Alonso and Adeeb Atariwa, c o r n e r b a c k s De'Vante Cross and Nick Grant, free safety Joey Blount, outside linebacker El- liott Brown, offensive guard Chris Glaser and wide re- ceiver Ra'Shaun Henry all started games in 2020 and elected to return for one more season. The eight Cava- liers will bolster an already talented roster at many key posi- tions, which also includes a consensus top-30 re- cruiting class, the best of Mendenhall's 16-year head coaching career. Each player came to their decisions after roughly a week of reflections with fam- ily and the coaching staff. Various reasons molded each student-athlete's choice. Alonso, who has started 27 games over the past four sea- sons, had a few reasons. "I did not want to leave on the note that losing to Tech Defensive end Mandy Alonso, who notched a career-best 26 tackles in 2020, star ted 27 games for the Cavaliers over the past four years. PHOTO COURTESY UVA ONE MORE YEAR Eight Cavalier Football Student-Athletes Will Take Advantage Of An Extra Season At UV A

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