ACC programs stage QB raid
Future Hokies named preseason All-Americans
By Doug Doughty
The presence of young, franchise-type quarterbacks at Virginia Tech and Virginia has obscured the kind of search that has been conducted – successfully, it would appear – throughout the rest of the ACC.
Of the 14 quarterbacks named to SuperPrep’s preseason All-America team, six have committed to ACC programs, which is as many as all of the other conferences combined.
And, each of the two uncommitted quarterbacks on that list is considering at least one ACC program.
The No. 1 quarterback is E.J. Manuel, a 6-foot-5, 210-pounder from Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, who committed to Florida State in June.
Another Virginian, 6-6, 190-pound Mike Glennon from Westfield, is rated the No. 6 quarterback in the country. Glennon, whose older brother, Sean, starts at quarterback for Virginia Tech, committed to North Carolina State.
North Carolina landed SuperPrep’s eighth-rated quarterback, Braden Hanson (6-5, 190) from Charlotte (N.C.) Latin, and Clemson got the the No. 9 player on that list, 6-foot, 190-pound Kyle Parker from Jacksonville, Fla.
Also ACC-bound are 6-3, 175-pound Jacoby Harris from Northwestern High School in Miami and 6-foot, 180-pound Ted Stachitas from St. Augustine, Fla. Harris, who has committed to Miami, and Stachitas, who is headed to Wake Forest, are 11th and 14th among SuperPrep’s top quarterbacks.
Glennon had Tech and UVa on his list of finalists but thought that N.C. State provided a smoother accession to the No. 1 job. There are 2006 SuperPrep All-Americans at both Tech (Tyrod Taylor) and UVa (Peter Lalich).
Who’s to say that Virginia or Virginia Tech will even take a quarterback this year? Tech has taken 17 commitments and Virginia has taken 12, without a prospective quarterback in the bunch. Two of the Tech commitments come from players who played quarterback as juniors (Peter Rose and Xavier Boyce) but look for both to play another position in college.
THE FIRST PLAYER to commit to Virginia Tech for 2008, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) linebacker Bruce Taylor, was also one of two Hokies on SuperPrep’s preseason All-America team, along with in-state receiver Dyrell Roberts from Smithfield.
Taylor was rated the No. 8 linebacker in the country, as well as the No. 4 prospect in North Carolina. Roberts, who plays running back for Smithfield, was rated the 44th-best wide receiver in the country and the No. 8 player in Virginia.
The Hokies also have commitments from in-state players who are ranked 14th (Jake Johnson), 17th (Xavier Boyce), 19th (Tony Gregory), 20th (Derrick McCoy), 21st (Isaiah Hamlette), 24th (Rose), 26th (Allen Stephens), 27th (Jeron Gouveia), 28th (Austin Fuller), 29th (Lyndell Gibson) and 33rd (Eric Martin).
The only in-state player to commit to Virginia, Buddy Ruff, is 22nd. However, the Cavaliers have landed one of the top five players in Washington, D.C. (Cameron Johnson) as well as one of the top 12 in Maryland (Rodney McLeod).
Tech recruit Lorenzo Williams, a defensive back from Fayetteville, N.C., was rated the No. 23 prospect in that state and fellow future Hokie Cameron Demps was rated the No. 46 player in Georgia.
Stratford (Conn.) running back Torrey Mack, the only preseason SuperPrep All-American among Virginia’s recruits, is rated the No. 1 prospect in New England. Cavalier recruit Ausar Walcott is rated the No. 10 prospect in New Jersey (the top nine were All-Americans).
SuperPrep All-Americans from Virginia included Charlottesville offensive lineman Kyle Long, who has made an oral commitment to play baseball for Florida State.
CHARLOTTESVILLE PREP EDITOR and talk-show host Jerry Miller says that cornerback Mike Beckford, who reportedly has multiple Division I-A offers, will not return to Albemarle High School this season.
Beckford, a 6-foot, 175-pounder with 4.4-second speed for 40 yards, was a move-in from Florida prior to the 2006 season. He intercepted seven passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and also returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Miller says that changes in the NCAA eligibility wording have made it inadvisable for Beckford to return to Albemarle if he wants to sign with a Division I-A program. To meet his academic needs, Beckford would be better suited to attend a private school such as Blue Ridge, Fork Union and Hargrave.
