Sophomore Jowon Briggs expected to have big impact on UVA defensive line

Jowon Briggs made seven starts for the Cavaliers as a true freshman, and the former four-star prospect is expected to play a big role for the 'Hoos this season.

Sophomore Jowon Briggs expected to have big impact on UVA defensive line
Jowon Briggs notched his first career sack on the first play of the game at North Carolina in 2019 (Source: wvir)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team ranked fifth in the ACC in Total Defense last season.

They were Third in sacks, with 46.

That number was also tied for the sixth-most in the nation.

Eli Hanback led the defensive line with 4.5 sacks, and he also had 8.5 tackles for a loss.

But Hanback has graduated.

Sophomore Jowon Briggs is one of the players expected to fill his shoes at defensive tackle.

Briggs played in 13-games as a true freshman, making seven-starts.

He had 19 tackles, including three tackles for a loss, and one sack.

The former 4-star recruit is listed at 6-foot-1, 295-pounds, but that may no longer be accurate.

Co-Defensive Coordinator Kelly Poppinga says, “Holy smokes, this guy is looking ginormous.  He’s like 310 right now. On a video screen, he looks massive.  He fills that thing up.  The kid is very talented.  He’s very strong.  Very cerebral.  Very smart kid, and that game-experience as a true freshman, is very valuable going into this season.”

“He’s got a lot of potential,” says Hanback. “He’s very strong.  Very athletic, and he’s a real smart kid, too.  I think his upside, his ceiling, is very, very high.  I’m looking forward to see what he can do, because even as a true freshman he was manhandling some dudes, at practice, and in games.”

Virginia is scheduled to kickoff the season on September 7th against Georgia in Atlanta.

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