WORTH NOTING: Played in every game of his career, including three bowl games … started 28 games in his career, including at least two each season … finished his career ranked seventh in school history in receptions by a tight end and 11th in receiving yards … joined wide receiver Ahmad Hawkins as the only true freshmen to let-ter in 1997 ... one of seven true freshmen (along with Dan Ellis, Hawkins, Yubrenal Isabelle, Jermese Jones, Earl Sims and Antwoine Womack) to play that season ... was the only one in that group to start (against Clemson and Duke) and play in every game ... thrust into expanded role as a freshman after starting tight end Casey Crawford broke his leg in the fourth game of the season against Wake Forest ... only tight end and one of only two fresh-men (along with Hawkins) in 1997 to score a touchdown ... played briefly with the UVa baseball team in 1999, before the start of spring football practice ... saw action in nine games, playing as a reserve first baseman and designated hitter.
HONORS: 2000—Honorable mention All-ACC. 1999— Honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference ... sec-ond- team All-State by the Roanoke Times. 1998— Honorable mention All-ACC … received the Virginia Student Aid Foundation’s Scott Montgomery Endowed Football Scholarship, awarded to a deserving member of the football team in honor of Scott Montgomery who let-tered as a tight end in 1967.
2000—One of the most underrated tight ends in the coun-try, but is still considered to be a top pro prospect … very good receiver who gives the offense an added dimension … started all 12 games, the first time a UVa tight end start-ed every game since Walt Derey in 1996 … finished fourth in receiving on the team with 18 receptions for 216 yards (both figures represent career highs) … his 18 receptions are the most by a UVa tight end since Bobby Neely caught 19 in 1994 … 16 of his 18 receptions (.889) resulted in first downs, the highest percentage on the team … finished fifth among ACC tight ends in receiving yards (216) and tied for sixth in receptions (18) … caught at least one pass in every game except against N.C. State … led the team in receiving yards once (Maryland) and in receptions twice (Wake Forest, Maryland) … became more involved in the passing game midway through the season, catching three passes in each of three games—Clemson, Wake Forest, Maryland, then caught only six passes in the last five games of the regular season … led the team with a career-high 44 yards receiving against Maryland … caught a team-high four passes for 38 yards (all in the second half) vs. Georgia in the O’ahu Bowl … three of the four catches resulted in a first down … lettered.
1999—Stepped into the starter ’s role when Casey Crawford wasn’t able to go in the preseason and didn’t relinquish the role until late in the season ... started the first 10 games of the regular season before Crawford returned to the starting lineup … finished fifth on team in receptions … caught 17 passes for 118 yards and a career-high four touchdowns … averaged just 6.9 yards per catch, though … finished fourth among ACC tight ends in receptions … tied for first among the league’s tight ends last season with four touchdown grabs (tied for ninth over-all) … his four touchdown receptions are the most by a Cavalier tight end since Aaron Mundy had five in 1991 … three of his four touchdowns came against ranked teams (Brigham Young, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech) ... caught a career-high four passes for a season-best 34 yards and one touchdown in a big road win over #17 Brigham Young … scored on a five-yard pass from Dan Ellis late in the third quarter to push the UVa lead to 45-33 as the Cavaliers held on to win 45-40 … scored Virginia’s only touchdown on a fourth down play against Virginia Tech … it was his only reception of the game … caught three passes vs. Duke but was blanked in the next two games … came back with two catches against Georgia Tech, including a touchdown … his touchdown vs. the Yellow Jackets was Virginia’s first score and set the Cavaliers on their comeback from an early 17-0 deficit … hauled in three passes for 31 yards in the final home game against Buffalo … 18-yard reception vs. the Bulls was his season long … caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Ellis early in UVa’s win over Maryland in the final regular season game … caught one pass for 19 yards in the Micronpc.com Bowl vs. Illinois ... lettered.
