The Virginia football team got back to work on Thursday night as the Cavaliers held their fourth practice.
UVa head coach Mike London met with the media prior to practice and he talked about position battles, the offensive line and a lot more HERE
After he met with the press, the 'Hoos took to the field. Here are some notes from the day's practice.
Offensive Line: Just like on Wednesday night Sadiq Olanrewaju was at left tackle, Conner Davis at right tackle, Ryan Doull at left guard, Ross Burbank at right guard and Jackson Matteo at center. Although Eric Smith is not in the lineup with the 1s right now, I fully expect him to be named in the right tackle position. Olanrewaju had some good moments on Thursday with a couple of nice blocks that either created a gap for Kevin Parks or created room for Darius Jennings to run after the catch. Doull also made some noteworthy blocks during 11-on.
Quarterbacks: Greyson Lambert was not perfect, but he showed a little more consistency under pressure and even let out a 35-yard bomb to Miles Gooch during 11-ons. Safe to say he is way above Matt Johns and David Watford, who continue to fight for position among the 2s. Watford seemed to show the most consistency tonight and most of the reps when it came to 11-on work, however, Johns got the nod with the 2s during 7-on-7. As it stands right now, it seems pretty even between both Johns and Watford when it comes for the fight for the second spot.
Wide Receivers: Again the depth at this position is making it hard to pin point what the rotation will look like. Right now Keeon Johnson, Canaan Severin and Andre Levrone have all made their case. True freshman Doni Dowling and Jamil Kamara have also rotated in with the 1s on occasion and seem to be grasping the playbook quite well. Then there is Miles Gooch who has shown excellent promise during tonight's practice-making some great catches in traffic. Coach Marques Hagans is keeping a lot inside his chest when it comes to his men.
Tight Ends: A lot of people have voiced concerns after Jake McGee decided to transfer from the program earlier in the spring. However, it seems that Zach Swanson is trying to ease concerns. Swanson was very impressive on Thursday making a couple of plays- during 11-on Swanson had a very nice one-handed grab in traffic for the first down. However, Evan Butts was not to be outdone. Butts had a couple of nice grabs himself tonight, although I still see Butts behind Swanson and Rob Burns, he seems to be picking things up quick and could provide excellent depth at the position.
Running Backs: Business as usual for the backs. Kevin Parks, Khalek Shepard and Taquan Mizzell all had shining moments. Mizzell looks healthy and quick, and I like how the offense is utilizing the trio in the slot or in the backfield.
Defensive Line:I had the chance to talk to defensive line coach Jappy Oliver after practice. Oliver is to put it mildly a very intense man. During drills, you can see how detailed he is when it comes to teaching-fixing everything from footwork to hand placement. After practice Oliver had almost lost his voice from the night's practice. But he is not alone when it comes to teaching. Eli Harold has really become quite the leader. A couple of times during drills, you could see Harold approaching true freshman, Darrious Carter, and tell him something to work on. Harold is very hands on when it comes to teaching the younger guys. Oliver also mentioned that Harold has really accepted his new role as a hybrid DE/OLB. David Dean and Max Valles once again had a solid night's work.
Defensive Backs: Anthony Harris had a nice interception during 11-on, where he read the play perfectly, while Quin Blanding continues to prove he deserves to be looked at as a starter. Blanding is picking things up quickly and becoming a leader in his own right. Maurice Canady, Brandon Phelps and Tim Harris all worked with the 1s as well.
Henry Coley: One word:INTENSE
On kick off return Taquan Mizzell, Andre Levrone, Khalek Shepherd, and Daniel Hamm took most of the reps, however, Divante Walker and Kirk Garner also was at the back for returns.
Ito the kickers where Ian Frye seems to be getting back to full health. He went four-for-four, hitting a 47 harder to end the night.If he continues to stay healthy, London's plan to use Alec Voznenilek on punts and Frye on kicks could work.
Demetrious Nicholson once again did not participate in any team drills. He ran and worked on his conditioning and participated on some individual work.
In the Audience
Manasquan (N.J.) High tight end and UVa commit Tanner Cowley was in attendance with his family. Cowley looked like he was enjoying himself as he watched closely the 11-on and 7-on work.