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Projection: Virginia is going to lose All-American Oluwatimi

Olusegun Oluwatimi
Olusegun Oluwatimi. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

This is just a hunch, but it’s based on what Olusegun Oluwatimi was saying Monday, and more importantly, his body language as he was saying it: he ain’t coming back to Virginia.

Oluwatimi, a second-team All-America center, put his name in the transfer portal last week, in the wake of Bronco Mendenhall’s surprise announcement that he would be stepping down at the end of the 2021 season.

Oluwatimi was on hand for the introductory press conference for Mendenhall’s successor, former Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, on Monday, and was made available by the athletics department to talk with the media in attendance.

All of that would make you think somebody in the communications department had information that Oluwatimi wanted to talk.

Just giving my impression here, but he didn’t seem to want to talk.

“I’m in a stressful time. Got to make a decision coming up. See what’s happening next year. I’ve got to respect Coach Elliott’s time, and then I got to respect other schools’ time and their scholarship situations,” Oluwatimi said.

A reporter asked Oluwatimi his impression of Elliott.

“He’s a great dude. Definitely a great dude,” Oluwatimi said.

Quick, short, to the point.

Of his decision to enter the transfer portal: “There was a lot that went into that decision. And I just kind of felt it was the right decision for me. I spoke to Coach TJ (offensive line coach Garett Tujague), I spoke to Mendenhall, and they were they were all for it,” he said.

Not a good look on Mendenhall and TJ, if true.

Because this would be a big loss for Virginia if Oluwatimi were to decide to move on.

In addition to the All-America honor, Oluwatimi was one of three finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the top center in college football.

Oluwatimi, who started all 12 games for UVA in 2021 and 32 straight since the 2019 season, graded out at 79.4 by Pro Football Focus, allowing three sacks and a total of 20 QB pressures on a team-high 910 offensive line snaps in 2021.

PFF had Oluwatimi as the number two center in the nation in run blocking, and tops in the ACC in that category.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press