There’s a popular Justin Timberlake meme that circles the internet on the final day of April so to put a twist on it for Fan Friday: it’s gonna be May football.
The first day of May 2021 will see the Virginia football team wrap up spring practice a little later than usual with a Spring Game on Saturday. The Cavaliers missed out on spring football and fans missed out on Scott Stadium in 2020 due to the pandemic so this weekend’s game marks the return of both to Scott Stadium.
On TheSabre.com Podcast earlier this week, the show threw out a few things on the radar for this year’s Spring Game. Without knowing the official format, here are some things to monitor.
- The backup quarterbacks. Brennan Amrstrong returns as the starting quarterback for the Hoos this season, but who will be the main reserve? Lindell Stone started at Wake Forest when Armstrong was injured last season, but he’s no longer an option. Keytaon Thompson, who also took quarterback snaps, can be a short term option but a shoulder injury still may limit him as a long term solution. That leaves Ira Armstead, who also took some QB snaps at Wake before his season eventually ended early due to injury, and mid-year enrollee Jacob Rodriguez. Saturday’s Spring Game is the first look at either in a practice setting for Hoo fans.
- Running back race. All spring long, there has been talk of a close and competitive race at the running back spot. Wayne Taulapapa, Ronnie Walker Jr., Mike Hollins, and mid-year enrollee Amaad Foston all theoretically should get carries in a final spring practice setting so seeing how each of them looks will be interesting. Keep in mind, if teams are split, the reps may not become behind the full experienced offensive line.
- Receivers to complement Billy Kemp IV. When Bronco Mendenhall released the news that Lavel Davis Jr. went down this spring with an ACL injury, the receiver position became an instant topic of conversation. Kemp has proven to be a reliable pass catcher on short and intermediate routes, but it remains to be seen who will step in alongside of him with Davis out and tight end Tony Poljan, No. 2 on the team last fall for receptions, not in the mix this time around.
- The secondary. This offseason, Mendenhall shuffled his staff’s assignments to allocate more resources to the secondary as he split coaching duties for the cornerbacks and safeties. The Hoos have Joey Blount, De’Vante Cross, and Nick Grant back for unexpected additional years to lead the way, but they’ve also brought in transfers from Louisville (and will add another from North Dakota State after the spring semester). The reset in the secondary gets its first public look at the Spring Game.
- The linebackers. Charles Snowden and Zane Zandier both finished their Cavalier careers and are hoping for a shot in the NFL. Their departure leaves a lot of playing time to fill alongside expected starters Noah Taylor and Nick Jackson. There are a lot of players in the mix and defensive coordinator Nick Howell said they’ve used players in varying spots this spring. Does anyone have a great day Saturday to finish up the spring?
What about you? Are there specific areas you’re interested in as spring football wraps up? Share your thoughts on the message boards! And now, on to the rest of the Fan Friday feature.
Fan(s) Of The Week
Smiling about the Hoos.
Student Fan(s) Of The Week
I know right …
Feature Photo Of The Week
Every time you tell the tale, the fish gets bigger.