Aug. 6, 2012
Video: Coach London Wired
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - In preparation of the 123rd season of Virginia football, the Cavaliers opened their preseason camp Monday afternoon at The Park, located on the North Grounds of the University. Monday's practice was the first of 29 scheduled practices that lead up to the season-opening game against the Richmond Spiders on Sept. 1 at Scott Stadium.
"Its a great feeling to be back out here," said UVa head coach Mike Londonprior to the start of practice. "For the teams that have opportunities to play in bowl games, this cycle back around is not that far away. Not too long ago we finished with the bowl game and spring practice - now we are back in football mode again."
Monday, as part of a five-day acclimatization process, the Cavaliers just wore helmets. Tuesday's practice will be the same, before wearing shoulder pads and helmets for Wednesday and Thursday. The first day of full pads won't be until Friday.
"Right now I think everyone is excited about finding out where we are, how far we have come and how much further we need to go, commented London."
The media buzz around the first practice was the chance to see QB Phillips Sims suit up and participate in drills. Sims transferred in June from Alabama.
"It was a good first day of practice," said Sims. "I am getting use to some things out here and having a good time competing with these guys. I love my teammates, they have embraced me ever since I arrived here this summer."
Some offensive highlights included deep balls thrown by QB Michael Rocco to Tim Smith and QB Greyson Lambert to Canaan Severin. Both passes were well defended by the secondary in 7-on-7 drills, but were hauled in for touchdown throws. Having to replace three starters in the secondary, one defensive highlight of note comes in the form of cornerback C.J. Moore, who made two interceptions on the day. One pick came in 7-on-7 drills, while the second was in an 11-on-11 situation.
Also making an appearance for the first time on Monday were the Cavaliers' brand new orange Nike cleats. The Cavaliers have worn a combination of black and white cleats the past two seasons after donning white and blue cleats for a while prior to 2010. Players this season have a variety of choices from orange and white to orange and black in various models.
"Like I told Coach Wach [enheim] it's all about the sweet feet," said offensive tackle Morgan Mosesin reaction to the new shoes. "I think the addition is a great thing because it's always exciting to add something new to the uniform."
Practice No. 2 is set for Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. at The Park. Practices through Saturday are open to the public. Tuesday through Friday practices are at The Park starting at 3:45 p.m., while Saturday's practice is set for Scott Stadium at 4 p.m.