When recruits talk about the vibes surrounding Virginia and Virginia Tech football under rising second-year coaches Tony Elliott and Brent Pry, they always allude to a new energy and excitement in Charlottesville and Blacksburg.
On Thursday afternoon in front of a couple hundred students, teachers and administrators at Thomas Dale High, the Cavaliers and Hokies joined JMU and Liberty in contention for Knights quarterback/athlete Ethan Minter.
Elliott’s Wahoos won out, as the dual-threat lefty in the Class of 2024 revealed navy blue Cavaliers garb to the tune of a roaring gym before lauding the belief in Charlottesville under Elliott.
Minter was first offered by former UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall before being re-offered by Elliott after the coaching change last year.
“Coach Elliott is obviously building something great, he knows how to win, won two national championships at Clemson,” Minter said.
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“He coaches by this motto, he likes to serve players’ hearts and not their talent. That’s definitely what I’m looking for in a coach. And obviously the academics of UVa, they’re getting brand new facilities in 2024. So everything is going to be there.”
Minter said he’s been envisioning his commitment announcement since he was a little kid joking around with friends. Prior to the announcement, he thanked God and all of his coaches and teammates.
Minter has a 4.7 GPA, and Knights coach Kevin Tucker said he has over the years become a leader not just on the football field, but in the Dale community as a whole.
“He leads by example,” Tucker said, adding that Minter also excels in basketball and track and field.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him. I want to thank all the coaches that have been by his side, working hard to help him achieve his dream. And his family sitting up there with him.”
A first-team All-Region 6A pick and dual-threat quarterback with standout mobility, decision making and arm strength, Minter completed 104 of 149 pass attempts for 1,703 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions while carrying 79 times for 790 yards and 11 TDs in 2022.
Also a strong punter, he averaged 40.2 yards per punt, with five falling inside the 20-yard line.
“UVa is built around relationships with people. I feel like I have great relationships with all those coaches,” Minter said, adding that since he was offered by Elliott in December, he’s felt like a priority recruit.
“Coach Elliott has done a great job of recruiting me, he’s definitely a coach I want to play for. ... I’m really happy to be a Cavalier.”
Minter listed off UVa’s quarterbacks coach Taylor Lamb, receiving coach Adam Mims and defensive backs coaches Curome Cox and John Rudzinski, saying he’d be excited to learn from and develop under any of them.
Minter said he’s not sure where he’ll play in Charlottesville, but he “just wants to play for coaches that want me there” and Elliott’s staff has made that clear to him, though he said they’re not yet sure either where he’ll be deployed.
He’s most comfortable at quarterback, which has always been his primary position. But he’s open to playing wherever the Cavaliers most need him.
Minter said staying in-state was important to him. Other schools entered his recruitment late in the game, but his mind was made up.
“It was big, to be close to home,” he said. “UVa was the right school for me. After multiple visits, I didn’t think I needed to wait anymore.”
Zach Joachim (804) 649-6555