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  College Player Notes by School: Virginia  
Previous 25 Virginia Notes Next 25 Virginia Notes

12/12/17 - (FS) - Quin Blanding, Sr, 6-1, 210
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): S Quin Blanding, Sr., Virginia, 151 Votes,...This is the fourth career All-ACC honor for Blanding, which includes second-team accolades in 2014 as a freshman. He is the second Cavalier to earn All-ACC honors all four years he was on Grounds. Punter Will Brice also accomplished the feat as a second-team honoree in 1993 and 1994, while taking home first-team honors in 1995 and 1996. Blanding (Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 11 in the nation with 121 tackles. His 121 tackles and 10.1 tackles per game leads the nation's defensive backs. His four interceptions rank No. 3 in the ACC and No. 19 in the nation. Blanding is Virginia's all-time career tackle leader with 479 stops, which ranks No. 10 all-time in ACC history and No. 1 among ACC defensive backs. Blanding finished the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons No. 2 in the ACC in tackles and is on pace to do so for a fourth time. He finished behind Kiser in 2015 and 2016. Blanding is a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award. - Virginia Football


12/12/17 - (ILB) - Micah Kiser, rSr, 6-1, 240
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): LB Micah Kiser, Sr., Virginia, 155 Votes,...Kiser (Sr., Baltimore, Md.) ranks No. 1 in the ACC and No. 3 in the nation with 134 tackles. His 134 stops tie his 2016 output and Wali Rainer (1998) for No. 4 on UVA's single-season tackle list. Kiser is a finalist for the Campbell Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award, while he is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He is No. 5 all-time at UVA with 400 career tackles and owns 20 career double-digit tackle games in 36 career starts. Kiser's 385 tackles since the start of the 2015 season are the most in the nation during that span. - Virginia Football


12/12/17 - (WR) - Olamide Zaccheaus, Jr, 5-08, 190
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): WR Olamide Zaccheaus, Jr., Virginia, 92 Votes,...Zaccheaus (Jr., Plainfield, N.J.) is No. 3 in the ACC and No. 7 in the nation with 80 receptions. His 80 receptions are No. 2 on UVA's single-season ledger. His 833 receiving yards are No. 6 in the ACC and his five receiving touchdowns rank No. 8 in the league. - Virginia Football


12/12/17 - (P) - Lester Coleman, Jr, 6-4, 225
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): P Lester Coleman, Jr., Virginia, 66 Votes,...Coleman (Jr., Martinsville, Va.) ranks No. 3 in the ACC and No. 22 in the nation with 44 yards per punt. Coleman, who made his collegiate debut in the season opener against William & Mary, gives UVA punter recognition on the All-ACC team for the third year in a row. Nicholas Conte was an honorable mention punter in 2015 and a first-team honoree in 2016. Coleman leads the ACC with 23 punts of 50 yards or more and is No. 2 in the ACC and No. 8 in the nation with 28 punts inside the 20. - Virginia Football


12/12/17 - (CB) - Juan Thornhill, Jr, 6-0, 200
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL THIRD TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): CB Juan Thornhill, Jr., Virginia, 51 Votes,...Thornhill (Jr., Altavista, Va.) is No. 2 in the ACC in passes defended per game (1.5). His four interceptions rank No. 3 in the ACC and No. 19 in the nation. Thornhill also broke up 12 passes in 11 games. He finished with 53 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. - Virginia Football


12/12/17 - (OLB) - Chris Peace, rJr, 6-1, 245
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): LB Chris Peace, Jr., Virginia, 35 Votes,...Peace (Jr., Newport News, Va.) is No. 1 among ACC linebackers with 7.5 sacks and No. 4 overall. His 7.5 sacks rank No. 5 among the nation's linebackers and No. 28 overall. Peace also has 60 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and one interception. - Virginia Football


12/12/17 - (WR) - Joe Reed, So, 6-1, 215
2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): SP Joe Reed, So., Virginia, 38 Votes,...Reed (So., Charlotte Court House, Va.) earned honorable mention accolades as a kick returner where he ranks No. 1 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation with 28.6 yards per kick return. He leads the ACC with six returns of 30 yards or more. Reed is No. 2 in the ACC and No. 14 in the nation with one kick return for a touchdown. His 92-yard kick return for a touchdown against Georgia Tech was the eighth longest return in program history. - Virginia Football


