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UVA Football notes: Taulapapa enters portal; Wahoos offer Stanford transfer; coaching hires; Ronde makes HOF cut

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Wayne Taulapapa

Another Virginia player has entered the transfer portal. Wayne Taulapapa, the Cavaliers’ regular starting running back for the past three years, announced on his Twitter account on Thursday that he plans to leave the program.

“Dear UVA, I will be entering the transfer portal as a grad transfer,” Taulapapa wrote. “You’ll never understand how grateful I am. My home away from home. Thank you for all your Love & Aloha. It has been a beautiful four years and I can’t begin to explain how amazing the journey was.”

The Hawaiian product rushed for 1,192 yards and 19 touchdowns during his career in an offense that featured the passing game. This past season, he rushed for 324 yards on 62 attempts in 10 games.

Taulapapa’s exit should open the door for Mike Hollins, who rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns in nine games.

UVA offers Stanford transfer

The Cavaliers have made an offer to Stanford defensive end/outside linebacker Andres Fox, who has also received offers from Maryland and Florida State.

Fox, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior, originally from Mobile, Ala., started one game and appeared in six for the Cardinal last season. He made seven tackles and had 1.5 tackles for loss. He played in all six games for Stanford in 2020.

He was rated the sixth-best recruit in the state of Alabama by ESPN coming out of high school, and the nation’s 19th-best recruit weak-side linebacker by Rivals.

Fox has not announced a timeline for his commitment.

Coaching changes

Former UVA defensive coordinator Nick Howell will join the coaching staff at Vanderbilt as the defensive backs coach. He also coached the secondary for the Cavaliers. Howell came to Virginia with Bronco Mendenhall, and also coached under Mendenhall for 10 years at BYU.

Another former Virginia assistant, Vic So’oto, has been hired as defensive line coach at Colorado. So’oto came to UVA with Mendenhall, but left for Southern Cal after the 2019 season. He was the D-Line coach at both UVA and USC.

Ronde makes Hall of Fame cut

Former Virginia star defensive back Ronde Barber is one of 15 former NFL players to make the cut as a finalist in the Modern-Era Player category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022.

This is the second year Barber has been nominated as a candidate for Canton.

Barber was selected for five Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team. He is one of the two members of the 40/20 club (40-plus interceptions, 20-plus quarterback sacks) along with Charles Woodson. He also holds the record for most consecutive starts by a defensive back.


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