- 8/5: In case you missed it, WR Jared Green presented his father Darrell in the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton over the weekend. He offered an interesting comparison when talking about DG28 being hesitant in letting him play football: “”It’s like if your father were a policeman. Who wants his kid to be a cop?” Will this guy make an impact is a RS freshman? As the RTD points out, Jared’s other scholarship offers were from Central Florida, Tulsa and UAB, so don’t get too excited by his pedigree. In other news, announced walk-ons include “former Cavalier soccer standout Yannick Reyering. The native of Germany, who has completed his
soccer eligibility, joins fellow walk-on placekicker Robert Randolph (Naples, Fla.) and returning redshirt freshman Chris Hinkebein in the battle to become the starter.” The trial for Will Barker and redshirt freshman Dave Roberts is set for Aug. 26.
- 8/4: The RTD includes “High Expectations“ and Virginia football in the same headline, while also pointing our the media’s preseason pick of 5th place in the Coastal Division. Puzzling, certainly, especially when also pointing out that Groh had indicated 2-3 QBs may very well take snaps this year (perhaps in game #1?). Per Jeff White, “Lalich failed to win the job during spring practice” and “the Grohs — Al and son Mike, the offensive coordinator — don’t seem sold on Lalich.” Meanwhile, in what may be the biggest question mark of the team, White notes that “the new punter is likely to be Jimmy Howell” but PK Chris Hinkebein is “not a lock to handle field goals in the opener against USC.” PS: Mike Brown is no longer on the roster after being “charged with three felonies — one count each of grand larceny, possession of stolen property with intent to sell, and altering serial numbers. A grand jury will hear his case this month.” This of course, came two years after Brown “pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor trespassing in connection with a brawl at a U.Va. fraternity.”
- 8/3: The Daily Press covers the opening of summer practice, noting that “Plenty is uncertain for Cavaliers” while pegging CB Ras-I Dowling as most likely to have a breakout season and fellow CB Vic Hall on whom there is the most pressure entering the USC game. Bottom line per Norm Wood: “a .500 season might be considered a huge success.”
- 8/1: The Daily Progress reports that RB Cedric Peerman is now and “ordained as a minister at Charlottesville’s Mt. Zion First African Church.” Meanwhile, Virginia received 12 votes in the preseason USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll, ranking the team 38th in the nation, behind “four of their opponents (No. 2 Southern Cal, No. 9 Clemson, No. 15 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Wake Forest). Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia Tech also received votes. It marked the first time the Cavaliers had received votes in the preseason poll since 2005.”
- 7/31: Jeff White’s UVA Notes includes this quote from Groh on the potential of a third tailback (read: Keith Payne) getting in the mix this year: “Somebody would have to show that it would be a smart thing to take both of those guys out of the game.” Well put, I must admit.
- 7/28: Starting RT Will Barker and walk-on G Dave Roberts were arrested on larceny charges Friday night / Saturday morning at Club 216 for allegedly taking two beers each from behind the establishment’s “back bar.” Coach Groh had no comment, but one has to wonder what two men (one underage) standing over 6’6” and weighting in the neighborhood of 300 lbs. were doing at West Central Virginia’s biggest and best Gay and Lesbian club after closing time (3:45AM), where they had to at least somewhat stand out. Then again, maybe not… The RTD is already talking honor charges for the stolen beers.
- 7/27: Great line from David Teel’s column on Ron Mexico: ”Vick’s mother, his three children, and their mothers also have traveled to Kansas” to visit their dogfighting ‘boo in prison.
- 7/26: Virginia’s athletic department succeeded in getting some positive football news out via numerous media outlets, which relayed that “less than 200” season tickets remain for the 2008 season. Before you get too excited, that’s season tickets… not tickets. Interestingly enough, this year’s total is about 4k behind last year’s pace, but the available season ticket total (35,500) is also 4k behind last year’s. Verbal commitment #19 from the class of 2009 – Maury’s Laroy Reynolds – has a pretty unique opinion of the Virginia-VPI rivalry: “I know a lot of players do go to Tech, but a lot of people go to Virginia as well. It is about the same thing — Virginia or Virginia Tech.” Holler back?
- 7/25: The RTD devotes 15 sentences to Virginia’s academic advising for football in a hard-hitting feature entitled “A Battle For Grades.” Groh hopes the recent academic casualties were outliers and insists “we took the circumstance very seriously… We’ve always been diligent with it, but perhaps the [suspensions] got the attention of some players that maybe the adult talking to them [did not].” Excuses? Maybe, but at the recent ACC meetings, Groh was able to boast that the spring 2008 football team GPA was the highest “in the last nine years,” despite not disclosing the figure. Spokesman Rich Murray offered (via email):
“[The University does not] feel it’s appropriate to provide the grade-point averages you request, but please be aware the improvement in this area is a result of an increased emphasis within the program supported by the athletics administration. If [the football program] doesn’t work the way that I want, I take the blame for it. But in the area of academics, I thought our academic-advising people have done a thorough and diligent job. It’s the strongest staff that we’ve had at any point in time.”
- 7/24: Former Virginia guard / current NFL tackle Branden Albert says its “time to play football” in Kansas City, now that his contract is signed. Chiefs HC Herm Edwards squashed any potential depth chart suspense by admitting that “he’s going to be a starter for us.”