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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Virginia spring wrap

By Jared Shanker

Three things we learned in the spring about the Virginia Cavaliers:

1. The Cavaliers will lose their top receiver. It was announced last week tight end Jake McGee would be leaving Virginia with plans to transfer to another school. It is a tough blow for Virginia, which leaned on McGee for 43 catches and 395 yards, both team highs.

2. Quarterback Greyson Lambert will likely be the starter this fall. Although nothing official has been announced, Lambert looked strong during the Cavs’ spring game and has the respect of his teammates. The redshirt sophomore will be a captain this fall.

3. The Virginia passing offense could be in trouble again this fall. Without McGee and with Lambert adapting to a starting role, the unit could struggle, especially early on.

Three questions for the fall:

1. Is Taquan Mizzell going to have the breakout season the Cavs need? The sophomore played sparingly last season, but he was one of the top prep running backs in the 2013 class. The expectation is for Mizzell to be one of the conference’s top performers at the position.

2. What is the role for their five-star recruits? One of the biggest questions is not whether five-star signees Quin Blanding and Andrew Brown will see the field, but how often. Brown, a defensive tackle, is already enrolled. Blanding will enter the defensive backfield this summer.

3. Will Mike London last the season? He enters his fifth season at the school on the heels of a winless conference campaign. It would be tough for London to survive another 2-10 season.

One way-too-early prediction:

The Cavs open the season against UCLA at home. London’s players know they are playing for their coach’s job, and a Week 1 win against a likely Top 25 preseason team would reduce the early season heat on London’s seat. Virginia will battle UCLA and offer some promise for the remaining 11 games of the 2014 season.