Sabre Roundtable: Ready For Fall Practice?

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Finally, the time has arrived! Virginia’s football players reported for training camp today and practice starts Friday as the Hoos prepare for the 2006 season opener at Pittsburgh. The Sabre tackles some of the pressing pre-practice questions with the first fall roundtable. Editor Kris Wright, football writer Nick Sauer, EDGE guest Zeropointzero, and ESPN radio’s Wes McElroy answer questions about Michael Johnson, season predictions, the kicking game, and the most important Cavaliers on offense and defense.

Who is the most important player on offense this season for Virginia?

Ian-Yates Cunningham could play a key role for Virginia.

KRIS: To me, it is Ian-Yates Cunningham . I know that’s kind of a crazy answer, but the offensive line is the biggest question mark on offense this season because UVa has receivers, tight ends, running backs, and an efficient (I think Christian Olsen will be very steady) quarterback. So why do I single out one guy on the line? I’m basing this on one key factor – leadership. Cunningham had some important things to say about chemistry and line play in the spring and he was taking steps to help strengthen those things.

“I just felt that it was a good idea for us to get together,” Cunningham said. “We did dinner and a movie one night. Last week, we watched March Madness together. It’s just one of those things where once you become friends off the field and you know how they are off the field, you can associate that with football so you know how to come to them when you need to get in their face or encourage them. Me being center, that’s one of the things I have to do.”

That makes him the most important guy on the line as long as the other guys follow his leadership.

NICK: Jason