Miller says that Beckford would not be eager to attend military school because his Rastafarian beliefs make him averse to cutting his hair.
Miller is probably unaware that one of the great all-time Rastafarians, Bob Marley, had a son, Rohan, who played college football at Miami.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED since the most interesting aspect of the ACC men’s basketball schedule was the respective teams’ non-conference opponents.
ACC expansion did away with a double round-robin schedule, so now there is an unbalanced schedule, providing the opportunity for some teams to have an easier conference schedule than others.
Teams that Virginia will play twice this season are Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Virginia Tech.
Teams that Tech will play twice are Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, UVa and Wake.
If you think that Duke will be tougher than Maryland, then Tech would have the easier conference schedule, but there are other considerations.
Tech must go to North Carolina, while Virginia has the Tar Heels at home. Tech also must visit its 2006-2007 nemesis, N.C. State, while the Cavaliers get the Wolfpack in Charlottesville.
As for the non-conference schedules, Virginia spokesman Rich Murray said Friday that UVa’s opponents in the Philly Classic will be Pennsylvania on Nov. 23. Depending on whether it is the winner or loser, UVa will get either Seton Hall or Navy in a second game.
Penn, which will be playing on its home floor at the Palestra, won its last 10 games of the regular season to capture the Ivy League championship and finished 22-9 after a first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Texas A&M.
In the Great Alaska Shootout, Tech opens play against Eastern Michigan in a field that includes Texas Tech, Gonzaga, Butler and Michigan. Eastern Michigan was 13-19 last year but Butler, Texas Tech and Gonzaga were all NCAA Tournament teams in 2006-2007, as were the Hokies.
The challenge for sports editors in Virginia is furnishing coverage of the Philly Classic and the Great Alaska Challenge, both scheduled for the weekend of the Virginia-Virginia Tech football game in Charlottesville.
Clark: playing the weighting game
High-speed metabolism seems likely to prevent a move to defensive end
Saturday, Aug 25, 2007 - 12:07 AM
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The more time that passes, the less likely it is that Aaron Clark will ever redshirt at the University of Virginia. Or play defensive end.
Clark, a graduate of Rockbridge County High, has been slotted at outside linebacker since he arrived at U.Va. in 2005. The 6-5 junior has yet to start for the Cavaliers -- he appeared in nine games in 2005 and eight in '06 -- and probably would benefit from a redshirt year, but his presence on the two-deep makes that unlikely.
Virginia coach Al Groh said yesterday that Clark, whose 10 career tackles all came in 2005, is the top backup to junior Clint Sintim at one outside linebacker spot. Sophomore Denzel Burrell backs up senior Jermaine Dias on the other side.
At U.Va.'s media day this month, Clark said a "redshirt would be an interesting situation, but at the same time I want to be on the field playing."
Clark weighed about 235 pounds as a freshman. From the start, Groh acknowledged the possibility that Clark might grow into a defensive end, but that's probably not going to happen.
"I'm one of those guys that's hard-pressed to put on weight," Clark said. "I can eat and lay around the couch and lose weight. So I have to actively eat five and six meals a day to keep my weight up."
To stay at linebacker, Clark was told, he needed to report this summer at no more than 253 pounds. When he weighed in, Clark recalled with a laugh, the scale showed 253 on the mark.
"That was my goal -- to stay at linebacker and play this season outside," he said. "That's what I'm going to be at, so I'm extremely excited about that."
-- Jeff White
Groh sees improvement in U.Va's offensive line
August 24, 2007
Much of the preseason buzz about Virginia's football team has been about the Cavaliers' experienced defense, which returns 10 starters. But U.Va. head coach Al Groh has also seen improvement in his offensive line.
Last season, Groh said members of the O-line were focusing too much on their individual jobs to play as a team. But this season, with four of five starters returning, is a different story.
"Each one of them was fighting their own battle," Groh said. "Only (then-sophomore center) Brandon (Albert) had really had significant minutes the previous year, and that was as a first year player ... They were just trying to concentrate on 'What the heck do I gotta do on this play and how do I do it?', much less taking care of the person next to them."
But so far, Groh said, he's heard much more conversation before the snap, and seen "more confidence and definitiveness in making calls." Last year, Groh said players were reluctant to identify a defensive scheme at the line of scrimmage and risk making a mistake.
Groh pointed out the newcomers, such as 6-5, 290-pound freshamn Lamar Milstead, a graduate of Ballou High School in Washington, D.C.
