UVA’s Dontayvion Wicks says he will enter NFL Draft

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Dontayvion Wicks (Photo: UVA Athletics)

Virginia wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks has announced that he will declare for the NFL Draft and not return to the Cavaliers program for the 2023 season.

Wicks, a rising senior from Plaquemine, La., made the announcement on his Instagram account on Monday afternoon (see below).

A dynamic wide receiver, Wicks is coming off a disappointing season. In eight games, Wicks had 30 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns.

Those numbers paled in comparison to his breakout 2022 season when he hauled in 57 catches for 1,203 yards and nine TDs — including a 70-yarder — over a 12-game schedule. He led the ACC and was fifth nationally with 21.1 yards per catch.

Virginia was expected to have one of the elite receiving corps in the nation last season, rated in the preseason by Lindy’s football magazine as one of the top four groups of receivers in the FBS. However, UVA’s receivers and quarterback Brennan Armstrong failed to flourish in new coach Tony Elliott’s offensive passing game.

Armstrong announced last week that he planned to enter the NCAA transfer portal for his final year of college football.

Elliott said in the preseason that Wicks was as talented as any of the elite receivers he coached at Clemson during the Tigers’ runs in the national playoffs. Many of those receivers went on to NFL careers.

Wicks has accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Feb. 4. He was on the Biletnikoff Watch List as one of the nation’s premiere receivers and was also one of 14 receivers on the preseason Maxwell Award Watch List.

In 2021, Wicks was a first-team All-ACC performer.


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