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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– Football is back in Charlottesville.
The Virginia Cavaliers kicked off the spring ball by holding their first practice on Tuesday. UVA Head Coach Tony Elliot was mostly happy when he met the media after training, but don’t expect Elliott and his team to break plans with his players straight away, day one was all about setting expectations .
“How are we going to practice, what do you want the energy in your in a Tony Elliot training to feel like,” Elliott said after practice. “Just guys playing in a place of joy and passion, loving what they’re doing, understanding that, ‘man, this is going to be tough, it’s gonna be a challenge, the coaches are gonna come after you, it’s gonna be intense, your body is gonna hurt, you’re gonna feel tired, but just find a way to have joy – back to the love of the game, as if you were as if you were a child – so a lot of energy but controlled energy – I don’t want guys to be out of control. You want coaches to coach; I want them to teach. So there’s a combination of guys who are excited, ready to be challenged, but also improving with their fundamentals and technique in the patterns through the teaching that’s going on.”
Elliott wanted to see the guys force themselves and pass. He wanted to see his players show their mental toughness and understand the expectations of coaches when it comes to training. It was about little things.
“I wasn’t really worried about the program today, obviously we have five days to install,” he said. “They’re going to make mistakes. I want to see him get through the mistakes, I want to see him develop that mental toughness. I just want to see guys move around, be able to line up, know what they are But the most important thing for me is just the details of training and the little things, and we have a lot of work to do.
This spring will also be about creating depth at all positions, mainly in the trenches.
“A lot of guys who come to help us aren’t here yet,” he said. “The most important thing for me is that the guys have to understand that we have to train in such a way that the games become easy because it’s so competitive. [at practice] and it’s so fast [in practice] so we do our conditioning while we practice.”
Who practiced or not?
The big question is always who practiced or not.
Virginia quarterback and pitcher Jay Woolfolk attended practice, but he did not fully practice. He didn’t wear a practice jersey and mostly worked on footwork drills alongside the quarterbacks.
Meanwhile, it was nice to see a healthy person Lavel Davis Jr. who is now an even bigger human being (if you thought that was possible!). He said in his post-workout interviews that he weighs around 225-230 pounds and it certainly looks like he’s grown up. He also wears jersey number 1.
OF Bryce Cartersecurity Jonas SanckerKG Kendall’s Cross and kicker Justin Duenkel did not participate in the spring. According to a source, Duenkel suffered an undisclosed injury during winter training. Hugh Laughlin seemed limited on Tuesday and worked primarily with the defensive line, although he moved to the offensive line in the winter.
In his post-practice remarks, Elliott told reporters the defense won the day – pointing to the defensive line, and more specifically, Olasunkonmi Agunloye and Ben Smileylike those who impressed.
“I’ve seen Su fly, you’ve seen Ben Smalley make a few plays, so the D-line really jumps,” Elliott said. “To be fair to the offense, they only had one race plan…so they pretty much knew what we were doing. But still, you still want to see guys compete. And I noticed that “they looked a lot more confident and quicker to line up. They had a lot more energy at times. In attack, I thought the guys were kind of resting on their past successes, and I have to make it clear to them fully that you can’t read anything about yourself.
Elliot says he wants the offense to remember that last year’s touchdowns and yards didn’t matter.
“It’s a great opportunity to teach and lead. I think the practice was a little faster so some of them got a little out of breath which is good because now you can see how do they have mental toughness?are they going to push?are they going to tire?and this workout provides a great opportunity to challenge some guys.
Aaron Faumui, Jahmer Carter and Agunloye were the top three in the D-line indoor drills.
Virginia had two high school seniors and two first-time transfer enrollees in Davis Lane, Stevie Bracey, Jack Camper and Devin Chandler.
Elliott said Davis is “swimming a bit” as he learns a whole new system and Virginia is “starting from scratch.” Meanwhile, he already sees Bracey’s leadership qualities.
“Bracey is a guy that I’m starting to see his leadership and his enthusiasm.”
Elliott was impressed with the transfers and the experience they bring.
“They’re all going to help us out at some point, but the one that’s probably the most advanced is Camper.”
Jersey Number Changes
WR Fields of Malachi No. 8
WR Devin Chandler No. 15
comics Antonio Clary No. 0
KG Stevie Bracey No. 2
QC Davis Lane No. 14
LB Mike Green No. 4
KG Josh Ahern No. 33
Transfer FROM Jack Camper No. 91.
- Thompson was in training, but where did he train? Old staff described Thompson as Mr. Football, the man who could play various roles, so where would new staff place him? On Tuesday, Thompson mostly worked wide receivers when we were able to attend.
- OL info: Jestus Johnson, Ty furnish and Joey Kagel all broke on individual drills.
- Sackett Woods looked to lead the Reps on tight end. Grant Misch and Joshua Rawlings followed in most exercises.