From starter to co-backup? That seems to be the trajectory David Watford has taken.
In a depth chart released by Virginia, Greyson Lambert is listed as the starter at quarterback with David Watford or Matt Johns as his backups. That means both quarterbacks, for the time being, are second on the depth chart.
After a lackluster 2013 season, Watford fell out of favor with head coach Mike London due to his failure to meet unspecified offseason expectations. Lambert was able to assert himself as the starter, but it had appeared as if Watford had managed to get back in his coach’s good graces.
Now it seems the junior quarterback’s reprieve was short-lived.
While Watford may have struggled last season, London thought enough of him to continue starting him throughout the season. To think his opinion of Watford’s abilities has shifted so dramatically that he is not even confident in his abilities as a backup seems a bit extreme.
Johns’ ascension is most likely meant as further admonishment of Watford more than anything else. If the situation arose in which the Cavaliers found themselves having to take a backup off the bench, I would be shocked if Watford was not the man London turned to.
Then again, it may not matter who’s under center if the offensive line cannot improve its play from last season.
The Cavs are dealing with some early season injuries along what was like;ly the team's biggest weakness in 2013. The coaches managed to settle on Michael Mooney (LT), Ryan Doull (LG), Ross Burbank (C), Conner Davis, (RG) and Eric Smith as the team's starters along the line. If this unit cannot find more consistent success in 2014, it won’t matter who’s playing under center.
From one player’s fall to another’s rise, Quin Blanding will start at free safety on Saturday in the team’s season opener against UCLA.
Though he is a true freshman, his ascension is of little surprise. Blanding was a five-star recruit coming out of high school from Virginia Beach and many expected him to make an impact right away. At 6’4”, 215 lbs., Blanding came into Virginia and instantly became the biggest safety on the roster, despite his age.
Now it, appears he will start along with veteran strong safety Anthony Harris in the defensive backfield. The Cavaliers can safely boast one of the strongest safety tandems in the nation…assuming Blanding is not overwhelmed.
Growing pains are to be expected from true freshman as they adjust to the new level of play. That may be especially true when Blanding lines up to face Brett Hundley in his very first college game.
Kickoff for the season opener will be at noon on Saturday from Scott Stadium.
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