Jelani Woods ready to fill big shoes at tight end for UVA

Jelani Woods is a 6-foot-7 tight end who transferred from Oklahoma State.
Jelani Woods is a 6-foot-7 tight end who transferred from Oklahoma State.(UVA Athletics)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 11:49 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team found success at the tight end position last season, with 6-foot-7, 265-pound Tony Poljan transferring into the program.

Poljan is now playing in the NFL, but the Cavaliers have another transfer tight end: Jelani Woods.

He is also 6-foot-7 and 265-pounds, but when it came to selecting a jersey, Woods had a different number in mind.

“This coming year, I wanted to make a statement that nobody could stop me,” says Woods, “so that’s why I picked Zero, pretty much.”

Jelani Woods will have big shoes to fill in 2021.

Tony Poljan was second on the team with 38 receptions last season, and he had 411-yards receiving.

Poljan led the team with six touchdown receptions, with is the 8th-most all-time for a tight end in a Career at UVA, and Poljan only played one season with the ‘Hoos.

Woods says he is excited to continue the production from the tight end position.

“The pressure on your shoulders, it feels great,” says Woods. “The attention you can bring, will also allow others in the offense to shine, as well, because it takes the spotlight off of them, which potentially makes them more open in the offense, and gives them a better chance to shine, as well.”

Woods was a two-time All-Big 12 honorable mention honoree at Oklahoma State, and he’s on the Mackey Award Watch List this season.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae says Woods fit in right away with his competitiveness.

“He already made a mark,” says Anae. He is part of the leadership on this team. The University of Virginia, and our fanbase, should be very excited.”

Woods says, “I just wanted to show them that I am all in, from Day One, and I can work as much as possible, to gain their respect, gain their trust, and then show that I’m with them, I’m a brother as well, even though I transferred.”

Virginia is scheduled to open the season on September 4th at home against William & Mary.

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