Top 10 D1 Football Colleges in Virginia in 2024

Are you ready to dive into the thrilling world of D1 football colleges in Virginia? Whether you’re a passionate sports enthusiast or just curious about the powerhouse football programs in the Old Dominion State, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top-notch Division One football colleges that call Virginia home, shedding light on their remarkable achievements and contributions to the world of college football.

In the heart of Virginia, you’ll find an impressive lineup of D1 football colleges that have left an indelible mark on the sport. From championship victories to producing star players who later shine in the NFL, these institutions have a rich history that’s worth exploring. So, if you’re eager to uncover the secrets behind Virginia’s football legacy, keep reading.

But what sets these D1 football colleges apart from the rest? Who are the standout players and coaches that have shaped their success over the years? To answer these questions and more, let’s kick off our journey through the dynamic world of Division One football colleges in Virginia, where the gridiron action never stops.

Read Also: 10 Best Football Colleges in Georgia

Unveiling Virginia’s D1 Football Scene

Before we dive into the top D1 football colleges in Virginia, let’s paint a vivid picture of what makes this state a football powerhouse.

What Makes Virginia Special?

Virginia, often hailed as the “Mother of Presidents,” is also a proud mother of football talent. This beautiful state, known for its historic landmarks and stunning landscapes, has a rich football tradition. From Friday night lights to the grand stadiums of D1 colleges, football permeates the culture here.

Did you know? Virginia is home to the famous “Hokies” of Virginia Tech, one of the most recognized D1 football teams in the nation.

The Essence of D1 Football

D1, short for Division 1, represents the highest level of collegiate football competition in the United States. It’s the place where dreams are forged into reality, and where future NFL stars are born. To play at the D1 level is to dance with the best of the best.

But what does it take to succeed in D1 football?

Key Ingredients for D1 Success

  1. Raw Talent: The foundation of any D1 football career is natural talent. Exceptional speed, strength, agility, and football IQ are prerequisites.
  2. Hard Work: The dedication to refine and hone your skills cannot be overstated. Countless hours on the practice field and in the weight room are non-negotiable.
  3. Academic Excellence: D1 football universities in Virginia take academics seriously. Maintaining good grades opens doors to scholarships and opportunities.
  4. Resilience: The road to D1 football is fraught with challenges. How you handle setbacks can make or break your journey.
  5. Coaching: The guidance of experienced coaches is invaluable. They can shape you into a formidable player.

Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s unveil the top 10 D1 football schools in Virginia. These institutions have a reputation for nurturing football excellence while fostering academic growth.

Read Also: 10 Best Football Colleges in Colorado

The Top 10 D1 Football Colleges in Virginia

1. The University of VirginiaHome of the Cavaliers

Location: Charlottesville, VA | Founded: 1819

The University of Virginia, also known as UVA, is a powerhouse in the world of D1 football. With a rich history dating back to the 19th century, the Cavaliers have consistently demonstrated their prowess on the field. Notable football achievements include numerous conference titles and bowl game victories.

Academic Excellence: UVA is renowned for its academic programs, making it an ideal choice for student-athletes seeking a well-rounded education.

2. Virginia Tech University – Where Hokies Soar

Location: Blacksburg, VA | Founded: 1872

Virginia Tech, often affectionately referred to as “Tech” or the “Hokies,” is synonymous with D1 football excellence. The Hokies have left an indelible mark on the sport, with memorable wins and a dedicated fan base.

Fun Fact: The Hokies’ entrance onto the field, known as “Enter Sandman,” is one of college football’s most electrifying traditions.

3. Old Dominion UniversityThe Monarchs Rise

Location: Norfolk, VA | Founded: 1930

Old Dominion University (ODU) is a rising star in the world of D1 football. The Monarchs have rapidly gained recognition for their competitive spirit and determination on the field.

Opportunity Awaits: ODU offers aspiring athletes a chance to be part of an evolving football program with tremendous growth potential.

Read Also: 10 Best Football Colleges in South Carolina

4. Liberty UniversityThe Flames Burn Bright

Location: Lynchburg, VA | Founded: 1971

Liberty University has emerged as a formidable force in D1 football. The Flames have quickly ascended the ranks and are known for their explosive offense.

Did You Know? Liberty University’s stadium, Williams Stadium, boasts one of the most scenic views in college football, nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

5. The University of RichmondSpiders in Action

Location: Richmond, VA | Founded: 1830

The University of Richmond, known as UR or Richmond, has a storied football tradition. The Spiders have captured national championships and produced NFL talent.

Balancing Act: Richmond emphasizes the importance of balancing academic commitments with football pursuits, nurturing both the mind and body.

