Charlotte, NC – The Virginia Cavaliers look to turn the page to the next chapter and look towards the start of the 2018 season. This season, the Cavilers will have a new quarterback under center, as former starter Kurt Bankert having graduated. Senior running back Olamide Zaccheaus commented on how important it is for him to be even more of a playmaker this season, in both running and catching the football to take some pressure off the new quarterback this season.
“It’s important for me because I’ve been in the system for two years now,” said Zaccheaus. “And just to make the transition easy for our new quarterback, Bryce, just to make plays anywhere I can, whether it be in the backfield or outside receiver or inside receiver, slot. I have a lot on my shoulders, and I’m ready to take that load.”
Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall was later asked about quarterback Bryce Perkins’ potential, and where is his leadership level right now.
“He’s one of the strongest and fastest and best athletes that I’ve coached,” said Mendenhall. “There isn’t a play where when if he’s running the football, it can’t go all the way. He can throw the ball effectively, and I think he’s a solid decision maker. And so to me, point number three, if the decision-making maturity increases at a faster rate or an accelerated rate, there could be pretty remarkable things happen in his tenure at UVA. But I think that will control it, not the physical skills. I think the leadership and playing ACC football and the decision making at that position, that will, I think, determine his potential or the result.”
Only time will tell if this transition will be smooth, or a challenge for Mendenhall that Virginia will have to overcome this season.
Virginia has several challenges heading into this season, not only from a team perspective but also on and individual level. Mendenhall spoke about the challenge of being the head coach of Virginia and why he wanted to take on that challenge.
“That’s exactly what I was looking for,” said Mendenhall. “So I was intentional, and I wanted a challenge and I wanted change, and I wanted growth. And certainly we got all those things.” He also added “I love the challenge. I love the — kind of the all-encompassing nature of what that requires, as does my family, and all the coaches that came. It is galvanizing to take on something difficult, but that’s what I love. I love challenging things, and that’s certainly what we have.
But I love to see complete effort and commitment in pursuit of something like that, and the team is starting to do that. They’re starting to realize this is worth it, and that’s gratifying.”
The Cavaliers kick off the 2018 season at home against the Richmond Spiders September 1st at 6 PM EST. This game will be on the ACC ESPN Network Extra and can be listened to on the official Virginia Sports Network Radio.