The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program has created an environment where area players want to return home if the opportunity arises.
Now, Javin Burke gets to join that list.
The former Bradley Central High School standout has made the decision to transfer from the University of Virginia to join the Mocs this fall, where he will make the move from defensive back to wide receiver and have four seasons of eligibility remaining. He will also be reunited with his twin brother Javon, who will also be a freshman receiver with the program. Javon redshirted last season, but did play in one game against East Tennessee State and had a long carry called back due to an offensive penalty on the play.
Javin was a three-star prospect and one of the top athletes in the area under head coach and former Moc Damon Floyd, where as a quarterback he had nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and 32 touchdowns for the Bears in 2019. He only played in one game in 2020 before an injury cost him the rest of the season.
The newest Burke addition becomes the program's 18th transfer to go along with 13 high school signees brought in between the December and February signing periods. Of those 18, 10 are coming from Power 5 programs, including Alabama transfer receiver Shatarius Williams, who didn't play but spent two seasons with the Crimson Tide. Six others come from Football Bowl Subdivision Group of Five programs, while the other two are from fellow Football Championship Subdivision schools.
The group comes to UTC sporting differing levels of experience at their previous stop. For instance, Burke didn't play at Virginia, but Preston Hutchinson started every game at quarterback in 2020 for Eastern Michigan and was productive.
Some players have just taken advantage of the opportunity to get closer to home. Former Virginia Tech defensive back Hunter Green is from Knoxville, while Bryce Goodner is from nearby Athens. In any case, some program's loss has been UTC's gain.
With the new NCAA rules that allow a one-time transfer exemption - meaning first-time transfers are immediately eligible regardless of whether they transfer down a level or to the same level - being able to stockpile talent from higher divisions is no longer a guarantee, making the Mocs' haul even more impressive.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3.
Name - Position - Previous school - Years remaining
Javin Burke - WR - Virginia transfer - Four
Nick Cerimele - OL - Elon - Two
Marquise Freeman - DL - Washington State - Three
Bryce Goodner - OL - Virginia Tech - Four
Hunter Green - DB - Virginia Tech - One
Chris Houston - ATH - Charlotte Three
Preston Hutchinson - QB - Eastern Michigan - One
O'Shea Jackson - DL - Old Dominion - Two
Shamar Jones - DL - Indiana - Two
Luke Lane - OL - Indiana - Three
Preston Lavant - LB - Pittsburgh - Four
Lucas Lavin - OL - Northern Colorado - Two
Dave Monnot III OL Purdue Three
Cardavion Myers - DB - Western Kentucky - Two
Tyree O'Neill - WR - Buffalo - One
Jaylen Rivers - LB - Northwestern One
Malone VanGorder - OL - Bowling Green - Three
Shatarius Williams - WR Alabama - Three