"He's got the kind of body type that we look for," Groh said. "He's tall, he's rangy. ... He had very good feet, which is obviously a prerequisite to playing in the offensive line."
Another potential OL contributor is freshman Andrew Devlin out of Mount Lebanon in Pittsburgh. Currently listed at tight end, the 6-foot-6, 255-pound Devlin could grow into a lineman.
"He's got plenty of size on him now to be a tight end," Groh said. "If he stayed right there, he certainly could be that. Not too many players come in here and stay the same for four years."
Virginia kicker Chris Gould went 11-of-19 last season on field goal attempts. Gould has tinkered with his technique in the offseason, changing his approach to three steps, and focused on improving his accuracy.
"Chris has had a good, positive camp," Groh said. "He went in and made some swing changes and some style changes and that certainly has helped him out."
Gould – the younger brother of Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould – faces a situation much more settled than the one at Wyoming, where the Cavs will open the 2007 season on Sept. 1.
Aric Goodman, last year's starting placekicker, quit the Cowboys after spring practice, reportedly because coach Joe Glenn wouldn't name him the starter. That left sophomore Jake Scott and senior Billy Vinnedge competing for the job, and the results have been mixed.
In the Cowboys' first scrimmage on Aug. 15, Scott made field goals of 47 and 23 yards, but missed both his extra point attempts. Vinnedge made a 51-yard field goal but missed a 38-yarder, though he made both his PATs. In the Cowboys' second scrimmage on Wednesday, Scott was 3-for-3 on PATs and Vinnedge 2-for-2, but Scott went 2-for-3 on field goal attempts – missing from 36 yards – and Vinnedge was 1-of-2, missing from 47.
UPS AND DOWNS
Junior wide receiver Maurice Covington has continued to impress U.Va. coaches in camp. With Kevin Ogletree out with a knee injury, Covington is the Cavs' leading returning wide receiver.
"I know the offensive coaches have been very positive on, not just a day-to-day but a play-to-play basis, on what Maurice has done," Groh said, citing Covington's increased maturity. "... He's just in every respect turning into a better player."
The same apparently can't be said for sophomore safety Brandon Woods, who, like Covington, is out of Southern Durham (N.C.) High.
"He's still plagued with so many inconsistencies that have marked his play to this point," Groh said.
Virginia's men's basketball team has offered a scholarship to Ryan Kelly, a junior at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh. Rivals.com lists U.Va., Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Davidson, James Madison, William and Mary and Vermont as schools who have made offers to Kelly, a 6-foot-9, 190-pounder who averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game last year.
Kelly, who has visited hometown N.C. State, visits Charlottesville this weekend.
Virginia punter peaked against Tech
Lynchburg News & Advance
August 25, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE - Punter Ryan Weigand's best game last year was the season finale, when he averaged 45 yards on six punts at Virginia Tech, including a 58-yarder.
The senior hopes it's a sign of things to come this season.
Weigand will handle the Cavaliers' long punting again this year, with place-kicker Chris Gould handling punts from within the 50-yard line.
It took Weigand, a transfer from Pasadena City College in 2005, until the middle of October last season to take the punting job away from Gould, who had done all of Virginia's kicking to that point.
Weigand had his ups and downs. Against North Carolina, he averaged 43.2 yards on five punts. At Florida State, his five punts didn't average over 40.
His biggest problem was consistency. The ball never seemed to come off his foot the same way twice in a row.
"I was nervous. I'm not going to lie," Weigand said. "I had some jitters. But I feel the more and more games I played, the more consistent I became."
Head coach Al Groh hopes so. Weigand's 42.4-yard average was the best of any punter in his six years at UVa.
"(This preseason), his best kicks have been better than his best kicks in the past," Groh said. "It's been encouraging, but there's still some inconsistency there."
Weigand has a pair of goals this year. First, kick everything on a straight line. And second, add another two-tenths of a second of hang time to his kicks, since none of his 24 punts last year resulted in a fair catch.
Groh has made some last-minute tweaking to the depth chart in each of the last two seasons. In 2005, Brian Barthelmes moved to center after working most of practice at guard. Last year, Will Barker jumped Eddie Pinigis for the starting right tackle spot in the final week of the preseason.
Don't expect many changes when Virginia releases its depth chart before the Wyoming game on Sept. 1.
