10-Day Hoo Preview ’07: Q&A – Jeffrey Fitzgerald

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Jeffrey Fitzgerald is looking to have another solid season for the Hoos.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald jumped on the scene in 2006 and “snuck” up on opposing teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The redshirt made one of the most surprising splashes in the league, going from an unknown name to a defensive force and a freshman All-American.

Fitzgerald’s immediate impact gave the Hoos a defensive front with game-changing ability. In total, Virginia’s defensive linemen recorded 13 sacks last season and Fitzgerald led the group with 5.5. He also racked up 64 tackles, which was good enough for third on the team.

“At the beginning of last year, people really didn’t know much about me,” Fitzgerald said. “As the year went, more teams started focusing on me, which freed things up for Chris.”

Chris, of course, is his defensive end counterpart Chris Long . Before that duo begins crashing backfields in Laramie and Chapel Hill, Fitzgerald sat down with ESPN 840’s Wes McElroy to talk about the 2007 Virginia team, his tag team partner, and the urge to return kickoffs.

WES: Now that training camp is winding down, what’s the best part of it?

FITZGERALD: Unlimited food.

WES: What’s the worst?

FITZGERALD: Long days. Pretty much during two a days, it’s all football. You’re dealing with some type of football all day.

WES: Last year, you arrived on the scene and worked so hard to do so. What did you set as offseason goals