Home UVA Football Mailbag: Recruiting target, VT meltdown, season-ticket holder done

UVA Football Mailbag: Recruiting target, VT meltdown, season-ticket holder done

Chris Graham
uva football
Photo: UVA Athletics

Is UVA courting senior Cayden Cook-Cash from Riverheads High School? Look at his record. This guy is a dynamo with great football instincts, good size, good GPA, and humble. Do you think UVA cares about local talent?



Cayden Cook-Cash reported on his Twitter (I still call it Twitter) profile on Nov. 5 that he’d received an offer from UVA.

He wrote in the post that he’d had a “great visit yesterday and a conversation” with Tony Elliott and Clint Sintim, an assistant and UVA (and NFL) alum.

Sintim being involved in the recruiting might indicate that the UVA staff is looking at Cook-Cash not at tailback, but at linebacker.

He’s a big kid – 6’3”, 210 pounds.

His Hudl profile reports that he has a 4.52 40 and a 305-pound benchpress, so, quick, strong.

For what it’s worth, and I’m not sure how they’d get this information, 247Sports lists the UVA offer on Cash-Cook’s profile page, and tells us his interest in UVA is “cool.”

Maybe he wants to be a running back at the D1 level, is the indication there.

Not that anybody listens to me, but, there’s a better shot at playing time at linebacker.



I read your article about Tony Elliott’s claims after several games that he didn’t do enough coaching the team. Say what? He is paid mega millions to coach and get his team ready. Does he even know how to be a head coach?

There was almost a ticker tape parade, complete with confetti, after UVA barely beat Duke and their third-string quarterback. If Riley Leonard had been healthy, I think the outcome would have been different.

The Virginia Tech game was a total meltdown. If you can’t play better and coach better in a rivalry game, look for employment elsewhere. The game was a colossal embarrassment.

Tony Elliott was a good offensive coordinator at a school that recruits three-, four- and five-star recruits. With NFL-like talent on his roster, he should be good.

UVA doesn’t have that level of talent.

I have been a football season ticket holder for 24 years. After this year, I am done. It’s a waste of money and time.



It’s hard to argue with Wally on any of this, really.

It was obvious from early on in the Tech game that Virginia wasn’t ready to play – schematically or emotionally.

That’s on the coaching staff, and the ultimate responsibility is with the guy at the top.

Rumor had it back when Carla Williams had just taken over as AD that she wrote a scathing email to Bronco Mendenhall after his team’s 49-7 beatdown at the hands of Navy in the 2017 Military Bowl.

Last Saturday was deserving of another scathing email from the AD.



Morning, Chris. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving other than the game. Not much to say that you and Jerry haven’t already said. I don’t believe in curses, jinxes, etc., but damn, we have exactly two wins vs VPI since we ran the most successful coach in UVA history out of town.

College football is changing much faster than it was 10 years ago. It took Welsh and Beamer both about six years to get to the point where they were consistently good. We simply can’t wait that long now. 2019 remains the only time we have beaten VPI since they joined the ACC in 2004. It’s no coincidence that 2019 was our most successful season post-Welsh. We need a football coach that can consistently beat VPI and UNC. Do that, and the other goals become attainable (play in the ACC Championship Game, hell, maybe even win one).

One last note. How in the hell can your team not be ready to play your biggest rival with a chance to keep them home for December? We are now 0-6 in such games.



Alan makes a great point. Welsh, at least, had Virginia in a bowl by Year 3, and his Year 5 was awful – 3-8 – but he was 8-4 in 1987, and wouldn’t dip below seven wins again until his last season, 2000.

Frank Beamer, hampered by NCAA penalties handed down to the program because of rules violations by his predecessor, Bill Dooley, didn’t even get to a bowl until his Year 7, and that one came after he was nearly fired following a 2-8-1 finish in 1992, his sixth season.

Coaches were given time back in those days, but you have to consider the context – Beamer signed on to coach at his alma mater 1986 with a four-year contract paying him $80,000 a year.

Brent Pry, at Virginia Tech, and Tony Elliott, at Virginia, are each in the $4 million-plus range annually, and with that kind of disgusting money comes outsized expectations.

Add to the equation for Elliott that Virginia is a few months away from opening a new $80 million football operations center that should be a boon to recruiting, but hasn’t been yet – Elliott’s first two classes ranked 12th for the Class of 2023 (in a 14-team ACC) and 15th for the upcoming Class of 2024 (in a 17-team ACC).

Doing some quick calculus – looking at the 6-16 record on the field, with low-ranked recruiting classes, and who knows what’s about to happen on the transfer portal – it doesn’t feel like things are moving in the right direction.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].