At least you can’t say he won’t go down without a fight. Virginia, in a very pivotal season for both Mike London and Jon Oliver, posted the Post-Spring Depth Chart for the 2014 season. And while we are still a long way from the opener against UCLA in late August, the philosophy of the team this year is very evident, especially on offense. Here are a few notes to take away from the Monday release.
- The King Is Dead, Long Live The King. It was a hint at the beginning of the Spring Game, a strong suggestion by halftime, and confirmed this week, that 2nd-year Greyson Lambert has won the quarterback competition against the incumbent David Watford and Co. It seems like so long ago I saw him put on an aerial show at CNU spring tour 2 years ago. Now he gets his chance. The arm and deep touch is there, but the intermediate and short passing with quick reads will be what Lambert will be honing in on this summer. He’ll also have 5 of the first 6 at home, with 3 very winnable games in that group to get rolling, but it will depend on keeping that cannon aimed at his target.
- Getting It. The next most noticeable change is the way the offense is presented. It almost looks like Virginia is going to favor a one back system. With a young, rebuilt offensive line and less and less tight ends by the day, Hoos need to get as many WRs on the field as once, while keeping Parks and Mizzell as an integral part of the offensive scheme. It’s not full scale spread like Groh did in his final season, but it is a big enough change from last season.
- Youth Served. The best players in the spring were rewarded with the top line entering Fall practice. And, again, while this is not set in stone, it is reflect on who was playing strong at the end of last year and the Spring. Included on that list were WRs Keeon Johnson, Kyle Dockins, Andre Levrone, and Miles Gooch over Jennings and Terrell and C Eric Telow at the top of the chart over Cody Wallace.
- Grab The Popcorn. There is not much that the Hoos can really write home about this year, but at least the defense will be interesting. Players have been moved around all Spring and it looks like it’s more like getting the best 11 players on the field at the same time. Kwontie Moore is now Mike Moore’s backup at SDE vs. MLB and Valles is now entrenched as starting Sam Linebacker. Even rookie Andrew Brown got a starting ‘OR’ even though he missed most of the spring with an injury.
- TBA. There are a few players missing from this list, as is customary with students that are not yet enrolled. Who will be on the Fall 2-deep? For sure Quinn Blanding, who could slot right behind Harris and play nickel packages easily. After that, it’s a toss up. Sure names like Kamara, Farrar, and Jackson could come into play, but we’ll see how everything sorts out.