Taulapapa Emerges As Front Runner In Crowded UVA Backfield

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UVA football is taking all the lessons learned from the spring and trying to figure out how to be as ready as possible for next season. Bronco Mendenhall’s squad looks to build off an eight-win campaign in 2018, which ended in a Belk Bowl victory.

And while the defense shined in Virginia’s final scrimmage of the spring, the offense had some highlights, led by a running back from Hawaii.

Rising sophomore Wayne Taulapapa impressed Mendenhall Saturday. So much so that the head coach says Taulapapa is the lead running back on the depth chart heading into camp this summer. 

Taulapapa missed spring ball last year because he was finishing a two-year religious mission in Nicaragua.

“Coming back from the mission it was a long process but because of the amazing strength and conditioning coaches and staff that we have,” Taulapapa said. “Obviously there’s a lot of things that I’ve got to work on strength wise. So that process is strill going on but we’ll get better as time goes on. As long as I continue to work hard, keep my head down as well as the other guys as long as we can continue to compete, we’ll all get better and push the limits.”

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