Jana embracing role as veteran receiver

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- With Olamide Zaccheaus graduating, there will be plenty of catches to go around for the Virginia football team this season. That's where Woodberry Forest graduate Terrell Jana comes in.

Jana caught a 64-yard touchdown pass to end the Wahoos spring scrimmage at Scott Stadium on Saturday. That came after catching 11 balls for 151 yards -- and a touchdown against Pittsburgh -- as a junior.

He was glad to have veteran voices, like Zaccheaus and Doni Dowling to learn from the last two years.

"My first year it was me and two seniors," Jana said. "And then last year, I think having O as the only senior there. So now just being one of the older guys, I just, I know the offense a lot so I'm able to help the young guys out. And just a little more confident."

Now, Jana is one of six upperclass receivers on the team, and he's the one that's pointing the younger receivers in the right direction.

"They're coming to me asking questions," Jana said, "and their questions help me understand the offense better. And just seeing that they rely on me to make the plays. It's not O anymore, it's not Dre, it's not Doni."

"Just his leadership role is drastically increased," said quarterback Bryce Perkins. He's kind of the leader of the receivers, and he's smart. He's easy to work with. And he has great speed. He knows coverages. So we're pretty much on the same page most of the time."

That new-found leadership has not gone unnoticed by the Cavaliers head coach.

"Terrell Jana has been really valued by his peers, in terms of leadership," said Bronco Mendenhall. "He's been one of the bright spots of the spring from an offensive perspective, and we needed that at receiver. So I'm excited about that."