According to NFL draft experts, there is no team in the ACC with a better combination of tackles than Virginia this year. Left tackle Oday Aboushi and right tackle Morgan Moses are both likely headed to the next level once their careers in Charlottesville are over and, before preseason practices even began, it was clear they would be the backbone of the Cavaliers’ offensive line.
The question entering training camp, however, revolved around which players would line up between them. After Virginia held a closed scrimmage Wednesday, the answer is becoming clearer.
Offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim said in a teleconference Thursday that junior Luke Bowanko (Centreville) has proven he is back to full health after offseason surgery to both shoulders and will be the team’s starting center. At guard, meanwhile, the Cavaliers will feature a three-man rotation consisting of junior Sean Cascarano, sophomore Cody Wallace and sophomore Conner Davis.
“I think all three are capable of starting and playing at a high level at this point,” Wachenheim said. “No matter who starts the game, all three will play the game and rotate.”
During the first week of open practices, Wallace took the majority of the first-team snaps at left guard and Cascarano lined up at right guard. Wachenheim said that’s where both will remain throughout the season, but Davis could play at either spot.
Wallace seems to have made the biggest impression thus far, at least in the eyes of Coach Mike London.
“Cody is a tough guy, a tenacious guy,” London said this week. “Might not be the most athletic guy, but he’ll run around, try to hit you, bite your ankles, whatever it takes and you like that kind of attitude.
“He’s just kind of quietly inserted himself or put himself in position to battle for that [right] guard position and right now … Cody has that spot because of what he’s done to this point.” . . .
In regards to Virginia’s first scrimmage Wednesday night, Wachenheim also offered an interesting anecdote about highly regarded freshman defensive end Eli Harold. The Virginia Beach native had one of his first “wow” moments this training camp when he beat Moses for a sack with “as good a pass rush as we’ve seen, whether in a game or practice, in the last three years,” Wachenheim said.
“He came off hard, low, spun around the edge and got a sack. . . . Morgan came off the field and it was like: ‘What am I gonna say to you, Mo? The guy just made an unbelievable pass rush. You got to give him his props.’ ”