Fall Practice 2006: Dias Looks For Positive Year

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Jermaine Dias is currently slated to start at outside linebacker for the Hoos.

For the second straight season, Jermaine Dias is wearing an Orange jersey from the start of fall football practice at Virginia. Needless to say, he’s happy to be performing at a high enough level to earn the recognition – now he just wants to stay healthy and make plays for the Cavalier defense.

“I had one last year. Just like I said last year, it can go just as quick as it comes. I’ll just keep playing hard and do what I do,” Dias said. “Injury-wise, I’m just fine. If I make it through the season without injuries, it’s going to be a positive year for me.”

The Cavs have been expecting positive production from Dias since he arrived. The Hackensack, New Jersey, native entered the program as one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation. He was considered a top 10 linebacker by numerous rating services after he led his team in tackles as a senior with 116 stops that included 19 sacks.

Once he joined the Hoos and redshirted as a freshman, Dias started to show similar playmaking qualities at UVa. As a redshirt freshman, he appeared in all but one game despite an early ankle injury – while the tackle numbers aren’t numbing, he was making progress in the system.

By the start of the 2005 season, the sophomore had earned an Orange jersey and a starting spot for the Cavaliers. In fact, he started the first three games and played reasonably well before a foot injury forced him to miss four straight contests. He returned by the Temple game, but it took the rest of the season and bowl preparation period for him to truly find his stride.

“Each one of his significant opportunities to develop the last two seasons came to a quick halt. … In the third game last year, he had an ankle sprain/fracture and missed