Demetrious Nicholson

On second thought, Virginia LB Max Valles turning pro

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A month ago Virginia linebacker Max Valles took to Twitter to shut down any rumors suggesting he had decided to forgo his final year at Virginia to enter the NFL Draft. Today, Valles is singing a different tune, and will indeed pass on the 2015 season to enter the NFL Draft.

“After talking it over with my family, I am officially declaring for the NFL Draft,” Valles said on Twitter.

The loss of Valles is another blow to the defensive depth for the Cavaliers in 2015. Valles was the team’s third-leading tackler among linebackers, with the top two — Daquan Romero and Henry Coley — each being seniors. Valles had 55 tackles in 2014, including a team-high eight sacks among his 12.5 tackles for a loss this past season. Virginia is set to lose five of their top six tacklers from the 2014 season.

Valles joins Eli Harold as the second Virgina underclassmen to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. The Cavaliers do hope to have some veteran leadership on defense next season after defensive back Demetrious Nicholson was awarded a sixth year of eligibility from the ACC this week.

Virginia defensive back Nicholson gets 6th year from ACC

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Virginia defensive back Demetrious Nicholson received some good news on the first Monday of 2015. The ACC has approved a medical hardship waiver request that will allow Nicholson to play a rare sixth year of football.

Nicholson was put on the shelf in 2013 due to a turf toe injury that just would not go away. The injury issues continued this season, once again bringing a premature end to the season for Nicholson. Virginia head coach Mike London announced in early October Nicholson would sit out the remainder of the season, with the hope a medical hardship waiver would be approved later on. That turned out to work out in Virginia’s and Nicholson’s favor on Monday.

Turf toe is a rough injury to kick, and players that need to be swift on their feet like a defensive back tend to have the hardest time getting back to full speed. After seeing two seasons brought to an abrupt end, here’s to hoping Nicholson can get back to 100 percent and put in a full season in 2015 before bringing an end to his collegiate career.