Roughly 40 minutes into Day Three of Virginia’s training camp Sunday, coaches called the Cavaliers off the practice fields adjacent to the McCue Center in anticipation of inclement weather.
The players went inside and watched film for a few minutes as a thunderstorm passed through Charlottesville. Then they walked across the street to John Paul Jones Arena, where they resumed practice on the cleared-off main floor.
Since it was the third day of workouts, players were allowed to wear shoulder pads and helmets. Per NCAA rules, helmets were the only pads the players could wear the first two days.
Before practice was moved indoors, the players were matched up against someone of similar size in a one-on-one blocking drill. The crowd took delight in watching the collisions until redshirt freshman defensive end Stephen Lawe went down with a left knee injury. After lying on the ground for a few minutes, Lawe got up and limped off the field. He did not return to the workout. …
Senior wide receiver Kris Burd — the team’s leading returning pass catcher — missed his third straight day of training camp Sunday.
“Kris has got some off the field obligations that he has to take care of right now, and as soon as he does that, then he’ll be out here ready to go,” Virginia Coach Mike London said. “He’s ready to practice. He’s waiting, chomping at the bit to get out here. As soon as he takes care of those things, he’ll be joining us.”
When asked whether Burd’s continued absence was due to academics, London replied: “Among other things that he’s got to take care of.” …
Near the end of practice each of the first three days of training camp, the coaches have pulled the freshmen aside and run them through various drills that don’t necessarily pertain to the players’ particular positions. Before practice Sunday, London explained why.
“We wanted to have an ability to evaluate them at the different positions and the skill set at those positions,” London said. “The (defensive backs) catching passes and running routes, the wide receivers footwork and backpedaling and things like that. And on the other side of the ball, the linebackers to fullbacks and O-line to D-line. There’s very few, if any, offensive linemen that have any future at being a defensive lineman, I can tell you that.
“But it gives us a chance to look at some guys and see how they move and change of direction. I’m not opposed to finding out where the best position is for a young player to come in and help us play. If he can help us, then he’ll play.” …
Last season, only three true freshmen – offensive tackle Morgan Moses, quarterback Michael Rocco and cornerback Rijo Walker – played in games for the Cavaliers. While it’s too early for London to know exactly how many freshmen he’ll play this season, London said Sunday the door is open for any and all that are prepared to make an impact.
“I’m hoping to be able to fill the needs of the team in terms of the playmaker positions, provide some depth up front on the offensive line,” London said. “Any opportunity that a freshman has to come in and contribute, if they’re ready, we’re ready for them.” …
Junior tailback Perry Jones rushed for 646 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry in 2010. On Sunday, London praised Jones – who is listed atop the depth chart at tailback – and set the expectation level for the player’s performance this season.
“Perry’s probably, pound for pound, one of the strongest guys on the team,” London said. “His work ethic and his leadership is something that everyone picks up on. … We’re looking for big things from Perry. I think he’s a 1,000-yard-plus guy.”