“Those first couple of workouts were tough, very tough,” Glaser said Monday during a Zoom call with the media. “And I think that’s where we really connected and talked. When we got here it was really, “How can we best help the team?” ”

The Cavaliers ‘nine wins last year were their biggest since 2007, and the Seniors’ streak with three straight berths, including a 2018 Belk Bowl triumph, is the longest run of its kind since Virginia, four straight runs from 2002 to 2002. 05.

The Senior Class won 23 games from 2017 to last season, marking the most wins in three years since the Cavaliers won 25 games from 2002 to 2004.

“They are the basic class that has allowed the program to improve every year and, frankly, fight non-stop this year,” said Mendenhall. “I’m so grateful that I got to train her. I am so grateful that you trusted me and chose U-Va. “

Among the players who influenced a unit other than special teams that year was linebacker Charles Snowden. The St. Albans graduate and resident of Sliver Spring was one of 17 non-Redshirt newbies to play in 2017. On his debut in the fourth game of the season, he collected a sack for his first college tackle.

Snowden has since become one of the most dynamic and respected players on the team and this year has chosen one of four team captains. However, the 6-foot-7,240-pound NFL prospect won’t play in Saturday’s final home game against Boston College (6-4, 5-4) due to a broken right ankle.

This year’s senior class has rallied around Snowden, especially older linebacker colleagues Zane Zandier, Matt Gahm and Elliott Brown, since the November 21 injury against Abilene Christian left the Cavaliers leader in sacks (six) on crutches and an operation required, which took place twice weeks ago.

“Charles, obviously he’s our leader,” said Terrell Jana, another captain. “Man, he’s connected to everyone on the team. Dare I say anyone on the team would say Charles was their best friend or one of their best friends. You don’t want anyone to be injured, especially someone who is a leader on our team. “

Gahm and Brown are both in line to play extensively with Snowden on the mend. Gahm was a starter who dropped out of training camp last season but a knee injury in the opener kept him limited for the rest of the year. It also allowed Noah Taylor to shine in his place and secure the starting job on the strong side this season.

As is customary during the coronavirus pandemic, fans are not allowed to enter Scott Stadium, but the players’ family members are allowed. Virtually all parents of seniors are expected to attend a pregame ceremony.

A win over the Eagles would put Virginia over .500 for the first time since its season opener.

“I just really think about it and try to think about the best ways to make sure they have a memorable experience,” Mendenhall said of his seniors. “And the best way to do that is to prepare them well so that they can succeed, and that’s what we’ll try.”

Zandier has now taken on many leadership roles in defense, not only is Snowden unavailable, but Richard Burney is also unavailable. The sixth year the defensive ends and the captain are out for the season with an injury Mendenhall calls a “health injury”.

Zandier leads the Cavaliers, who have won three games in a row, in quarterback rush (seven) and tackles against losses (seven). The robust inner linebacker takes second place (67) in duels and third place (two and a half) in sacks.

“I think we all seniors are very excited for this game and hopefully we can continue this week with some normalcy,” said Zandier. “Yes, it will definitely be different. It won’t be your senior game every year, but at the same time I think it means a lot to us. “

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