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They’re all gone: Virginia O lineman Ryan Nelson declares for NFL Draft

uva footballRyan Nelson had been the last holdout as the Virginia offensive line hit the transfer portal. Friday night, Nelson went a different direction, declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.

“These last four and a half years have been truly memorable. My memories of playing in Scott Stadium will be with me forever. While we had our ups and downs, I will always have a special place for Charlottesville in my heart,” Nelson wrote on Twitter.

“I will be finishing my master’s degree in the spring to become a double Hoo and declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft grateful to everyone who has supported me, and I will forever be a Cavalier.”

Well, at least he ain’t transferring out.

Nelson made 12 starts at Virginia at right guard in 2021, earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 69.7.

He allowed 17 QB pressures (two sacks) on 562 pass block snaps for a block percentage of 98.3, tops among the regular starters, and his career block percentage was an impressive 98.0 over four seasons, 3,271 total snaps and 1,991 pass block snaps.

New Virginia coach Tony Elliott and holdover offensive line coach Garret Tujague will now have to retool the entire starting five heading into the 2022 season.

Second-team All-American center Olusegun Oluwatimi (12 starts, 910 snaps, 79.4 PFF grade) is headed to Michigan. Left tackle Bobby Haskins (seven starts, 654 snaps, 65.7 PFF grade) is transferring to Southern Cal. Right tackle Ryan Swoboda (11 starts, 787 snaps, 70.3 PFF grade) is going to Central Florida.

Spot starter Joe Bissinger (four starts, 389 snaps, 59.7 PFF grade) transferred to SMU.

The other starter in 2021, left guard Chris Glaser (12 starts, 864 snaps, 72.3 PFF grade) is done in terms of eligibility, having used his COVID redshirt year in 2021.

Junior tackle Jonathan Leech (two starts, 83 snaps, 62.0 PFF grade) is the only other guy to see any significant action in 2021 for Virginia.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press