Monday, August 8, 2011


With the beginning of fall practice comes the new roster, fresh and shiny on the official UVA website.  You might think there's nothing really to be learned from a list of players, but you'd be wrong.  It's time to parse the roster for those precious nuggets of information.

-- The big thing to do these days is to study the new weight listings for each of the players.  The majority of guys, of course, only gained or lost five pounds or didn't change at all.  Here are the really significant weight gains.  Name, old weight, new weight, change, and percentage change:

Jake McGee - 210 - 235 - 25 - 11.9%
Justin Renfrow - 270 - 300 - 30 - 11.1%
Pablo Alvarez - 185 - 205 - 20 - 10.81%
Jake Snyder - 255 - 275 - 20 - 7.8%
Mike Rocco - 210 - 225 - 15 - 7.1%
Stephen Lawe - 250 - 265 - 15 - 6.0%
Khalek Shepherd - 175 - 185 - 10 - 5.7%
Will Hill - 265 - 280 - 15 - 5.7%
Kris Burd - 190 - 200 - 10 - 5.3%
Oday Aboushi - 295 - 310 - 15 - 5.1%
Matt Mihalik - 295 - 310 - 15 - 5.1%

Your gross weight gain champion is Justin Renfrow, about whom more in a bit.  But in terms of percentages, the real champ is Jake McGee, who's bulking up from his quarterback-sized days to a weight better suited to play tight end.  He's now on the very bottom end of the scale for his position.  Five of those eleven guys are redshirt freshmen, which is obviously no surprise.  At 205 pounds, it would seem Pablo Alvarez is finding a permanent home at safety (and not cornerback.)

And the Biggest Losers:

Austin Pasztor - 320 - 305 - 15 - 4.7%
Morgan Moses - 350 - 335 - 15 - 4.3%
Jeremiah Mathis - 255 - 245 - 10 - 3.9%
Brent Urban - 290 - 280 - 10 - 3.5%

Basically you have two guys (Mathis and Urban) slimming down a bit to play faster positions - Urban is a DE and former DT; Mathis is a TE and former DE - and two offensive line starters trimming down to a faster weight.

-- Position changes!  First off, the freshmen, who didn't really change positions, but it's fun to see where they got slotted.  I'll leave out the obvious ones; these are the one that caught my eye:

Ross Burbank to C: As many predicted, Burbank is going to apprentice at center.
Anthony Harris to SS: Pretty much everyone had him pegged to play in the secondary, but I think with Harris it was sort of half-and-half whether he'd be a corner or safety.  Safety it is, for now.
Darius Lee to FS: Actually, the first, temporary iteration of the roster had him as a linebacker.  But it's probably easier to move a guy closer to the line than further back.
Jay Whitmire to G: Of the four offensive linemen in the class I'd have guessed that Burbank and Cwalina would be the ones to end up inside, and Whitmire and Kelby Johnson outside.  But that's why it's called a guess; what do I know?

For freshmen, there's probably a varying degree of permanence to these positions, but I'm glad they have actual positions listed instead of "OL" and "DB."

A couple interesting moves for some of the returnees, too:

Connor McCartin from LB to DE.  A weird move because McCartin was an inside linebacker.  But so far he's mainly a special-teamer, so the distinction is largely administrative, I'd guess.  Before his and Ausar Walcott's well-publicized move to DE, there were but four scholarship DEs past their freshman or redshirt freshman year, not counting....
Justin Renfrow from DE to DT.  Now you see why the extra 30 pounds.  Our lightest DT (Chris Brathwaite) is 270 pounds, a far cry of improvement over last year's situation: a 245-pound pass-rush specialist getting squashed into the FieldTurf on run plays.
Drew Jarrett from K to ghost.  Rats.  Hinkebein and Randolph are both seniors this year, which is to say that Jarrett's departure puts the placekicking in the hands of either Ian Frye or Alec Vozenilek in 2012.  These are totally unknown quantities; Jarrett had kicked well enough (on extra points only, but still) to earn a little confidence in his abilities.  I hate when a kicker I've never seen strides out for a 37-yard field goal.

-- The ties.  You have to like the ties.  This is a huge improvement over giving everyone the same badly-fitting jersey and equipment to wear in their photo.  At one point in the past everyone wore the #11 jersey.  Quarterbacks and kickers were wearing the shoulder pads of a defensive tackle.  This was silly.  This is something I shouldn't care about, but I do a little bit anyway.

-- Fantasic beards are being sported by Morgan Moses, Billy Cuffee, and Ross Burbank.  You can take Austin Pasztor out of Canada but you can't take the Canada out of Austin Pasztor because that is one hell of a terrific mullet.  But the best picture belongs to Will Hill, who's got a little Nick Fairley thing going on with those glasses, only way better.

-- Depth chart is hereby updated.  Including the latest in verbal commitment action.  Happy obsessing.


Bleeding Orange and Blue Wahoos said...

Good work as always. Here is to a great season. Would love to get you on the Podcast sometime.

Hamilton Riley

Anonymous said...

Renfrow's bulk makes for an intriguing situation. One of the biggest concerns with the 2011 (and the 2010 squad) was the interior play. While both Jenkins and Conrath have some pro potential (Jenkins as a wave tackle, Conrath as a 5-technique depth guy), neither is a big, stout run stuffer. A future of Renfrow and Brathwaite could offer a good combination of an explosive, 3-technique guy and more of a NT/run stuffer in Renfrow.

The other two that stand out to me are Jake Snyder and Mike Rocco. Snyder needed to bulk up to fight for more PT. That said, 270ish seems awful big for him, and if he gets any bigger, I wonder if they start pondering him at DT, depending on how the development of the younger ends go.

Rocco's weight should help him. He's the QB, as of now, that looks the most ready to take the brunt of a full season's worth of work.

Brendan said...

"A future of Renfrow and Brathwaite could offer a good combination of an explosive, 3-technique guy and more of a NT/run stuffer in Renfrow."

I like where your head is at. Brathwaite strikes me as a real interior pass-rush threat. I think he's got that JKD motor, plus the weight necessary for the interior.

Anonymous said...

I haven't taken a look at how Brathwaite is carrying his weight and whether or not he could carry more. For the college level, I think 270-275 is okay inside, particularly if he's lean and quick. Brathwaite probably doesn't have a great pro outlook unless he can bulk up 20 more pounds, which seems fairly unlikely considering how much he's added already.