After a four days of practice, the Wahoos were ready to get into full pads on Friday night. This was the last open practice Virginia will hold before the start of the season. One thing was certain about Friday night's practice, all the coaches were hyped up and coaching up every guy and every detail.
So with that lets start with one of the biggest question mark....
Sadiq Olanrewaju, who started a few nights in a row at left tackle, sat out on 11-on work. Olanrewaju had to leave practice right in the beginning with a trainer to apparently get re-tapped. He did participate in drills.
Michael Mooney was his replacement at left tackle with the 1s. Mooney did have a shining moment with a nice block on a screen. Eric Smith once again had reps with the 2s.
As I mentioned earlier, the coaches were very hyped tonight, especially UVa assistant Scott Wachenheim. Wach was really coaching up the line especially Sean Karl and Jack McDonald. It was a night the line needed coaching.
High Tempo. As mentioned in earlier practice recaps, UVa seems to kicked up the tempo on offense. Mike London harped on picking up the pace throughout practice, and kept the guys in check, yelling at any guy who seemed to be slowing down.
A quick note on the quarterbacks. David Watford took most of the reps with the two. OC Steve Fairchild also noted that they are trying to use his athleticism to their advantage in some of their packages. Couldn't get much of a gauge of how during 11-on, but he did have a nice combination with Jamil Kamara. Although Kamara should have a lot of the credit, it was an excellent grab on the sideline. The first-year not only caught the ball, he controlled it and then picked up a few extra yards on the play.
Which leads me to the wide receivers. Once again Canaan Severin, Andrew Levrone and Keeon Johnson remain the most consistent, however, this is a very competitive field. Miles Gooch and Kyle Dockins have also done enough, and I really like Dockins and Severin in that hybrid role. Fairchild mentioned during media day that he could see true freshmen Donovan Dowling and Kamara having a role in their first year. Like I said before, Kamara has had shining moments, but Dowling is ahead of the game. Dowling knows the playbook very well. He could be one to watch.
Kevin Parks is Kevin Parks. Khalek Shepherd and Taquan Mizzell had some impressive moments on Friday night. Mizzell definitely looks healthy and definitely looks more comfortable in his second season.
The defense looked aggressive and ready to hit. The guys on the first team were playing at high intensity, especially Henry Coley. You can see the guys on the defense really feed off his energy. Eli Harold also had a moment where he deflected a pass.
The defense played mostly in the nickel. Anthony Harris and Quin Blanding lined up at safety (this partnership is looking good), and DreQuan Hoskey and Maurice Canady were with the 1s with Tim Harris as the nick back.
Two a days start on Saturday for UVa, with the Wahoos holding a closed scrimmage at night.