6. The College of William & MaryThe Tribe’s Legacy

Location: Williamsburg, VA | Founded: 1693

The College of William & Mary, often referred to simply as William & Mary, is a historic institution with a football legacy that dates back to the late 19th century.

Unique Fact: William & Mary claims to have played the first intercollegiate football game in the South in 1888.

7. Hampton UniversityThe Panthers Roar

Location: Norfolk, VA | Founded: 1960

Hampton University, located in the heart of Hampton Roads, has a proud tradition of producing NFL talent and competing at a high level in D1 football.

Path to the Pros: Hampton’s football program has a history of helping players transition to the professional ranks.

8. Duke UniversityBlue Devils in Action

Location: Durham, NC (bordering Virginia) | Founded: 1838

Duke University, while primarily located in North Carolina, is a neighboring option for Virginians. The Blue Devils are a force to be reckoned with in D1 football.

Interesting Fact: Duke is known for its beautiful Wallace Wade Stadium, offering an exceptional game day experience.

Also Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in North Carolina

9. Norfolk State UniversityPirates Set Sail

Location: Norfolk, VA | Founded: 1935

Norfolk State University, a key player in Virginia’s football landscape, provides opportunities for student-athletes to excel both on and off the field.

Community Engagement: Norfolk State is deeply involved in community outreach programs, fostering a sense of responsibility among its athletes.

10. Bridgewater CollegeThe Eagles Soar

Location: Bridgewater, VA | Founded: 1880

Bridgewater College, nestled in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley, offers a small-college experience with a strong commitment to D1 football.

Family Atmosphere: Bridgewater prides itself on the close-knit community it provides, creating a supportive environment for athletes.

How to Choose the Right D1 College in Virginia

Now that you’re acquainted with the top D1 football colleges in Virginia, it’s time to address the crucial question: How do you choose the right one?

Factors to Consider

  1. Academic Fit: Does the college offer the academic programs you’re interested in? Remember, your education is essential.
  2. Football Program: Assess the football program’s track record, coaching staff, and style of play. Does it align with your goals and strengths as a player?
  3. Location and Campus Life: Consider the location of the college and whether you feel comfortable in its surroundings. Campus life, including housing, social opportunities, and extracurricular activities, plays a significant role in your experience.
  4. Scholarships and Financial Aid: Investigate the availability of scholarships and financial aid. College can be expensive, so explore all possible avenues for financial assistance.

Also Read: Top 10 D1 Football Colleges in New York City

Tips for Aspiring D1 Football Players

  1. Balancing Act: Maintaining a balance between academics and athletics is paramount. Remember that the “student” in “student-athlete” holds equal weight.
  2. Recruitment Process: Understand the recruitment process, and be proactive in reaching out to college coaches. Highlight your skills and achievements through a well-structured athletic resume.
  3. Campus Visits: Whenever possible, visit the campuses of your prospective colleges. It’s essential to get a feel for the environment and interact with current players and coaches.
  4. Stay Informed: Stay up-to-date with NCAA regulations and requirements. Compliance is crucial to your eligibility.


In the vibrant realm of Division One football colleges in Virginia, dreams take shape, and futures are forged. Each of the top 10 colleges offers a unique blend of football excellence and academic opportunities.

As you embark on your journey, remember that success requires dedication, resilience, and a commitment to both your athletic and academic pursuits. Choose wisely, work tirelessly, and one day, you may see your name in lights on the hallowed football fields of Virginia.

Explore your options, chase your dreams, and remember that the pursuit of greatness knows no bounds.

Division One Football Colleges in Virginia in 2024 FAQs

1. Can I play D1 football in Virginia and still excel academically?

Absolutely! D1 football colleges in Virginia prioritize academics alongside athletics. With dedication and time management, you can thrive both on the field and in the classroom.

2. How can I get noticed by D1 football college recruiters?

Create a standout athletic resume, attend showcases and camps, and reach out to college coaches. Demonstrating your skills and commitment can capture their attention.

3. Are there scholarship opportunities for D1 football players in Virginia?

Yes, many D1 colleges in Virginia offer athletic scholarships for football players. Explore scholarship options and financial aid to ease the financial burden of college.

4. Is there a specific GPA or academic requirement to play D1 football in Virginia?

The NCAA has eligibility requirements, including a minimum GPA and standardized test scores. It’s essential to meet these standards to play D1 football.

5. What makes the game day experience at these colleges special?

Each college offers a unique game day atmosphere, with traditions, fan engagement, and facilities that make attending football games an unforgettable experience. Be sure to visit campuses during game days to feel the excitement firsthand.

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