"There might be one that's slipping my mind," Groh said. "But just looking at the roster, that was pretty much decided by Monday night so that when we came back into this phase, we were working with the players who were principally going to play the game."
As part of his philosophy, Groh doesn't talk about injuries. He's outlawed something similar this week.
"We've put an altitude ban on things," Groh said.
Laramie, the site of the Cavaliers' season opener against Wyoming, is 7,165 feet above sea level, where the air is thinner and it is tougher for players not used to the altitude to catch their breaths. Charlottesville, by comparison, has an elevation of 594 feet.
"It is what it is," Groh said, uttering one of his preferred phrases. "They're playing in the same altitude."
Several players have taken reps at additional positions in the latter half of camp to give UVa some options.
Safety Jamaal Jackson has worked at receiver. Right guard Ian-Yates Cunningham has worked at center, a position he's played in the past. And defensive end Alex Field has worked at offensive tackle.
- Andy Bitter
Practice makes Peer-fect
Peerman has solidified himself as Virginia's starting tailback
By Jay Jenkins / email@example.com | 978-7250
August 25, 2007
Al Groh would not be opposed to playing a preseason football game.
Virginia's football coach would probably even settle for a closed practice with an opposing team during training camp.
That is not a reality.
Thanks to the NCAA, college football programs are forced to get creative, simulating game situations in glorified intrasquad scrimmages.
That, of course, can still be beneficial.
On a daily basis, offensive coordinator Mike Groh battles defensive coordinator Mike London - and vice versa.
"[Facing our defense] certainly does prepare you for anything that you might see over the course of a 12-, 14-game season," Mike Groh said. "We feel like it is good preparation rather than just a defense that sits there and plays one or two defenses and only has one or two different kind of pressures.
"We are excited about how quickly we have been able to progress and the advanced level of the preparation that we are getting."
Surprisingly, especially considering the drastic differences in production last year, Virginia's defense is gaining just as much from facing their offensive counterparts.
"You look back there and you see No. 10 (quarterback Jameel Sewell) and you know he is a threat to throw and to run, and that makes you really have to concentrate on covering all your bases," London said. "He is not a one-dimensional guy, and I would imagine other teams that are preparing for him have to take that into account.
"And then you have a guy like [tight end] Tom Santi that is very versatile and can do a lot of things. They have to account for him."
Virginia's offense also boasts a stable of running backs, led by No. 37.
"Cedric Peerman has had a great camp thus far," London proclaimed. "He looks like he is really going to be good."
After two weeks of training camp, Peerman has thoroughly impressed his teammates on the opposite side of the ball.
"This is the best that I have ever seen Cedric look," said defensive end Chris Long. "He has a real purpose."
Peerman, a junior, has 390 career yards, but only 153 of that came last year as former tailback Jason Snelling handled about 73 percent of the team's carries.
Mike Groh said Peerman appears "really confident," which should help as the pressure mounts with highly touted redshirt freshman Keith Payne, junior Andrew Pearman and others looming over his shoulder.
"It's the Cedric Peerman that scored 110 touchdowns or whatever it was in high school," Mike Groh said. "We are excited to have him as our every down-in and down-out back, and try to bring these guys along as quickly as we can that are behind him."
Peerman longs to showcase his talents against Wyoming on Sept. 1.
"I want to be a leader on this team," Peerman said. "I want to be the guy whose number is called on third-and-1."
Al Groh just wants Peerman to be Peerman.
"We're looking forward to giving [the ball] to him quite a bit,' the head coach said. "He's running instinctively. He's running in his own way, he's not trying to be anyone else other than Cedric Peerman.
"We've tried to assure him that a good Cedric Peerman is all we need."
Jackson striking gold as fullback
By Whitelaw Reid / firstname.lastname@example.org | 978-7250
August 25, 2007
If Rashawn Jackson had been around in the late 1840s during the California Gold Rush, there may have been just a few folks interested in his teeth. Make that a lot of folks.
Jackson's mouth, you see, is filled with gold.
The Virginia fullback has removable gold teeth caps - also known as "grillz" - that have been made popular by the rapper Nelly.
Jackson has his initials and uniform number engraved in his caps.
"It impairs my speech a little bit," said Jackson, laughing, "but I'm trying to work with it."
If Jackson can adapt to his teeth the way he has to his new position, he could be busting rhymes like Nelly in no time.
