Thursday, August 12, 2010

everything update

This is a Virginia blog, right? Just checking. So let's talk a little UVA today. Both the depth chart and the recruiting board get a sprucing up, but the latter is actually a little skimpy. Players are in camp now, meaning high schoolers as well, so it's time for things to die down a little bit. Commitment season cranks up again around mid-to-late September. The only change to the recruiting board is the removal of OT Jake Goins, who to nobody's surprise committed to Tech.

The depth chart is also updated with some of the news out of fall camp. There's actually surprisingly little shuffling for a team with new systems and a new coach. Changes so far:

- Jake McGee moves from QB to TE.
- Hunter Steward moves from OT to DT.
- Pablo Alvarez moves from S to CB.
- Corey Lillard and Quintin Hunter have left the program.

The first two are on the "NCAA is investigating Lane Kiffin's recruiting practices" level of surprise. The first is to alleviate a logjam of too much depth, and the second is to create it at a position of need. McGee had been talked about as a tight end from the day he committed. Alvarez could be at any secondary position and it wouldn't change the fact that the secondary is absurdly, unbelievably thin. The eight scholarship non-freshmen in the secondary are enough - if nobody gets hurt. Which is asking a lot.

Future changes to the depth chart are in order, although nothing earthshaking appears to be in the offing. Miles Gooch will be moved, we just don't know where. I'm guessing WR, but we'll see. That's about it for position moves. And running back aside, we're even a little light on position battles. What needs to be resolved:

- Backup quarterback. Mike Rocco has been making his presence known, and while it'd be a mild surprise if he were to leapfrog into the #2 spot, it'd only be a mild surprise. The order of things behind Marc Verica is way up in the air.
- Running back slots 1 through 7. This'll go all the way to September 4. Keith Payne is officially in, so seven it is.
- I don't think the offensive tackles will change between now and the end of camp, but I do think things will shake up as the season goes on.
- ILB is a little unresolved between Steve Greer and Aaron Taliaferro, but I'm thinking Greer in the end.

Two real position battles, and one of them we hope the winner never has to see the field except against, say, VMI. It's a decidedly drama-free camp, relatively speaking. Enjoy it because next year shapes up like a good old-fashioned quarterback tussle. Probably a four-way fight, at least in the beginning.

Other news:

- Condolences to tight end Colter Phillips and his family; his father was killed in the Alaska plane crash that also killed former senator Ted Stevens.

- It turns out college football players aren't much different from the general population when it comes to the subject of playoffs. The majority want one, but once you start talking about what you'd have to sacrifice to get it, support drops off. An overwhelming majority like their bowl trips. And who can blame them? Free vacation to (usually) somewhere nice, and a goody bag to boot.

They're like the general population in one other respect, too: It appears that most of them have their pet idea, just like the fans. See, fans think a playoff is great, but if you tell them you have to have a playoff that's much different from their gumdrop rainbow vision of it, they don't like the idea as much. Start proposing actual playoff ideas instead of "do you want a playoff" and there are a lot more "no" answers than "yes."

- Fluff articles don't usually tell you much of anything, but I have a strict policy that requires linking to any fluff that informs you when you're rooting for players nicknamed Shrek and Donkey. That'd be big Morgan Moses - who dropped 15 pounds in order to show up weighing 350 - and Kevin Parks. New game plan: Line up Parks and Perry Jones behind Big Mo so nobody can see them (they'll both fit) and make the opponents guess which has the ball. And then it won't matter anyway because Mo will eat them if they get too close to the ball.

Seriously, that is a guy who it will be impossible to keep off the field. Once he gains even a rudimentary knowledge of the offense it'll be way too tempting to avoid just tossing him in there and running behind him.

- UNC is getting deeper into trouble all the time. If this turns out true, the NCAA will likely find the players involved ineligible and make UNC vacate the '09 season and tack on a few scholarship sacrifices for good measure. John Blake is a shady, shady character, the kind that everybody seems to know something about but clams up once the NCAA starts getting serious.

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