1998—Played in all 11 regular season games and the Peach Bowl … was the backup tight end behind starter Casey Crawford ... started four games early in the season (against Maryland, Clemson, Duke and San Jose State ) when Crawford was hampered with an injury … caught 11 passes for 117 yards on the season … averaged 10.6 yards per reception … tied Crawford for the team lead among tight ends with 11 receptions ... tied for fifth among ACC tight ends in receptions and was sixth in receiving yards ... had nine receptions after four games, but caught only two passes the rest of the way ... eight of his first nine catches went for first downs ... began the season with two receptions for 35 yards in Virginia’s 19-0 shutout of Auburn ... had a season-long 22- yard reception during a third-quarter scoring drive against the Tigers ... tied his season high with three receptions (for 30 yards) in the Cavaliers’ 31-19 win over Maryland ... all three catches resulted in a first down ... had two catches vs. Clemson and Duke, and one catch against San Jose State and North Carolina … lettered for the second time.
1997—Played in all 11 games at tight end ... was a backup to starter Casey Crawford in Virginia’s first four games of the season, against Auburn, Richmond, North Carolina and Wake Forest ... saw increased action in UVa’s remain-ing seven games after Crawford suffered a season-ending broken leg in the second quarter of the Wake Forest game ... started in back-to-back games against Clemson and Duke ... one of three players to start at tight end (along with Brad Dittman and Patrick Washington) following Crawford’s injury ... caught eight passes for 93 yards and one touchdown on the season ... averaged 11.6 yards per reception ... posted a season-high 43 yards receiving on two catches in Virginia’s 35-31 win over Georgia Tech ... scored his first career touchdown against the Yellow Jackets, catching a 10-yard pass from Aaron Brooks with 6:24 left in the second quarter to give UVa a 21-17 half-time lead ... made a season-long 33-yard reception earlier in the game, during the second of UVa’s two first-quarter touchdown drives ... had a season-high three receptions for 22 yards against Duke in his second career start ... made his collegiate starting debut one week earlier against Clemson, catching one pass for seven yards ... caught a five-yard pass from Brooks in the fourth quarter against Wake Forest for his first career reception ... hauled in a 16-yard pass from Dan Ellis against Florida State ... let-tered.
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year starter as a tight end at Western Albemarle High School ... also started at defen-sive end his junior and senior seasons ... was team’s punter as a sophomore and junior ... played his freshman season for head coach Wayne Hepler and his final three seasons for head coach Billy Haun ... totaled 54 career receptions for 1,200 yards and 21 touchdowns ... finished his senior season with 27 receptions for 533 yards and 10 touchdowns ... also was in on 64 tackles, including eight quarterback sacks, and deflected nine passes ... Group AA first-team All-State by The Associated Press and All-Central Virginia his senior year at tight end ... also chosen first-team All-Region and All-Jefferson District on both offense and defense ... selected to Virginia All-Star Football Team and received Western Albemarle Coaches Award ... rated one of the top 25 football prospects in Virginia by the Roanoke Times and Super Prep ... selected to the Charlottesville Daily Progress/Lynchburg News & Advance “Gold List” ... as a junior, earned first-team All-Valley District and second-team All-Region honors at tight end ... also named second-team All-District as a defensive end, and second-team All-Central Virginia on offense and defense ... averaged 25.9 yards per catch and scored four touchdowns on 10 receptions as a junior ... defensively, he posted 45 tackles, deflected two passes and recovered two fumbles ... also lettered in baseball and basketball ... served as team captain and was named team’s Most Valuable Player in basketball as a sophomore, junior and senior ... named the Valley District Tournament’s Most Valuable Player as a junior ... an All-District, All-Region and All-State selection in baseball ... earned a total of 11 varsity letters at Western Albemarle High School ... joins Jared Woodson as the first players from Western Albemarle High School to play football at Virginia.
PERSONAL: William F. Baber ... born 1-17-79 in Charlottesville, Va. ... Honor Roll student his senior year ... enjoys hunting, fishing, tennis and golf ... son of Goldie and Pattie Baber ... has a brother, Charles ... psychology major.
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