The Washington Post

DE Connor McCartin’s football-playing future in question

Junior defensive end Connor McCartin did not play Saturday, and his football career is in jeopardy due to what one report cited as continued concussion issues.

Virginia Coach Mike London said in a teleconference Sunday night that the team’s medical staff was reviewing McCartin’s status and whether the player will be able to continue to play. London did not reveal the nature of McCartin’s physical ailment.

The coach is expected to make an official announcement on McCartin’s football-playing future in the coming days.

A report Sunday in the Roanoke Times, which cited anonymous sources, stated that McCartin “has been advised to give up football after suffering a concussion during training camp, the latest in a series of head injuries.”

When asked whether McCartin was dealing with concussion issues, London said he was “not prepared to make any statements like that.”

McCartin mostly is known for his contributions on special teams. He recorded six tackles in 2010.

“We’re hoping for the best for him, and we’ll know something about whether or not he can continue to play college football here soon,” London said. …

London said Sunday that starting left guard Austin Pasztor played through a hamstring injury against William & Mary. That led to more playing time for reserve guard Cody Wallace as the game progressed and the score got out of hand.

Starting tight end Colter Phillips left Saturday’s game with an ankle sprain and did not return. He sported a walking boot afterward. London said he was unable to provide an update on Phillips’s status Sunday. …

With Phillips out, Virginia’s three other tight ends saw increased playing time. But no Cavaliers tight end recorded a reception Saturday, which is an unusual occurrence in Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor’s pro-style offense.

London said William & Mary’s linebackers successfully defended some of the vertical routes the Virginia tight ends ran. And given the success the Cavaliers were having throwing into the flat and across the middle, they elected to stick with that formula for moving downfield.

“It probably wasn’t a lack of trying to throw to them,” London said. “But with this quarterback, with these quarterbacks, this first game, trying to throw to whoever was open, and that’s how that played out.” …

Virginia played 12 true freshmen during Saturday’s season-opening 40-3 victory over FCS William & Mary. That, certainly, is a lot of new faces.

But it did not mark the most true freshmen that debuted for a single team on Saturday. Texas played 18 true freshmen in its season-opener against Rice, according to a Virginia athletic department spokesman, and Auburn played 13 against Utah State. Tennessee, Clemson and Ohio State also played 12 true freshmen, the spokesman said.

London said Sunday he expects the number of true freshmen he plays this season to hold at 12.

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