Virginia gets commitment from New Mexico State QB Frakes

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: New Mexico State University Athletics

Virginia’s quarterback room just filled up. Former New Mexico State quarterback Gavin Frakes, who has three years of eligibility remaining, announced on social media accounts late Friday night that he had committed to UVA.

Frakes, who played in 11 games and started five for the Aggies in 2022, did not appear in a contest in 2023. He committed to Tony Elliott’s program during his official visit to Virginia, which began Thursday.

Frakes, originally from Norman, Okla., is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and will fill a void for the Cavaliers while competing for playing time against two incumbent starters: grad student Tony Muskett and freshman Anthony Colandrea. Both Muskett and Colandrea started six games last season for the 3-9 Cavaliers.

Elliott was searching for another experienced quarterback to add to the roster, particularly with Muskett coming off successful shoulder surgery. When Muskett was out, forcing UVA to burn Colandrea’s redshirt, the coaching staff held its breath every occasion when Colandrea ran the ball or was sacked. There was not another scholarship quarterback in the program to provide depth as walk-on Grady Brosterhous was the backup to Colandrea.

Frakes, lightly recruited out of high school (offers: Princeton, Yale, Penn and Houston Baptist) had been contact since entering the transfer portal last Tuesday, by Minnesota, Tulsa, JMU and others. Virginia was the only visit he made and apparently liked what he saw.

According to sources, Frakes liked Elliott’s background in working with successful quarterbacks such as Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson while serving as Clemson’s offensive coordinator for a decade. Both are now in the NFL.

While playing for the Aggies in ‘22 as a true freshman, Frakes threw for 736 yards (55-110) and four touchdowns (seven interceptions) and played vs. three Power 5 opponents, Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

During his high school career in Oklahoma, Frakes passed for 2,207 yards and 24 touchdowns, while rushing for 785 yards and 8 TDs.

While in high school, his only private work out for a college football program was ironically at Virginia, under then head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who did not make an offer to Frakes. Mendenhall was recently named as head coach at New Mexico, state rival to New Mexico State.