New Mexico State QB will visit Virginia this week

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: New Mexico State University Athletics

Perhaps the second time will prove to be the charm for Gavin Frakes, as the former New Mexico State quarterback visits UVA this coming Thursday.

Frakes received very little interest coming out of high school in Norman, Okla., after throwing for 2,207 yards and 24 touchdowns back in 2021. Only Princeton, Penn, Yale and Houston Baptist offered, although then-Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall had Frakes visit Charlottesville for a private workout.

Mendenhall did not make an offer, as Frakes committed to Princeton, but decommitted when Jerry Kill took over the New Mexico State program and brought Frakes into the Aggies’ program.

After playing in 11 games as a true freshman (five starts in 2022) and throwing for 736 yards (55 for 110, 4 TDs, 7 interceptions), Frakes did not appear in a game in 2023 and opted to transfer.

The quarterback has three years of eligibility remaining and plans to enroll in January. He has also been contacted by Minnesota, Tulsa and James Madison, but has only committed to one visit thus far, this week in Charlottesville.

Frakes didn’t enter the transfer portal until this past Tuesday and within an hour, Virginia came on strong.

Coach Tony Elliott said during his National Signing Day press conference recently that he wanted to add another scholarship quarterback to his program, noting the lack of depth at the position on the Cavaliers roster.

While both of UVA’s starting quarterbacks return — freshman Anthony Colandrea and graduate Tony Muskett (each started six games this past season) — the third-team QB, Grady Brosterhous, is a walk-on who specialized in short-yardage situations, specifically the quarterback sneak, a.k.a. “Tush Push” this past season.

Colandrea was forced to burn his redshirt year in the second half of the season when Muskett suffered a shoulder injury, and the true freshman from Florida was the only scholarship quarterback on the depth chart. Muskett announced recently that he had undergone successful offseason shoulder surgery and plans to return to the team for the 2023 season.

New Mexico State went 10-5 in 2023, losing its finale to Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl, with Kill announcing he is stepping down after the season.

Elliott and his staff have been searching throughout the country for another quarterback to add to the team’s depth, and he likely was impressed with film review of Frakes’ performances against Power 5 conference competition from 2022. That season, Frakes played against Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota.