So Monday afternoon, Mike London released his two deep after completing the spring practices. While there were not a lot of surprises, it does set up a lot of interesting situations when the team reconvenes in August. Here is what we take away from it
- Let’s start at the top as both Ross Metheny and Michael Rocco are listed as Co-#1 quarterbacks. We still believe that if the season started today, Rocco would get the ball, but he needs to separate himself from the rest of the pack very early in the fall or you could see two quarterbacks going into the season. While that was fine last year working in scrub time, the old adage of “two QB means you have no QB” will hold true all season. Also, look for Watford to redshirt if he can’t break into that 1 or 2 slot, which now looks like the way to go.
- Kris Burd and Tim Smith are listed as the starters at WR, both of whom didn’t fully practice in the fall. And while Snyder and B. Smith are listed as backups, there is PLENTY of room for 1 or 2 of the incoming 1st years to jump on that list. They all bring speed and elusiveness that was lacking last year.
- The O-line was shaken up a little, but it is still a very strong 2-deep. The new name on the list is the backup center John Maghamez, a 3rd year from Ashburn, who walked on and redshirted in 2008 but was injured last year. Good to see a new name stepping up in the off-season.
- It is interesting to see all 3 tight ends co-co-#1s: Phillips, Freedman, and Mathis. All can catch the ball, but their play in blocking schemes will see who earns the most playing time.
- You have to like the front 4 a lot more than last year, including the additions of Snyder and Urban to the 2 deep. Both are 2nd years in a very senior lead line. This will allow some of the very good linemen the Hoos picked up this year to develop into this scheme, even let them redshirt.
- While the #1 linebackers were pretty much known going into the spring, the 2nd line is whats going to help the Hoos big time this year. Tucker Windle had some great practices this year so far at Sam. Redshirt Freshman Henry Coley from The Beach will back up Greer in the middle. Coley was 1st team All-State in 2009 and looks to continue his dominance in college. And our favorite and only true 1st year on the chart, Daquan Romero will back up Reynolds in the Will Linebacker spot. Look for him to make a big impact this year.
- Can’t wait for the 1st years to report to practice, and no other group needs them more than the secondary. While the first team is set with Minnifield, McLeod, Mosley, and 2nd year Rijo Walker, the second team is where some players can work their way in. Dom Joseph has been hit or miss throughout his UVa career (which is why he was passed in the spring) and redshirt 1st year Drequan Hoskey out of Richmond will back up Minnifield. Look for the newbies to push these guys early on.
- How do you replace the best long-snapper in the nation? By recruiting and redshirting one of the best long-snappers in the nation out of high school. Look for no drop off in quality with Matt Fortin this year. All the other kickers on special teams are the same, with Randolph kicking the short and mid attempts and Hinkebein getting the longer attempts.
Our overall take is that the front 7 of the defense will be much better this year, it will come down to how the offense is going to move the ball down the field. The games they can stay on the field and allow the D to rest a little will be the games that we will compete in. If not, it will be “Rebuilding Year: The Sequel.”