12/06/17 - (ILB) - Micah Kiser, rSr, 6-1, 240
2017 WILLIAM V. CAMPBELL TROPHY WINNER: Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser won the William V. Campbell Trophy given to college football's top scholar-athlete by the National Football Foundation. The winner was announced Tuesday night at the NFF's annual award banquet and College Football Hall of Fame induction. Kiser was one of 13 finalists from all levels of college football who received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. As the winner, Kiser's postgraduate scholarship is increased to $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze statue that is also on display at the New York Athletic Club. Kiser has already earned his degree in foreign affairs with 3.42 grade-point average. He is currently working in a master's in higher education. He is also one of the best linebackers in the country, leading the ACC tackles with 134. He is the second Virginia player to win the Campbell trophy, joining linebacker Thomas Burns in 1993. - AP College football


11/29/17 - (FS) - Brenton Nelson, rFr, 5-11, 180
2017 ACC DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (COACHES/MEDIA): Brenton Nelson, Virginia 29 Votes...Virginia's Nelson first joined the football program as a walk-on and worked with the practice squad in 2016. He was awarded a scholarship prior to this season and emerged as a major contributor in the defensive secondary. The Miami native, who played his final season of prep football at DeMatha Catholic near Washington, D.C., has started all 12 games this season for the bowl-bound Cavaliers. The 5-11, 175-pound Nelson is tied for the team lead in pass interceptions with four and has also broken up six passes and recorded two tackles for loss. His 58 tackles this season, which includes 31 solo stops, rank fifth on the team. He leads all ACC freshmen in passes intercepted and total passes defended (10). Nelson received 29 votes in the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Clemson defensive back A.J. Terrell placed second with nine. - ACC Football


11/27/17 - (DE) - Andrew Brown, Sr, 6-3, 285
Nov 27 Stock Report, Who hurt themselves? Andrew Brown, DL, Virginia, SR. (6-4, 280, 4.93, #9)...If this year's draft class has a Malik McDowell-type of prospect, that distinction might belong to Brown for his immense talent, but streaky production and lack of maturity. A former five-star recruit and Chesapeake native, Brown stayed home to help turn the program around, and while Virginia will play in a bowl game for the first time since 2011, it has been an up-and-down season for him. Both the ups and the downs were on display against Virginia Tech. Brown has an impressive combination of size, strength and athleticism and moves with twitch in his muscles to change directions and play in space. However, he is still trying to use all his strengths as a player in conjunction to be effective.

Brown plays with questionable gap integrity, discipline and overall vision, relying more on natural skill than technique and awareness. And his maturity has also been a concern for scouts, which was illustrated against the Hokies in the fourth quarter when he found himself in an unneeded scuffle post whistle, striking an official in the process. With his team fighting for a win, Brown was correctly ejected from the game. When he plays up to his potential, he looks like a future first-round pick, but there is little consistency or discipline to his game, which will be a cement block attached to his draft stock. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

11/21/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
Nov 21 Stock Report: Who helped themselves? Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia, rSR. (6-3, 225, 4.92, #6)...Virginia couldn't finish the upset of Miami on Saturday, but that doesn't take away from the productive afternoon from Benkert, who has put together an impressive senior season. The East Carolina transfer finished 28-for-37 for 384 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. Benkert showed off a NFL-caliber arm, toughness in the pocket and the athleticism to scramble and deliver from different platforms. He was consistently accurate and performed with the toughness, both physical and mental, that NFL scouts covet.

It was a much-needed performance for Benkert who started the season strong, but failed to reach 53-percent completions in any of the four games (three losses) leading up to Saturday. Benkert hasn't received an invitation to the 2018 Senior Bowl, but he is in contention for one of the final quarterback spots. Despite the loss, his performance against the Hurricanes' defense won't go unnoticed by scouts and the Senior Bowl. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

11/07/17 - (WR) - Joe Reed, So, 6-1, 215
NOV 6 ACC SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK: Joe Reed, Virginia, So., KR, 6-3, 210, Charlotte Court House, Va.,...Reed had a huge game returning kickoffs in UVA's win over Georgia Tech. Reed returned the game's opening kickoff 57 yards to set up a field goal that gave the Cavaliers an early 3-0 lead. Then, after Georgia Tech took a 14-6 lead with 2:31 left in the first half, Reed took the ensuing kickoff return the distance for a touchdown. His 92-yard return was the eighth longest in UVA history. Reed finished the game with three kickoff returns for 170 yards and 208 yards of all-purpose yardage. - ACC Football


11/07/17 - (ILB) - Micah Kiser, rSr, 6-1, 240
NOV 6 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Micah Kiser, Virginia, Sr., ILB, 6-2, 240, Baltimore, Md.,...Kiser led UVA's defense with 18 tackles in the Cavaliers' 40-36 win over Georgia Tech at Scott Stadium. That is the most by any ACC player this season and matched his career high. The Cavalier defense held Georgia Tech to just 220 rushing yards, 128 below its season average. UVA had a season-high five sacks versus the Yellow Jackets and netted the first two interceptions versus Georgia Tech this year. Kiser earned his second ACC Linebacker of the Week honor of the season. - ACC Football


