Cavs' Sewell, Ogletree To Have Wrist Surgery
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Nov. 28 -- Virginia freshman quarterback Jameel Sewell and sophomore wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, two key pieces of the Cavaliers' offense, will undergo surgery in the coming days to repair wrist injuries. Sewell's injury was to his left wrist, his throwing arm. Both players could miss some of spring practice while recovering, Coach Al Groh said.
Though inconsistent, Sewell showed flashes of becoming an elite quarterback in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but Groh tempered the enthusiasm around him and said he could face competition in the preseason, perhaps from incoming freshman Peter Lalich (West Springfield), the Cavaliers' highest-touted committed recruit.
"In this case, you might want to keep the anointing oils in the closet for a while," Groh said.
Outside linebacker Clint Sintim (Gar-Field) will also undergo surgery to fix a shoulder injury that plagued him for much of the season, Groh said. Sintim made 45 tackles this season, compared with 53 last season. Punt returner Emmanuel Byers will have surgery on his ankle.
Regardless of who's playing, the Cavaliers will need to improve an offense that finished 113th out of 119 Division I-A teams at 257.2 yards per game and 110th by scoring 15.1 points per game. Meantime, Virginia's defense finished tied for 20th in the country and is losing only cornerback Marcus Hamilton, whose spot will be contested for by Mike Brown and Vic Hall.
Groh said his son, first-year offensive coordinator Mike Groh, experienced a growing season and likely would improve next season, like most of his players. The offense will lose only wide receiver Fontel Mines and running back Jason Snelling, two productive but not dynamic players. Running back Keith Payne (Oakton), who redshirted this season and whom Groh called "obviously a high-end talent," could fill in for Snelling immediately. Still, Groh feels changes must be made.
"We would certainly have our head in the sand if we said just by flipping the pages of the calendar, we're going to get some of the issues resolved that we wanted," Groh said.
By Thursday, Virginia will have to decide if it wants to exercise an option to extend Groh's contract. He is scheduled to make $1.87 million next season.
For now, though, Groh is focused only on 2007.
"I'm very positive, very confident, very upbeat in terms of what kind of team we can have next year," Groh said. "If we were playing this December, to have one more game to play . . . in terms of the greater goal, I would rather be doing what I've been doing since Sunday afternoon, which is starting a lot of the work and preparation for next season, when I think the prize can be a lot greater than just one more win."