Training Camp Report for Aug. 20

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM John Phillips teams with Tom Santi and Jonathan Stupar to give UVa an experienced group of tight ends.
John Phillips teams with Tom Santi and Jonathan Stupar to give UVa an experienced group of tight ends.

Aug. 20, 2007

The football squad held its final day of two-a-days Monday with practices at Scott Stadium. Lightning in the Charlottesville area pushed back the morning practice, but the team was still able to get in a good two-hour workout.

"We worked a lot of situational stuff today and we had quite a few kicking plays. We spent quite a bit of time on plays with less than a minute left in the game, a variety of different situations," said head coach Al Groh. "We put all the situations up on the scoreboard and really didn't give much of an explanation of the situation to the players, other than what we've been doing in camp. We let them look up at the scoreboard and see what the score (is), the yard line, how much time left in the game, how many time outs does each team have-and then (go) from there. We had quite a few of those situations both from scrimmage and on special teams."

Backfield Taking Shape

Groh says this year's stable of tailbacks is as deep as he's ever had at UVa. He says the goal is to play two and have three ready.

Keith Payne got a late start to training camp following his suspension earlier in the summer. He is back now and has added to what should be a talented corps of tailbacks. Cedric Peerman has been running with the first unit, with erstwhile wide receiver Andrew Pearman getting plenty of turns following the switch.

"Keith has been making good progress on a daily basis," Groh said. "Those things that aren't perfect yet probably are more a result of being a first-year player than they are of having missed any time."

Pearman began his career at UVa at wide receiver, but following his return to the squad this summer, he was moved to tailback, a decision that Groh said was easy to make. "The thought just struck us, `what is it about Andrew that caught our attention in the first place?' It was running the ball and returning kicks. While he may not look like a prototypical running back in size, that's his style of play," he said. "We just put him where things are most natural for him and try to get him off to a positive start. Now that he's back, he's taken to it very well.

Staton Jobe Moves to Top Spot at Wide Receiver

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Staton Jobe has been ready when the opportunity presented itself. With Kevin Ogletree currently out following offseason knee surgery and Cary Koch also nursing an injury, Jobe finds himself working with the first unit.

Jobe came to UVa as a walk-on, but he was well known to the coaching staff after attending football camp as a high school senior. "I watched him every day for four days," said Groh. "(I saw) a very athletic kid who was competitive and very focused. He's playing as well as anybody for us right now and that's all that matters. He's got speed and he's got quickness that sometimes the bigger guys don't have. I think it's a good tradeoff for him."

Groh noted that true freshman Dontrelle Inman has been working behind Jobe, while on the other side Maurice Covington is working with the first unit, with Chris Gorham and Chris Dalton getting turns behind him.

Monday's Question of the Day

What is the hardest drill in training camp?
Will Barker: 3-on-3 or two-spot
Jonathan Stupar: Inside run
Jordy Lipsey: Screen drill
Arthur Singleton: Two-spot
Chris Dalton: They're all really hard to me.
Patrick Slebonick: Two-spot
Branden Albert: Two-spot
Brandon Jarvis: Two-spot
Maurice Covington: The individual stuff. The receivers have a lot of running.
Chris Long: Two-spot
Nate Lyles: Shuffle series
Chris Gould: Kickoff returns. If you don't hit it right where Coach Groh or Coach Diaco want it, they get upset.

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Al Groh, UVa head football coach and member of the Cavalier Nation, sports his 2007 Fan-Shirt