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Fentrell Cypress headed to the transfer portal: Huge blow to the UVA defense

fentrell cypress
Fentrell Cypress in coverage. Photo: UVA Athletics

Fentrell Cypress, the highest-rated player on the UVA defense in 2022, is headed to the transfer portal, a huge blow to the much-improved Cavalier defensive unit.

Cypress, a fourth-year student, has two years of eligibility remaining.

The cornerback had only played in nine games in his first three years at Virginia, redshirting after seeing action in two games in 2019, then appearing in just one game in 2020.

Cypress was on the field for a total of 29 snaps in those first two seasons, then got in on 297 snaps in six games in 2021.

He blossomed in 2022, earning a team-best 87.8 Pro Football Focus grade and first-team All-ACC honors from PFF, and second-team honors from the media and coaches voting.

A three-star prep recruit, 247Sports now lists Cypress as a four-star recruit on the transfer portal.

Cypress played on 661 snaps, recording 35 tackles, and in coverage, he allowed 18 receptions on 40 targets, a 45.0 percent completion rate, for 179 yards, with nine pass breakups and a 58.2 NFL passer rating against.

These are elite numbers, ranking eighth in all of FBS among cornerbacks with at least 300 coverage snaps in 2022, according to PFF.

With the Virginia defense already set to lose first-team All-ACC corner Anthony Johnson to the end of his eligibility, this means defensive coordinator John Rudzinski will have to start over at the crucial secondary position.

The secondary also loses five-year veteran Darrius Bratton (end of eligibility), and would return just three corners who saw the field in 2022 – Jaylon Baker (86 snaps), Elijah Gaines (nine snaps) and Dave Herard (eight snaps).

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Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].