A third-string quarterback may never see the field. But the skill set of Virginia’s De’Vante Cross could put him in position for a few snaps per game.
“(Cross will have) a pretty specific and unique role to what he’s capable of doing,” Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall told Andrew Ramspacher of the Daily Progress.
Cross played on the scout team last season, helping to imitate offenses like Louisville’s and Oregon’s and quarterbacks like Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.
This year, as a redshirt freshman, he’s getting the chance to contribute. He currently stands as the team’s third-string quarterback and a backup wide receiver, but could potentially sub in on certain packages to give the Cavaliers’ offense a change of pace behind center, according to Ramspacher.
Ninety percent of Cross’ time during camp is being spent with the wide receivers while “dabbling 10 percent at quarterback.” That 10 percent, though, could give him a chance to get on the field on certain occasions.
During Cross’ senior year at Parkland High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he threw for over 2,900 yards and ran for nearly 1,400. 247Sports.com’s composite rankings slotted him as the No. 113 “athlete” in his recruiting class.
Before college, Cross had never played receiver, per Ramspacher.
“He’s a player who does a lot of good things with the ball in his hands,” wide receivers coach Marques Hagans said. “So we’re just finding different ways to get him the ball. And once he becomes that playmaker, we’re also finding different ways he can become a decoy and open things up for other people.”