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Brennan Armstrong will return for senior season at Virginia

Record-setting Virginia QB1 Brennan Armstrong announced on social media Thursday night that he will return to UVA for his senior season.

The video announcement was a clever cut that might have had you wondering for the first, oh, 45 seconds or so.

“Growing up playing sports in Ohio, it’s every kid’s dream to play at the pro level,” said Armstrong ,who passed for a UVA-record 4,449 yards in 2021.

Uh, oh.

“It’s been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. I want to thank those who have been a part of my journey. First, thank you to my family and friends for the endless amounts of love and support. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.

To the coaches, thank you for believing in me and teaching me more than just playing football. To my teammates, you guys been there every step of the way. And the memories and bonds we have built, I’ll cherish forever. To the UVA fans, thank you for making Charlottesville my home. The support you’ve given me and my teammates, it’s unmatched.”

Sounded like he was declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft, didn’t it?

“So, after a long talk with my family, I’m excited to announce that I will be coming back to University of Virginia and playing one more year. Go ‘Hoos!”

Collective exhale.

Armstrong’s return sets the tone for the beginning of the Tony Elliott era at Virginia. Elliott was hired last month to succeed Bronco Mendenhall, who shocked the Cavalier Universe with his announcement on Dec. 2 that he was stepping down after six seasons at the held of Virginia Football.

Elliott, the former offensive coordinator at Clemson, where he coached in six College Football Playoffs and four national championship games, winning two, has been painstakingly hiring a staff in the weeks since his hire on Dec. 10.

Most notably for the offensive side of the ball, Elliott has tapped former Atlanta Falcons running backs coach Des Kitchings to serve as his offensive coordinator, and retained Garret Tujague as the offensive line coach from the Mendenhall staff.

The retention of Tujague didn’t stop three O line starters and one part-time starter from leaving Charlottesville via the transfer portal, meaning the unit will be almost a complete overhaul going into 2022.

Armstrong will have his top two receivers from 2021, Dontayvion Wicks and Billy Kemp IV, plus Lavel Davis Jr., who missed the 2021 season after suffering an ACL injury in the spring, and perhaps Keytaon Thompson as well, to work with next season.

It should also help that the ground game that was barely a factor under former UVA OC Robert Anae will get a renewed emphasis under Elliott, whose Clemson teams were as close to 50/50 run-pass as he could get them.

Story by Chris Graham

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