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Sintim new to UVA Football staff: Spring notes

uva footballVic So’oto was the first player to commit to then-new BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, before a four-year NFL career, and stints as an assistant under Mendenhall at BYU and then Virginia.

So’oto’s wife, Ashley, was also Mendenhall’s personal assistant when he was at BYU.

“It’s a family that I love and hold very dearly. But they’re also both from the West Coast. They’re both from California. I think they’re excited for their new challenge, as I am for them,” said Mendenhall Thursday, discussing Vic So’oto’s decision to take a job on the staff at Southern Cal.

It’s not easy replacing a guy who is basically the original Mendenhall Guy.

“I felt it was very important to be adding a UVA tradition, UVA passion and UVA history to our program. I love the idea of building the program specific to and for the University of Virginia,” said Mendenhall, explaining his rationale for hiring Clint Sintim, a UVA alum, two-year NFL vet, and most recently was the co-special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Delaware, where he worked with Danny Rocco, a former protégé of UVA alum and former Cavaliers head coach Al Groh.

“We’ve had interaction with Clint over the past three years through professional exchange, alumni functions, and my defensive staff really pushed hard and believed in him and their relationship. And so far, I’ve been very impressed,” Mendenhall said.

Roster notes

The running back room will be missing three key depth guys looking ahead to 2020.

Mendenhall said Lamont Atkins and P.K. Kier, both of whom had one year of eligibility left, intend to graduate and will not play in 2020, Mendenhall said today.

A third back, freshman Seneca Milledge, has entered the transfer portal, along with freshman defensive back Major Williams.

Freshman quarterback R.J. Harvey and freshman offensive lineman Ja’Quay Hubbard both informed Mendenhall of their intentions to leave UVA for JUCO ball.

Had there been a spring practice session, the list of those who would not have been able to participate would have included wideout Nathaniel Beale, offensive linemen Bobby Haskins, Ryan Nelson and Dillon Reinkensmeyer, defensive backs Jaylon Baker, Joey Blount, Darrius Bratton and Antonio Clary, linebackers T.C. Harrison and Hunter Stewart, and placekicker Hunter Stewart.

Those available on a limited basis would have been defensive backs De’Vante Cross and Brenton Nelson, center Olu Oluwatimi, linebacker Rob Snyder and long-snapper Tucker Finkelston.

Story by Chris Graham