UVA Depth Chart: Reworking banged-up secondary

UVA had already lost cornerback Bryce Hall for the season back in the Miami game. The news this week is that safety Brenton Nelson is also now out for the season.

Looking back to the depth chart for Week 1, the ‘Hoos are down three of the eight guys in the two-deep in the secondary: Hall, Nelson and backup corner Heskin Smith.

“Yeah, it’s quite a challenge,” coach Bronco Mendenhall said at his Monday presser. “The other thing I think to mention besides the two primary players in Brenton Nelson and Bryce Hall is that we lost Darrius Bratton early on we lost Sean Smith not long after that and then we lost Nelson’s back up in Antonio Clary for the season also. The deepest position on team at the beginning has now become not only what we have to do creatively to manage the remainder of this season versus the opponents and what looks they might give us, but also our depth now basically at every position as become a first-year player. And so, we’re pretty thin.”

The thinness on the back end is evident with freshman Tenyeh Dixon listed as the backup at both strong safety and free safety for this week’s game with Georgia Tech.

Dixon can expect to see a good bit of playing time when Virginia goes to three-safety looks defensively.

“This past game we played Tenyeh Dixon, and so Coach Howell’s working overtime and looking to staff the back end appropriately and the best way possible for each opponent that we’re going to play and, yeah, I guess as you go into Week 10 that’s different positions on each team probably get hit. The secondary has just been hit by us disproportionately as we have gone on this year,” Mendenhall said.

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Story by Chris Graham

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