By all accounts, Jackson, who played inside linebacker last season, has made a seamless transition to fullback.
"I think it's been a pretty natural change for him," said Virginia tight end Tom Santi. "I think he might even be more comfortable on the offensive side of the ball.
"I'm excited to have him over on our side. Now we have a set fullback. When we want two backs in the backfield, now we know who to put back there. It's great to have him."
Jackson, a redshirt sophomore from Jersey City, N.J., played fullback in high school. That was also the position he played during his freshman season at UVa. Those experiences have apparently made his adjustment easier.
However, Jackson says it doesn't matter where you line him up.
"We feel as though every part of the game - whether it's offense or defense - it's physical," Jackson said. "I feel as though if I approach the game with a physical aspect, we'll be leaving with a win."
Jackson says he didn't hesitate for a second when the idea of a position change was broached.
"Anything that's going to help us win, we need to do it," he said. "The ACC Championship is our goal. If that's gonna help ?"
Last season, Jackson appeared in all 12 games. His biggest contributions came on special teams.
This season, Jackson believes he can have a much bigger impact.
"I feel as though I can run, catch the ball out of the backfield and definitely block," Jackson said. "Blocking for Ced Peerman is fun because he's one of the hardest workers on the team. That's an exciting thing for me to see him do well."
Virginia coach Al Groh is planning on giving some carries to Jackson, but he seems most intrigued about Jackson's receiving skills.
"Rashawn has pretty good hands," Groh said. "He's a natural catcher. He handles the ball well.
"Having the opportunity in the gym to see him play some basketball in recruiting him, his ball skills there were very impressive. It has held up since he has been here."
At 6-foot-1 and 254 pounds, Groh says Jackson is more of a natural fullback than former UVa player Jason Snelling, who is now a tailback with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jackson's charge this year will be to help pick up some of the slack for Snelling, the team's leading rusher a year ago.
Truth be told, Jackson confesses to liking the offensive side of the ball a little better.
"I like 'O,'" he said, sporting a gigantic gold smile. "It's fun. It's always fun to score touchdowns and 67,000 people are going crazy. When I get the ball, all I'm thinking about is scoring, because that's gonna help the team. At the end, whoever has the most points wins.
"I have high expectations. I feel as though our team is going to do a lot this year. I can't wait."
UVA FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Running Backs
By Jay Jenkins / email@example.com
August 25, 2007
It was not the type of recognition that Virginia wanted.
Yet when the season ended last year, the Cavaliers finished dead last in comparing the longest run from scrimmage by ACC teams.
Even Duke and Florida State, which finished behind Virginia in the league ranking in rushing offense, boasted longer runs from scrimmage.
Virginia's longest was a 36-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jameel Sewell against Maryland, which helped adequately explain the struggles the running game endured.
"Explosive plays are a big part of scoring," said Virginia coach Al Groh. "The methodical 16-play, 4-yard-per-play drive is pretty hard to put together often enough to score a lot of points."
* Despite missing one game, Jason Snelling easily led the team in rushing last year with 772 yards.
The converted fullback ended his career by finishing fifth in the ACC in rushing yardage per game (70.2).
Snelling, while quiet in nature, was a team leader and a positive role model for Virginia's younger tailbacks.
"We have a very strong affection here for Jason Snelling," Groh said. "His versatility was very valuable to us here. He was a fullback, he was a tailback, he was a kick-cover man, he was a punt-rush guy and all the time it was just all about his team winning.
"He's our kind of guy."
Snelling made the most of his time in Virginia, despite battling epilepsy, a condition that he did not discuss publicly until his fifth year.
"Jason really showed great resilience and staying power under his circumstance," Groh added. "Jason certainly will be a person to tell you that he really received a lot of support and encouragement and caring from his teammates as he went through those circumstances."
For his career, Snelling finished with 1,324 yards rushing and 84 receptions.
* One of the fastest running backs in program history, Michael Johnson never lived up to the hype.
Injuries and fumbles kept the tailback from ever landing a secure position as a ball carrier.
Last year, Johnson managed only seven carries for six yards.
* Cain Ringstaff, one of the best names on last year's roster, played sparingly on special teams as a redshirt freshman. The fullback elected to transfer to Emory & Henry.
Since 1985, Virginia has had the leading rusher in the ACC seven times.
