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May
11
2012

Ask A Blogger Series: WillsWorldMN talks Virginia Spring Football

Time to check on the Virginia Cavaliers. Can they build on last season? Let’s find out in @HokieGuru’s next Spring recap and preview interview.

Past Ask A Blogger – ACC Spring Football Reports

 North Carolina | Duke | Miami | Virginia Tech | Maryland | Georgia Tech

Good evening from @HokieGuru.  I’m here today to discuss the ACC spring football practice with each bloggers from each of the 12 Atlantic Coast Conference teams.  What follows is our interview with @WillsWorldMN.  Will Ojanen, writer for SCACCHoops. Based in Eagan, Minnesota.  He is here to discuss Virginia football.  Here we go with our interview below!!!

@HokieGuru:  Tell us about your spring game – how was the turnout?  Was the team well received?

@WillsWorldMN: By Virginia standards, it was pretty good, around 8000. It’s not going to draw the same way Ohio State or Alabama will, but that’s still a fairly impressive number.

@HokieGuru: What are some of the major strengths coming out of spring practice?

@WillsWorldMN: Running back is atop the list. With Perry Jones, Kevin Parks, and Clifton Richardson back there, the Hoos will rack up plenty of rushing yards. I like the linebackers defensively. It’s not star studded, but it’s a very solid group. I’m high on Laroy Reynolds. I think he will be an all ACC type linebacker this year.

@HokieGuru: What are some of the major weaknesses coming out of spring practice?  In other words, what do you think Virginia will be working on in August before the first game?  What are the questions that you think have to be resolved?

@WillsWorldMN: There are a few that come to mind. I don’t know what to expect in the receiving game. Michael Rocco showed he is a capable quarterback, but it’s a matter of who is going to catch the ball outside of Jones. I think Tim Smith, Dominique Terrell, and Darius Jennings are going to be catching the bulk of the passes, but I really have no idea how reliable they will be yet.

I’m also concerned about the secondary. With both safeties gone plus Chase Minnfield, teams are going to be throwing at UVA early on to test it. Demetrious Nicholson is the only starter back in the secondary, and he’s only a sophomore. He’ll be fine, but what happens after that?

Of all of my concerns, special teams is the biggest. The kicker and punter are gone, and we really don’t know who is going to hold down those spots until fall practice. I don’t think anyone came out ahead at either spot. The biggest change to me would be to make sure Perry Jones doesn’t try to return a punt when the ball is surrounded by three players from the other team.

@HokieGuru: Fall will be here before we know it – what position concerns you the most?

@WillsWorldMN: I think Virginia will be able to get points, but the question is will they be able to stop anybody. The secondary is the biggest concern to me, as I think teams will test them early on. I could see UVA getting in a few shootouts this year.

@HokieGuru: Who are the new recruits that you are impressed with the most?  Are there any that you think will get some major playing time right away?

@WillsWorldMN:Eli Harold is the gem of the recruiting class. He’ll need to put on some weight, but I can see him playing some meaningful snaps as a freshman at defensive end. The same can be said for Kwontie Moore and Michael Moore. I could see them playing some as a freshman. I think Canaan Severin could be a name offensively that could be a contributor right away at wide receiver. He has the size (6-3, 215) to be a red zone target. Anthony Cooper is another receiver I think could see a few snaps this year as well.Quarterback Greyson Lambert had a nice spring, but I think he redshirts this year.

@HokieGuru: Based on what you saw/read from spring practice, do you think Virginia will be better than last year?  Why or why not?

@WillsWorldMN: I think there is some optimism this year. After the fourth game of the season, the schedule is pretty light until they go to Virginia Tech to close out the year. Games 2-4 could be the answer to how good they can be this year (Penn State at home, at Georgia Tech and at TCU). I will be happy if they can get one of those. As for a record, if they can catch a break or two, they could match last year’s win total, but I’m going to go with 7-5 for now.

@HokieGuru: Give us the pulse of the Virginia football program – what are the Wahoos bloggers/fans thinking right now on the status of the program?

@WillsWorldMN The pulse is probably as strong as it’s been since the beginning of the Al Groh regime. Mike London and staff have done a good job of recruiting so far. Taking control of the Tidewater region has been the number one goal of recruiting, and there has been some success in that department. The talent pool is improving, and I think in a year or two, they could be a consistent factor in the ACC again. London got a contract extension in the offseason, which he deserved. But there’s still one thing that he needs to do to get the fanbase to worship him: beat Virginia Tech. It’s been nearly a decade, and I don’t know how long the fanbase will tolerate losing to the Hokies.

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