One day after Virginia Coach Mike London announced that the amount of practice reps for true freshman David Watford would increase in order to further evaluate the Hampton native as the quarterback competition progresses, Watford overslept and was late to a team meeting Tuesday morning.
“That’s part of the freshman mentality that you’ve got to get out of,” London said Tuesday before the Cavaliers’ afternoon practice. “If you want to be the face of the program, you get two alarm clocks. You make sure that your roommate – now, his roommate is another quarterback. I’m not going to name names, but maybe he snuck out and didn’t want him to wake up.”
Watford’s roommate during training camp is redshirt freshman Michael Strauss.
Tuesday marked the second time since Watford enrolled at Virginia in January that London has called him out for oversleeping and, consequently, showing up late for a team function. In April, London said Watford was late to one of Virginia’s spring practice sessions after sleeping too late.
“There’s a learning curve and a growth process that he’s got to go through,” London said Tuesday. “Talent-wise, skill-wise, he’s got an arm, he’s got legs and he’s got a brain, and when we get all three of them working at the same time in the right direction, he’ll be a good player.
“David’s got a talent, and he’s got to fulfill that talent to be the guy who’s going to be playing in games because you’ve got three other quarterbacks that want to do well and get opportunities also.”
On Monday, London said Watford and sophomore Michael Rocco would start getting the majority of practice reps at quarterback as the Cavaliers draw closer to their season opener Sept. 3. Strauss and redshirt sophomore Ross Metheny are the other two quarterbacks vying for the starting gig.
London said the possibility of Watford redshirting this season remains on the table, though no discussions yet have been had during training camp with the player or his family on that topic.
“For him and for a couple of others, we’re still looking to see, you know, would love to play him, but I don’t want to put any player in a position where he’s maybe a one-phase special teams guy and that’s all he does and burn his redshirt year,” London said. “I want to put guys on the field that have a chance to play.
“And obviously with the quarterback situation, once you say he’s No. 2, he’s only a play away from being No. 1. And even a traveling No. 3 quarterback, they’re always just plays away. But if that decision is made (not to redshirt Watford), whether he’s 1, 2 or 3, then it’s going to be made with the mind-set that when opportunities present, throw him in the game, get him in the game.”