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UVA reels in another talented Front 7 piece: 4-star OLB/DE Josh McCarron

It hasn’t taken long for Virginia — under Bronco Mendenhall — to develop a real culture on the defensive side of the ball. Bryce Hall, Juan Thornhill and Joey Blunt have emerged as play-makers in the secondary. Up front, Virginia has created one of the deepest front sevens in the ACC.

Jordan Mack and Eli Hanback leave the program, but Virginia still has Charles Snowden, Noah Taylor and Zane Zandier, among others.

Mendenhall and his staff continue to build the next generation, too. Virginia went to the West Coast to land the program’s newest hybrid linebacker: 4-star Josh McCarron.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound McCarron hails from Everett, Washington — less than 30 miles north of Seattle. 247 Sports ranks the rangy McCarron as a top 25 weak-side defensive end in the 2021 class.

McCarron picked Virginia over a host of offers, including several West Coast programs with a geography advantage: Boise State, Colorado, Utah and Washington State. A handful of Ivy League programs pursued McCarron, too: Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth.

McCarron projects out as multi-year starter; he should fit nicely into Mendenall and and coordinator Nick Howell’s defense.