Virginia mum on quarterbacks
September, 1, 2009
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
The good news for the Cavaliers is that they're in a much better position than they were at this time a year ago at quarterback, but it's a similar situation in that those outside the program -- and maybe even those in it -- don't know who the starter is going to be yet for the season opener.
Virginia has experience in Vic Hall, Jameel Sewell and Marc Verica, who are all listed as possibilities on the depth chart which was recently released. It's likely he'll use more than one, but coach Al Groh said he'll make that decision "whenever seems appropriate."
"Whenever the moment is right," Groh said. "Whenever the scales tip in one direction or the other. Probably don't feel any great urgency to do so because if we only had one of the three participating, we would feel very good whichever one it was. With three of them we feel very comfortable with the flexibility and the versatility that we have."
One unique thing about the quarterback position this year is that Hall is also listed as the punt returner. You won't find that combination at many FBS programs, but Hall has done it in the past and is more than capable of doing it again. He's averaged 8.5 yards per return over the past two seasons on 39 career returns.
Also worth noting on the depth chart for the season opener against William & Mary:
- True freshman Oday Aboushi is listed as the backup at left tackle, a quick vote of confidence in the young player and an unusual one for Virginia up front. They did it last year, though, with Austin Pasztor, who is starting at left guard as a true sophomore this year. Pasztor didn't turn 18 until the final week of the season last year.
- Matt Snyder, a sophomore walk-on, has made his way to the top of the depth chart at wide receiver. Now that's impressive. Snyder had a great spring, but really he came out of nowhere, and Virginia needs all the help it can get on the receiving end. The Cavaliers lost their top five pass-catchers (not just receivers) from a year ago. Groh said Snyder had an "excellent" camp and "progressed all the way through." He anticipates Snyder to be one of the leaders on special teams.
- Defensively, not a lot has changed, and the lineup is as expected. Yes, Virginia lost an outstanding trio of linebackers, but what's unique about their situation is that they're not filling the voids with freshmen. Instead, they've got three seniors and redshirt freshman Steve Greer to help ease that transition.
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