11/04/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
Virginia became bowl eligible for the first time in six years, scoring late for a thrilling 40-36 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. The teams combined for 49 second-half points as Virginia (6-3, 3-2 ACC) overcame a 15-point second half deficit. Georgia Tech (4-4, 3-3) scored two touchdowns in the first 35 seconds of the second half but couldn't hold its lead as the Cavaliers roared back for 27 points in the final two quarters. But after 20 consecutive points from Virginia, the Yellow Jackets regained the lead at 36-33 on a 33-yard pass to wide receiver Ricky Jeune with 3:10 to play in the game. Virginia answered with a 64-yard drive, capped by a 27-yard pass from Kurt Benkert to receiver Andre Levrone with 1:22 to go. Georgia Tech drove to the Virginia 32 on its final drive, but turned the ball over on downs with 15 seconds remaining after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-15. Virginia totaled 357 yards, with 260 of those coming through the air. Benkert completed 21 of 43 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to Levrone, who had three catches for 67 yards. - The Sports Xchange


10/31/17 - (FS) - Quin Blanding, Sr, 6-1, 210
Although Virginia suffered a disappointing loss on Saturday at Pitt, senior SS Quin Blanding (5-11, 215, 4.58, #3) had a memorable day, becoming the program's leader for career tackles, passing Jamie Sharper. Blanding finished the game with a team-high nine stops and added his second interception of the season. Despite the accolade, he tends to get sloppy with his tackling mechanics and is more of a hug-pull-drag tackler than strike-lift-bury, leading to mistakes. Blanding is fighting for a spot in the top-100 of the 2018 NFL Draft. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com


10/16/17 - (FS) - Quin Blanding, Sr, 6-1, 210
OCT 16 ACC DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Quin Blanding, Virginia, Sr., FS, 6-2, 215, Virginia Beach, Va.,...Blanding repeated as the ACC Defensive Back of the Week after making 10 tackles and breaking up a pass to lead the Virginia defense a 20-14 win at North Carolina. Blanding and his fellow teammates in the secondary helped to hold UNC to just 46 passing yards, and the Cavaliers picked off three passes during the game. - ACC Football


10/14/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert threw two touchdown passes and his team's defense had a big game in a 20-14 victory against North Carolina on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Virginia (5-1, 2-0 ACC) continued its best start to a season since 2007 while snapping a seven-game losing streak in the series. The Cavaliers had a possession of more than eight minutes in the fourth quarter, but that drive ended with a fumble by Benkert. A 13-yard return by Cayson Collins gave North Carolina the ball at its 40-yard line with 2:56 remaining. The Tar Heels (1-6, 0-4) reached the Virginia 37 before a fourth-down sack with 1:07 sealed the outcome. Benkert completed 19 of 31 passes for 249 yards. Virginia junior Jordan Ellis posted his first career 100-yard rushing game by racking up 136 yards on 27 carries. Quarterback Brandon Harris, playing the entire game in place of ill starter Chazz Surratt, was 7-for-18 for 46 yards for the Tar Heels, who lost their fourth game in a row. - The Sports Xchange


10/09/17 - (FS) - Quin Blanding, Sr, 6-1, 210
OCT 9 ACC DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Quin Blanding, Virginia, Sr., FS, 6-2, 215, Virginia Beach, Va.,...Blanding helped lead a UVA defense that held Duke to two offensive touchdowns and just 255 yards of total offense in the Cavaliers' 28-21 victory on Saturday. Blanding had eight tackles and returned a Blue Devil pass 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Cavaliers the early lead. It was his first pick-six and the longest return of his career. It was the fifth-longest interception return this year in ACC action and the first INT return for a score by a Virginia player since 2014. - ACC Football


10/07/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
Virginia stopped a late Duke drive to hang on for its third consecutive victory, a 28-21 decision Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. The Blue Devils (4-2, 1-2 ACC) managed just 255 yards of offense as quarterback Daniel Jones completed 14 of 42 passes and was picked off twice. The Cavaliers' defense held late, sacking Jones for a 10-yard loss after Duke reached the Virginia 30. Jones threw incomplete on fourth-and-16 with 1:08 left, and Virginia ran out the clock as the Blue Devils were out of timeouts. Virginia (4-1, 1-0) went ahead 28-14 midway through the fourth quarter as quarterback Kurt Benkert connected with wide receiver Doni Dowling on a 17-yard touchdown. Dowling recorded two touchdowns as Benkert overcame a slow start to finish 24 of 43 for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Duke pulled within 28-21 with on a 4-yard run by Quentin Harris with 6:14 to go.

