Former Virginia football players are settling in with their new ACC teams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — He attempted previously to recruit his buddy, but was unsuccessful the first time around.
So, when Boston College quarterback Emmett Morehead took another crack at luring offensive lineman Logan Taylor to Chestnut Hill, the signal-caller said he knew he wasn’t going to come up empty again.
Morehead and Taylor were teammates at Episcopal High School in Northern Virginia. The 6-foot-6 quarterback signed with BC as part its 2021 recruiting class while the 6-foot-7 tackle stayed in state and inked with Virginia the same year.
“I tried my hardest out of high school,” Morehead said Thursday at ACC Kickoff. “It was a huge effort from me and the BC staff. We really recruited him, but he had his heart set on UVa because it was his first offer.”
After a disappointing campaign last season, though, in which the Hoos finished 3-7, Taylor entered the transfer portal and became one of four Cavaliers to join a conference competitor in the ACC by departing for Boston College to reunite with Morehead. Others to leave were quarterback Brennan Armstrong to N.C. State, cornerback Fentrell Cypress II to Florida State and offensive lineman John Paul Flores to Louisville.
“When [Taylor] called me and said he was ready to leave,” Morehead explained, “I was like, ‘Well, we’re bringing back our offensive line coach [Matt Applebaum] that recruited you out of high school and you really liked him,’ so it felt like a really good fit.
“And it was the closest thing to Nova Scotia,” Morehead said with a laugh about the Canadian province Taylor hails from. “That was another big thing for him with him being able to have his family come to games.”
Morehead said Taylor is fitting in well, and Eagles coach Jeff Hafley said he expects Taylor to be in the mix for a starting job this fall as BC tries to upgrade its offensive line. Taylor started eight games at right tackle and twice at left tackle for UVa in 2022.
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“Love him,” Hafley said. “He has really changed and developed his body. Obviously, he has gotten a little older and has three years left. But he’s tough, tenacious, practices really hard, and is knowledgeable. He is going to have a chance to be a really, really good football player.”
Norvell is hoping get even more impact from Cypress, a second-team All-ACC selection last season in Charlottesville. Cypress flourished under Cavaliers defensive coordinator John Rudzinski and defensive backs coach Curome Cox, and after tallying 39 tackles and 14 pass breakups, Cypress was one of the most sought-after players in the transfer portal.
“He has been remarkable,” Norvell said. “Fentrell, from the first day he’s gotten here, it’s been about the work. Not just on the field, but building a relationship with his teammates, coming in and learning things that we do schematically.
“He’s just a wonderful young man, a wonderful representative of our program,” Norvell continued. “Going through spring practice, you just saw the way that he was able to transition, and every day he worked to get better, to be more confident in the calls, more confident in the communication. Really took some great steps as spring progressed.”
Cypress is likely to start in the secondary for the Seminoles.
“He has a chance to be a really special player in our defensive backfield,” Norvell said. “We’ve all got to see him and have seen him play in ACC contests and play at a very high level, and I think he’s about to take his game to a whole other level here in Tallahassee.”
While Cypress seeks to build on what he did a season ago, Armstrong, who was in attendance in the Queen City on Thursday, is trying to return to his 2021 form after throwing for only seven touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions last fall.
Armstrong said he’ll be allowed to play more free in Wolfpack and former Cavaliers offensive coordinator Robert Anae’s system this season. Two years ago, Armstrong threw for 4,449 yards and 31 touchdowns while working with Anae.
“From my standpoint, I like how [Armstrong] just came in and put his head down and went to work,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. “He proved himself and his competitive spirit.”

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