Tuesday, December 30, 2008

back in action

Back from Christmas semi-hiatus and time to get rolling again. Hope Santa brought you everything on your list. Unless you're William Clay Ford, then I hope he brought you his dirty underwear.

We'll kick things off with recruiting. The recruiting board looks way the hell different than it did, because I haven't touched it in like two weeks. Here's what's different:

- Dropped RB Antone Exum, RB De'Antwan Williams, DE Pat Muldoon, and WR Sean Farr on account of they committed elsewhere. Also dropped DB Josh Evans, DE Bernardo Nunez, and QB Tajh Boyd, because they dropped us. That'll learn 'em.

- You also may notice a shuffling of the colors, and also that there are really only a very few players left that we seem to be after. Here's my take on the seven players left, with the usual caveat that I know for a certain fact absolutely nothing.

- OT Oday Aboushi: Probably will commit to UVA, though when is anyone's guess. Has a visit scheduled to Rutgers; may or may not take it.
- LB Luke Kuechly: Final four of UVA, Duke, Stanford, and BC means we have basically zero edge on the academic side of the house.
- OT Morgan Moses: At the moment we probably have as good a shot as any, which isn't saying much because Moses doesn't say much. This is one we'll just have to be patient on.
- OT Nolan MacMillan: MacMillan will narrow his list down soon and I suspect we'll still be on it then, but after that who knows?
- OT Hunter Steward: Steward is still just 16 and thus, our coaches want him to go to prep school for a year. If he commits, he'll essentially be a grayshirt and not part of the 2009 class. Thus his quandary: Marshall will probably have him right away. If it weren't for the prep school thing, he'd probably have committed .024 seconds after getting the offer.
- LB Lanford Collins: Moved him from blue to yellow. Think he's probably a Hokie eventually.
- WR Dwayne Difton: Pretty much shouldn't even still be on the board, but I wanted to keep someone in red there, just because.

There are some articles floating around out there about OC hire Gregg Brandon. There's this one from the CDP, and Jeff White at the RTD has this one here which has got Sabre posters all up excited and ready to kick off the '09 season after just a couple quotes from Brandon. Partly this is because there are some quotes at all; Mike Groh spent as much time talking to the media as he spent recruiting in Kazakhstan. I'm less enthused, mainly because Brandon mostly says things that coaches say when they don't want to say anything. Also, because his claim that the offense is going to be flexible to the personnel is nice and exciting and all - you can hear my yippees if you listen real close - but it brings up a sort of chicken-or-the-egg question. Brandon will run an offense based on whichever quarterback is better, sure, but.....better at doing what? Passing spread or running spread? The offense isn't so flexible that there's no room for a yardstick to measure the quarterbacks, but what skill set does Brandon want?

Hey, guess who's ACC Rookie of the Week again? Yawn, it's Sylven Landesberg, who has taken to dominating this award - it's his fourth. The UVA record for this is held by Bryant Stith with six, but if Landesberg keeps doing things like dropping 26 points in ACC road games, he'll blow that record clear out of the water.

And hey, speaking of ACC road games, we're tied for first! TLx4's Winston suggested "cripple fight" as a descriptor of the game, but I'll leave that designator to either the Apple Cup or next year's Lions-Rams tilt. Should be exciting, that. The worst ACC basketball team is still better than two-thirds of the country, so I hesitate to say "cripple fight", but still, the game we just won is primarily useful for giving us a leg up on Not Last in the conference. Not to take away from it. It was a road game in the ACC, which means it's dangerous and particularly so for the Hoos, who have always looked like a crappy version of the Hoos away from Charlottesville. And we won it. I'm still not starry-eyed enough to think we could bust a move into the NCAA's (yet) but we're an ACC team, and that means it shouldn't take a lot of wins to get us back into the CBI. Even if it's "just" the CBI, postseason is postseason, and it'll do this young team a lot of good to feel the pressure of playing a tournament (style) game.

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