Virginia tallied 310 yards of offense and held the ball for more than 35 minutes. Running back Jordan Ellis ran for a career-high 96 yards on 25 carries. After the teams combined for 83 yards and four interceptions in the first quarter -- with each team scoring off an interception return -- they settled in and found a groove on offense in the second quarter. Jones, who started the game by completing only one of his first 13 attempts, found Davis Koppenhaver on a 7-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Virginia managed only 86 yards in the first half but answered Duke's touchdown with a score of its own as Benkert connected with Olamide Zaccheaus for an 11-yard touchdown to tie the game 14 heading into halftime. - The Sports Xchange

09/25/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
SEPT 25 ACC OFFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Kurt Benkert, Virginia, Sr., QB, 6-4, 220, Cape Coral, Fla.,...Benkert completed 19-of-29 passes for 273 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cavaliers' 42-23 win Friday night at Boise State. UVA became the first non-conference opponent to defeat the Broncos on the blue turf in 17 years. Benkert had scoring strikes of 30, 27 and 64 yards during the game. - ACC Football


09/25/17 - (WR) - Andre Levrone, rSr, 6-2, 225
SEPT 25 ACC RECEIVER OF THE WEEK: Andre Levrone, Virginia, Sr., WR, 6-3, 220, Laurel, Md.,...Levrone was a big-play producer in UVA's 42-23 win at Boise State as the Cavaliers recorded the program's first win west of the Mississippi since 1991. Levrone caught five passes for 141 yards (28.2 yards per reception) and had touchdown catches of 30 and 64 yards. Four of his five catches resulted in first downs for the Cavaliers. - ACC Football


09/22/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
Kurt Benkert passed for 273 yards, throwing 141 of them to receiver Andre Levone, to lead Virginia to a 42-23 upset of Boise State on Friday night in Boise, Idaho. Boise State, a 14-point favorite, had its 32-game winning streak snapped against non-conference opponents at home. It was the Broncos' largest margin of defeat at home since they lost 62-16 to Idaho in 1992. Virginia (2-1) won its first non-conference game on the road since 2011. Benkert, a senior, completed 19 of 29 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Boise State's Brett Rypien completed 24 of 42 passes for 285 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Benkert exploited Boise State's defense on the way to a 21-7 lead with 1:07 left in the first half. Benkert threw touchdown passes of 30 yards to Levone and 27 yards to Doni Dowling. - The Sports Xchange


09/21/17 - (QB) - Kurt Benkert, rSr, 6-3, 215
Week 3 Stock Report: Who helped themselves? Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia, rSR. (6-3, 225, 4.92, #6)...Although he hasn't been fully tested on the young season, Benkert is a quarterback prospect who has everything clicking right now. Against Connecticut on Saturday, the senior completed 75 percent of his passes (30-for-40) for 455 yards and three touchdowns as he looked in rhythm for all four quarters. He spread the wealth with spot-on placement, velocity and timing, carrying himself with obvious confidence. He can be a stubborn passer at times, staring down his initial read, but his athleticism also allows him to get second chances, avoiding the pressure. Benkert and Virginia travel to Boise this Friday for a battle on the blue turf that will gives scouts a better look at Benkert and his next-level potential. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com


09/18/17 - (ILB) - Micah Kiser, rSr, 6-1, 240
SEPT 18 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Micah Kiser, Virginia, Sr., ILB, 6-2, 240, Baltimore, Md.,...Kiser was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in Virginia's 38-18 win versus UConn. Kiser recorded a game-high 15 tackles (seven solo), had two quarterback sacks and recovered one fumble at Virginia's own goal line to lead the Cavaliers' defense. The two sacks moved Kiser to No. 10 all-time at UVA with 19 for his career. Kiser has a combined 29 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery in UVA's last two games. - ACC Football


09/18/17 - (ILB) - Micah Kiser, rSr, 6-1, 240
SEPT 18 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MICAH KISER, VIRGINIA, Senior, Linebacker, Baltimore, MD/Gilman School...Micah Kiser recorded a game-high 15 tackles (7 solo) and had two quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery as Virginia defeated Connecticut, 38-18. With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 2-1. Notes: Micah Kiser is the third Virginia player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, joining Marcus Hamilton (DB, Nov. 21, 2004) and Anthony Harris (SS, Sept. 2, 2013). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation


Previous 25 Virginia Notes Next 25 Virginia Notes

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