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Notebook: Chick-fil-A, Olu visits Michigan, recruiting news and more

By Jerry Ratcliffe

When Tony Elliott came back for a second interview for the Virginia job last week, he was accompanied by his family, and while it was a short visit, he got quick approval from his wife, Tamika and two young sons, A.J. and Ace.

“I’m going to get some brownie points … happy wife, happy life,” Elliott said. “If they didn’t give me the thumbs up, it’s not happening. We’ve got three Chick-fil-A’s, I believe, in Charlottesville, right? There’s three of them and a Target. Target was important, almost a deal-breaker. Ain’t that right, Ace?”

One of the Chick-fil-A’s is in the Barrack’s Road shopping center, only a Brennan Armstrong deep ball from Virginia’s football offices.

Wahoo stars turn out

There was a strong representation of former Virginia players at Elliott’s press conference (we will have stories from a few of them on Tuesday).

Among those we spotted or talked to was Chris Slade, who recently resigned his head-coaching position at a private school in Atlanta after 10 successful years. Also, Wali Rainer, who had an eight-year NFL career, along with Charlottesville resident Chris Long and Fredericksburg’s Charles McDaniel, among others.

The transfer portal

Brennan Armstrong said he will be spending some of his energy in the coming days in attempting to change the minds of some of Virginia’s players who have entered the transfer portal.

Two of them, both veteran starters on the offensive line, seem to be keys to the Cavaliers’ offensive success next season: left tackle Bobby Haskins and center Olusegun Oluwatimi, who was one of three finalists for the prestigious Rimington Award as the nation’s best lineman.

Oluwatimi has already taken a visit to Michigan, while Haskins has a scheduled trip to Southern Cal.

“There was a lot that went into that decision, but I felt like it was the right decision for me,” Oluwatimi said. “I spoke to [offensive line coach Garett Tujague] and to Coach Mendenhall and they were all for it. I’m in a stressful time, and gotta make a decision coming up, see what’s happening next year. I’ve got to respect Coach Elliott’s time and scholarships and other school’s situations.”

Recruiting news & more

  • UVA DL Aaron Faumui has entered the transfer portal.
  • Four-star OL prospect Trent Ramsey from Florida will announce his commitment Wednesday afternoon. UVA is in the mix, but he’s projected to choose Mississippi State.
  • Virginia safety commit Will Hardy has flipped and will sign with North Carolina.
  • Also, the 3-star speedster twins from Utah, Dominique and Marcus McKenzie, flipped their commitments from UVA to BYU on Monday.
  • Good news/bad news: Billy Kemp IV announced on Instagram that he will miss the Fenway Bowl, but added that he will return for another year of college football in 2022. Kemp was pictured in a hospital bed with a huge cast on his left leg.
  • Asked about his meeting with Bronco Mendenhall, new Virginia coach Tony Elliott said: “Oh my gosh. Unbelievable. I’ve got to go dust off some books.”
  • According to Pro Football Focus analysts, Virginia’s Armstrong leads all Power Five quarterbacks in “big-time” (bombs) throws with 32.

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