The last time the Cavaliers held that honor, however, came in 2000 when Antwoine Womack rushed for 1,028 yards.
It seems unlikely that the trend will change this season given the slew of talented tailbacks in the ACC, but improvements are expected with veterans back on the offensive line.
With little debate, Groh announced that Cedric Peerman would start the opening game in the backfield.
A lengthy cast of characters are waiting in the wings should Peerman struggle. When and if that occurs remains a mystery.
"That's up to them, to build our confidence by their performance," Groh said. "Clearly, we have more confidence in Cedric. That's why he is the first-team back.
"Staff-wise, we have the highest level of confidence in Ced because this is the highest level he's performed at. It's a challenge to the others to raise the bar on their game."
* After a solid rookie campaign in 2005, it appeared as if Peerman would play a big role as a sophomore.
That was the case, but that impact was seen mainly on special teams as a kick returner.
Many feared that Peerman would transfer to Liberty, but his patience paid off and he is expected to handle a bulk of the carries in the season opener.
"My motto is just to work hard and I take that approach every day," Peerman said. "I just have to stay focused and improve during each practice."
* If the message board reports are accurate, Keith Payne's sweat can cure cancer.
Before ever taking a handoff in a college game, Payne was cast as the savior of Virginia's offensive woes.
Payne, however, was knocked from his pedestal this summer when Groh announ-ced a team-imposed suspension.
The move kept Payne off the practice field for much of the first week of training camp, but reached its objective.
"I think he gained a lot more than what he missed," Groh said. "That was certainly the purpose behind what we did this summer."
Payne has quickly raced up the depth chart since his return.
"Keith has been making good progress here on a daily basis," Groh said last week. "Those things that aren't perfect yet are probably more of a result of being a first-year player than they are of having missed any time."
Payne, who has been compared in size to New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, is expected to play at around 234 pounds.
* To help with his transition back into the program, Andrew Pearman was shifted from wide receiver to tailback.
It was at running back that Pearman enjoyed great success in high school.
"I think just getting him back to his natural position at running back, you can see some of the things that he can add to the offense and really free his mind to just go out and play," said offensive coordinator Mike Groh. "Hopefully, we will find some good things to do and he'll make some plays, and also as a returner in terms of gaining some field position for us."
Pearman, who originally attended Hawaii, left UVa last season after playing in four games.
While he has the foundation to play wide receiver, Al Groh has made it known that he likes the way Pearman runs the football.
"He's a good runner," the head coach said. "He's got a good sense of the track of the play. He sees openings very well.
"He is fearless and he has got very good speed."
* Mikell Simpson, considered an X-factor, logged 13 carries last year for 56 yards.
In an effort to maximize his potential, Simpson, a third-year sophomore, has spent the past few months learning how to play in the slot. And with a crowded backfield, that should help get Simpson on the field.
"Well, with Payne and Peerman and Pearman working there it is hard -- we have to have a plan each day for where [Simpson] gets his work," Al Groh said. "Some days he gets a lot of stuff when he is out of the backfield. Sometimes he gets more when he is in the backfield.
"We are trying to keep him well-versed in all the different things because his versatility is one of his talents."
* After experimenting with Rashawn Jackson at linebacker last year on the scout team, the consensus decision of the coaching staff landed the bruiser at fullback.
With Snelling-like hands, Virginia can use Jackson as a pass-catching option out of the backfield. He may also get his share of carries, a scary thought for a defender.
* Fullback Josh Zidenberg, who did not touch the ball last year on offense, is expected to make his greatest impact on special teams.
The former walk-on is invaluable to the team.
Virginia landed its top target at tailback for the Class of 2008 in June.
Torrey Mack, a four-star recruit from Connecticut, helps give the Cavaliers some long-term stability.
* After enjoying a solid spring, running back Raynard Horne has been pushed down the depth chart.
The redshirt freshman remains an intriguing prospect and may see time as a kickoff returner, but it appears that he may be the odd man out this season.
* As Al Groh put it, William Webb has played in some "big games."
The true freshman, while small in stature at 5-foot-9 and 171 pounds, was an accomplished quarterback as a senior at Highland Park High in Dallas.
Al Groh raved about Webb's speed. Expect a redshirt season.
* Max Milien, the 11th-best recruit from Virginia last year, Hall Simmons and fullback Curt Orshoski are expected to make their biggest impacts on the scout team.
Milien has the biggest upside.