Elliott not ready to name UVA starting QB after unanticipated situation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When Virginia head coach Tony Elliott received a text from dual-sport athlete Jay Woolfolk he assumed it was just their weekly routine call, but Woolfolk had news to share.
Elliott 'did not anticipate' Woolfolk would make the decision now to solely focus on baseball ahead of potentially being drafted in 2024, but knew the decision was around the corner.
"At some point in time he was going to have to make a decision if he desired to truly chase the professional ranks in either sport," Elliott said, "Just unfortunate the timing, but you can't hold that against anybody."
The timing meant Elliott and the rest of the coaching staff did not search for an additional quarterback to throw into the mix, who would be at the level required. Woolfolk's decision also means Virginia will be the only FBS team without a quarterback who has taken a snap at the FBS level.
But despite the development, Elliott was not ready to name a starting quarterback even with Monmouth transfer Tony Muskett speaking at the table next to him at the ACC Kickoff.
"Really haven't said hey the keys are yours because there's still a young pup in there too that wants what all of them want and that's the opportunity to be the starter," Elliott said.
Muskett will likely compete with true freshman Anthony Colandrea and a slew of other young quarterbacks in fall camp. While Muskett certainly has an advantage with his wealth of experience in a similar offense to the one Elliott and offensive coordinator Des Kitchings are trying to install, the Northern Virginia native is ready for the battle.
"It feels like it's my second home now. I almost feel weird not being in Charlottesville," Muskett said, "These guys in the locker room are truly now my brothers, the playbook I know like the back of my hand."
Starting in the winter and continuing through the spring and summer, Muskett has already made a positive impression on his UVA teammates and coaches.
"The guy is just confident, the attitude he brings to the facility every day is unmatched," senior running back Perris Jones said, "He's passionate about the game, excited to learn more, excited to push people to be better, excited to push himself to be better and it's like a fire that just doesn't die."
Muskett will have his work cut out for him helping to resurrect an offense which went from top-five in total offense in the nation to 126th in scoring offense a year ago. But Muskett has slowly gained the trust of the other side of the ball as well.
"Tony's done a great job," senior defensive end Chico Bennett Jr. said, "I think you need somebody who is able to command an offense, especially when times are easy to get rattled, but Tony has shown he has the composure."
The Cavaliers are also dealing with a new group of skill position players after seeing wide receivers Dontayvion Wicks and Keytaon Thompson depart for the NFL. Muskett sees the talent in what returns though with players like Malachi Fields and JR Wilson taking steps and Northwestern transfer Malik Washington coming in.
Fully comfortable in Virginia's offense, Muskett says his job is actually simple.
"Feel like a lot of people over complicate the position, it's really just we have good players on offense, so get your good players the ball in space and let them be the superstars," Muskett said, "I said that all spring, try to be the point guard and let your guys make you look good."