Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina, on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
Mike Caudill, AP
Bronco Mendenhall has been retired from coaching for over a year now, but his former players at Virginia continue to rate rather highly.
In fact, a pair of now former Virginia Cavaliers who played for Mendenhall are among the highest rated players to transfer during the recently closed transfer portal window, both overall and at their respective positions.
Quarterback Brennan Armstrong and cornerback Fentrell Cypress both transferred to ACC schools, Armstrong to NC State — where he will be reunited with former BYU and Virginia offensive coordinator Robert Anae — and Cypress to Florida State.
On3 Sports rates Armstrong as the fifth best commitment of the transfer window, behind only former Wake Forest (now Notre Dame) quarterback Sam Hartman, former Jackson State (now Colorado) cornerback Travis Hunter, former Indiana (now Oklahoma) edge rusher Dasan McCullough and former Syracuse (now Ohio State) safety Ja’Had Carter.
247 Sports doesn’t rate Armstrong quite as high, but does consider him one of the ten best quarterbacks to enter the portal this offseason, after he threw for 9034 yards and 58 touchdowns in five seasons with Virginia, during which time he became UVA’s all-time leader in numerous statistical categories, single game, single season and career.
A three-star prospect coming out of Shelby High School (Ohio) in 2018, per 247 Sports’ Composite rating, Armstrong was bumped up to four-star prospect as a transfer, the same as Hartman, former NC State quarterback Devin Leary (Kentucky), former Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders (Colorado) and former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (Oregon State), among others.
Cypress might actually be the better former Cavalier, however.
On3 Sports rates Cypress one spot behind Armstrong in its overall rating of transfers, while 247 Sports has Cypress No. 4 overall, well ahead of Armstrong (who slots in at No. 58).
Per 247 Sports, Cypress rates behind only Hunter (the No. 1 overall recruit in 2021), former Nebraska linebacker (Michigan) Ernest Hausmann and former Texas A&M cornerback (LSU) Denver Harris.
Cypress was a three-star cornerback prospect coming out of Northwestern High School (South Carolina) in 2018, but has since developed into one of the best defensive backs in the country.
He was the prized piece of Florida State’s haul of transfers, which includes seven four-star athletes, per 247 Sports.
In three years played at Virginia, Cypress recorded 58 tackles, 13 pass breakups, an interception and a sack, but he really broke out this past season when he had 39 tackles and all of his career pass deflections.