Hoo Preview ’08: Horne Seeking More PT

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Raynard Horne is another talented option in the Cavalier backfield. He scored 24 touchdowns as a high school senior.

On a Virginia football team loaded with running backs, it’s going to be hard for everyone to pile up carries and dominate the statistics. Raynard Horne , a redshirt sophomore from Baltimore, knows that’s the case. He also knows you can quickly be thrust into more playing time if you stay prepared and keep working hard.

Horne doesn’t need to look around the locker room long to see that fact either. That’s because Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson both emerged as productive playmakers last year after merely being names on the depth chart before their moments to shine came.

“Yeah of course. Mikell and Ced, they both had to wait their turn and things like that,” Horne said. “It’s encouraging to see that they’re doing good and the same thing could happen to me.”

That’s why Horne is working so hard this fall and catching the eye of coach Al Groh in the process. Horne, who said he thought about the things he needed to do to earn more playing time in the offseason, is battling for a role on the depth chart at running back where Peerman and Simpson are the chart-toppers. He’s also working on three special teams units (punt rush, kickoff coverage, and kickoff return).

Groh has noticed his progress.

“He is behaving like a guy who is intent on carving out some playing time and has learned from his previous experiences,” Groh said. “I think he’s a lot more tuned in to what it really takes to be able to play well.”

In a backfield that’s full of talented options, Horne fits right in. He is a good athlete that played three sports – football, basketball, and track – in high school. As a star on the Overlea High School football team, he rushed for more