LB Spots Have Plenty Of Competition

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While the dismissal of J’Courtney Williams from the Virginia football team closed the book for one player, the good news for the program is that there is plenty of depth and experience at the linebacker position to deal with the impact. Jon Copper, Clint Sintim , and Antonio Appleby return as starters while nine more players are listed on the spring roster as linebackers. That means the competition is fierce for a number of spots on the depth chart.

John-Kevin Dolce is getting a look at inside linebacker this spring.

At inside linebacker, which is where Williams was slotted, Copper and Appleby have a lock on the starting jobs so the competition is to make the two deep. Virginia coach Al Groh said Wednesday that Darren Childs , John Bivens , Terrence Fells-Danzer, John-Kevin Dolce , and any incoming players are currently the ones battling for the spots. Dolce had previously been working at outside linebacker but Groh said the coaches are “trying to find the best fit for him” and the spring sessions allow them to experiment with him inside to see if it is a better role.

With those players working inside, the lone returning starter at outside linebacker is Clint Sintim . That leaves the starting spot vacated by Jermaine Dias up for grabs along with space on the two-deep. Aaron Clark , Denzel Burrell , Daniel Childress, Aaron Taliaferro , and Jared Detrick are trying to earn time at OLB this spring. Clark and Burrell have the most on-field experience; Clark, a senior, played in 13 games (119