Now that Cavalier Football fans have had ample time to digest the team’s heartbreaking and season-ending loss to our bitter rivals, Virginia Tech, I feel it is time to move on and see how the team is shaping up for next season. The schedule looks to be one of the hardest UVa has scheduled in many years. Just like last year, the season will kick off with a game against UCLA. After the opener, UVa has a tough home test against a Notre Dame team who finished their season with a bowl win against #23 LSU. Just two weeks later, UVa will host Boise State, the Fiesta Bowl champions and owners of a 2014 12-2 record. ACC play isn’t getting any easier as well. Two ACC teams, Florida State and Clemson, have the second and fourth best recruiting classes in the nation, respectively.
While many hold out hope that Mike London can get the Hoos back above .500 for the first time since 2011, this year’s Cavalier team is losing a number of talented players. Most notably, Eli Harold (DE) and Max Valles (OLB) are declaring for the NFL Draft a year early and Anthony Harris (S) and Kevin Parks (RB) will graduate and declare for the draft as well. Of this group, Harold and Harris have a legitimate shot at being first round picks, something UVa hasn’t accomplished since 2009 with Eugene Monroe (T).
But as the old saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new.” The Cavaliers have the 46th ranked incoming recruiting class headlined by two four-star recruits Jahvoni Simmons (ILB) and Warren Craft (WR). While this year’s recruiting class isn’t as star-studded as those of years past, it is much deeper. Mike London acquired 23 fresh faces to fill some of the gaps left by graduating players and to hopefully reenergize the Cavaliers team.
One last morsel to chew on until the student-athletes have to report for training camp is who will be UVa’s starting quarterback. With the arrival of Nick Johns, a senior out of Washington, DC, the Cavaliers will have eight quarterbacks on their roster. As of now, the favorites for the position are Greyson Lambert or Matt Johns, the two quarterbacks who seemingly traded snaps all season. But with a new season comes new surprises. Hopefully one of the eight men on the roster will prove himself as the starter and lead the Cavaliers to a bowl game.
Alex Overdyk, Staff Writer