news hoos in the nfl a look at how uva alums did in week 4 games
Sports

‘Hoos in the NFL: A look at how UVA Football alums did in Week 4 games

uva football
Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

A total of 10 former UVA football players are currently on NFL rosters, and several saw significant action over the weekend.

Here’s a recap of each Wahoo alum’s performance in Week 4:

WR Olamide Zaccheaus (2018), Atlanta Falcons

Against Cleveland Sunday, Zaccheaus led the Falcons in receiving with 55 yards on just two catches, including a crucial, season-long 42-yarder — with a Browns facemask penalty tacked on at the end of the play — that led to Younghoe Koo’s game-winning, 45-yard field goal with 2:28 left.

Through four games, Zaccheaus is the Falcons’ second-leading receiver with 174 yards on the season (36 yards after catch) behind USC star rookie Drake London (231). Zaccheaus has hauled in each of his 10 targets, and leads the team with four “big” receptions of 20-plus yards.

None of this should come as any surprise to Cavalier fans who witnessed Zaccheaus ascend to the top of UVA’s all-time receptions list during his years in Charlottesville.

Zaccheaus and the Falcons (2-2) will have an important NFC South showdown at Tampa Bay (2-2) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with first place in the division on the line.

TE Jelani Woods (‘21), Indianapolis Colts

The rookie had just one catch against Tennessee Sunday, but made the most of it. Trailing 24-3 and needing a spark late in the first half, Woods secured a 33-yard grab down to the Titans’ 5-yard line, which led to the Colts’ first trip to the end zone.

After Woods’ breakout, two-touchdown performance two weeks ago against the Chiefs, it was fellow tight end Mo Alie-Cox who scored twice this past week against the Titans.

Woods has four catches for 46 yards so far on the season — as mentioned, two of those resulted in touchdowns. He continues to gain experience and has proven himself as a reliable red-zone target for QB Matt Ryan.

S Rodney McLeod (‘11), Indianapolis Colts

McLeod racked up 4 tackles (all solo), good for fourth on the team against Tennessee.

On the season, the veteran safety — who won a Super Bowl title with Philadelphia in 2018 — has 15 tackles (12 solo), an interception, a tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

McLeod, Woods and the Colts (1-2-1) travel to Denver (2-2) on Thursday night.

S Juan Thornhill (‘18), Kansas City Chiefs

Thornhill went up against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday night, coming away with a pair of tackles (both solo) and a pass deflection. On the downside, the fourth-year pro was whistled for two penalties, one of which gave the Bucs the ball at KC’s 2-yard line and led to a Mike Evans touchdown catch just before halftime.

On the season, Thornhill has recorded 12 tackles (8 solo), a tackle for loss and 3 passes defended. He has made at least one stop in all four contests thus far, with a season-high 5 coming in Week 3 against the Colts, despite giving up the game-winning TD catch to the aforementioned Woods.

After that play, Thornhill took to social media to congratulate his fellow Virginia alum on his special moment, tweeting, “Hell of a play @jelani_thegreat, much respect from one Hoo to another.”

Thornhill and the AFC West-leading Chiefs (3-1) host the division-rival Raiders (1-3) on Monday night.

OT Morgan Moses (‘13), Baltimore Ravens

Moses started at right tackle and played all 70 snaps on offense in the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the Bills. The 31-year-old veteran is in his 10th season in the league, and is an important part of the Baltimore offensive line that protects Lamar Jackson, one of the NFL’s top mobile quarterbacks. Jackson was sacked just twice against the league-leading Buffalo defense for 10 yards, and only 8 times on the season for 24 yards.

DE Brent Urban (‘13), Baltimore Ravens

Urban participated in 10 snaps on defense and 6 on special teams, but has not recorded a tackle yet this season.

The Ravens’ former 4th-round pick (2014) is in his second stint with the team, after also spending time with the Titans, Bears and Cowboys across his professional career.

Urban, Moses and the Ravens (2-2) host the Bengals (2-2) in a critical AFC North battle on Sunday night.

OL Oday Aboushi (‘12), Los Angeles Rams

Aboushi, who signed with the defending champs early in the season, played three snaps on special teams against the 49ers on Monday Night Football.

The former 5th-round pick (2013) has also played for the Jets, Texans, Seahawks, Raiders, Cardinals, Lions and Chargers across his NFL career. He was a three-year starter at UVA.

QB Bryce Perkins (‘19), Los Angeles Rams

Perkins was not active for Monday night’s loss to San Francisco. With multiple notable, early-season Injuries to quarterbacks around the league — Tua Tagovailoa, Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, Trey Lance, Mac Jones (backup Brian Hoyer left with head injury), it has opened the door for guys like Cooper Rush, Andy Dalton and Bailey Zappe to come in and contribute.

Perhaps Perkins, who set Virginia’s career total offense record of 7,910 yards in just two seasons (current UVA QB Brennan Armstrong eclipsed that mark this season against Richmond), could find an opportunity with another franchise desperate for a proven signal-caller at some point, if he remains the No. 3 option in LA behind starter Matthew Stafford and backup John Wolford.

Perkins, Aboushi and the Rams (2-2) host the Cowboys (3-1) Sunday at 4 p.m.

CB Bryce Hall (‘19), New York Jets

Hall was on the inactive list for Sunday’s win in Pittsburgh. He has only played 5 snaps on defense — in the first week against Baltimore, giving up a touchdown to Devin Duvernay in the second quarter, and hasn’t really seen any playing time since. Some of that has to do with the emergence of star rookie corner Sauce Gardner, while 5th-year corner D.J. Reed also came over from Seattle, and has seen significant playing time.

Hall started all 17 games for the Jets last season, leading the team in pass breakups with 16.

The 2-2 Jets host Miami (3-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday.

S Joey Blount (‘21), Seattle Seahawks

Blount, who made the Seahawks’ 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent, was among the inactives for Seattle at Detroit Sunday. The Seahawks (2-2) travel to New Orleans to face the Saints (1-3) on Sunday at 1.

Former Hoos currently on NFL practice squads

  • DT Andrew Brown (‘17), Arizona Cardinals
  • S Anthony Harris (‘14), Denver Broncos
  • WR Joe Reed (‘19), Los Angeles Chargers
  • OT Eric Smith (‘16), New York Jets
  • QB Kurt Benkert (‘17), San Francisco 49ers

Former Hoos currently on Injured Reserve

  • LB Micah Kiser (‘17), Las Vegas Raiders

Scott Ratcliffe

Scott Ratcliffe has worked as a freelance writer for several publications over the past decade-plus, with a concentration on local and college sports. He is also a writer and editor for his father’s website, JerryRatcliffe.com, dedicated to the coverage of University of Virginia athletics.