CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS)-- Less than a month out from spring practice UVA football is getting a head start by welcoming in the majority of their 2024 recruiting class.

Despite ending the 2023 season with a 3-9 record, the depth provided by the new recruiting class, including ten transfers and seven incoming freshman already on campus, have instilled hope for Tony Elliott's third year.
 
 "You get a head start on bonding," said UVA head football coach Tony Elliott, "Also it is a challenge for us to make sure that we do a great job with the team, because we want the team to continue to be here through the spring through the next portal window into the summer. But it allows you to really start gelling and bonding as a team and then as we get into spring ball - we're going to be impacted by some injuries in spring ball because we got a lot of guys that had postseason surgeries - but it also is going to create an opportunity for the new guys and the younger guys to get a lot of reps. So I'm excited about having the bulk of the team here, but it really just gives us a head start in my opinion on becoming a team."
 
UVA lost five games by a combined 17 points last year. It's not just these newcomers goal to turn in a winning season, it is their belief that Virginia is on the verge of success. 
 

 

"The record definitely doesn't define this team," says UVA senior wide receiver Chris Tyree, "Even going back and watching the film - it's like two or three plays away in like six of those games. That can go from a 3-9 season to 9-3."
 
"It's so close it's just little things that need to be tightened up for us to be able to succeed on the field and you are going to see that this season," said senior offensive lineman Drake Metcalf, "Coach Smo has us working our butts off out there every single day, driving the prowlers up and down the field, running the hills at 6:45 in the morning." 
 
One of the standout transfers is Chris Tyree, a top-ranked wide receiver from Notre Dame and a Virginia native. Tyree's decision to join his home state team was one of the biggest victories on the recruiting trail. Additionally, UNC transfer Andre Green Jr., another Virginia native will join the wide receivers room. Up front in the trenches Virginia makes another crucial addition in Drake Metcalf. Metcalf had previously worked with Coach Heff at Stanford and will be key in rounding out a young O-line. On the defensive side, the Cavaliers have secured the services of Kendren Smith from the University of Pennsylvania and Corey Thomas, an defensive back from Akron. 
 
Virginia begins spring football practice March 19th.