augusta free press news

And then there were none: Swoboda fourth UVA O lineman to transfer

virginia football
Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Virginia offensive lineman Ryan Swoboda is transferring to Central Florida, and since he’s the last one out, it’s up to him to turn out the lights.

Swoboda joins two other O line starters from 2021 on the way out – Olusegun Oluwatimi is going to Michigan, and Bobby Haskins is on his way to Southern Cal.

A third key contributor on the line, Joe Bissinger, is headed to SMU.

“Thank you to the University of Virginia for believing in me back in 2017. A huge thank you to Coach Mendenhall, Coach 2J, Coach Griz, and Coach Matteo,” Swoboda tweeted today. “Much appreciation for Keith and Kelli for guiding me back to health on multiple occasions. Thank you to Coach Tony Elliott! The future of UVA football is very bright!”

Swoboda made 11 starts at right tackle and played on 787 snaps in 2021 at Virginia, earning a 70.3 Pro Football Focus grade.

He allowed 32 QB pressures (five sacks) on 549 pass dropbacks (3.4 percent).

Obviously a big loss, on top of everything else.

The biggest loss was OIuwatimi, a second-team All-American at center in 2021. He made 12 starts, played 910 snaps and had a 79.4 Pro Football Focus grade this past season, tops on the O line group, and was a Rimington Trophy Finalist as one of the top three centers in the nation in 2021.

Olu allowed 20 QB pressures (three sacks) on 630 pass dropbacks (3.2 percent).

Haskins saw action in 10 games in 2021, with seven starts and 654 snaps. His 65.7 PFF grade ranked fifth among the seven Cavaliers who had starts on the O line this past season.

He allowed 27 QB pressures (three sacks) on 440 pass dropback snaps (6.1 percent).

Bissinger had four starts and 389 snaps in 2021, with a 59.7 PFF grade. He allowed just six QB pressures on 261 pass dropback snaps (a team-best 2.3 percent) this past season.

The mass exodus took place even though UVA head coach Tony Elliott retained the incumbent offensive line coach, Garett Tujague, whose group ranked 35th in pass blocking and 31st in run blocking in 2021, per PFF.

The retention of Tujague might have been expected to have influenced the decisions of the four O linemen who entered the transfer portal after Bronco Mendenhall stepped down earlier this month.

Guard Chris Glaser (12 starts, 864 snaps, 72.3 PFF grade) is done in terms of eligibility, having used his COVID redshirt year in 2021.

Senior Ryan Nelson (12 starts, 806 snaps, 69.7 PFF grade) has a year of eligibility left, and has not to this stage entered the portal, which, yay, that, because junior tackle Jonathan Leech (two starts, 83 snaps, 62.0 PFF grade) is the only other guy to see any significant action in 2021 for Virginia.

The O line was a position of strength for Virginia in 2021. The way things are trending, it’s going to be a position of rebuilding in 2022.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press