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Nick Grant

Cse

The Virginia football team is coming off its first eight-win season since 2011 and a dominant performance in the Belk Bowl against South Carolina. Add to that the Cavaliers’ highest-rated recruiting class since 2014 and it’s easy to see how expectations in Charlottesville are at a level unmatched by any UVa football team in the past decade.

When Virginia finished 2-10 in Bronco Mendenhall's first season on Grounds, doubt began to permeate the locker room. Some players transferred. Rumors swirled around others. Grant remembers speculation about his future in his hometown paper, but he never wavered thanks, in part, to a saying his high school coach, JC Hall, ended every practice with: No excuses, be coachable and play with a passion.

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