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Coach Jim Reid pushes Cam Johnson through a drill.
The Virginia football team released a post-spring depth chart recently, giving UVa fans plenty to talk about as they wait for the first season of the Mike London era. When it comes to defense, the list gives everyone the first glance at who’s who in the new 4-3 scheme being installed. So without further delay, let’s dive into a little discussion of the Cavalier D.
When it comes to the defensive line, none of the names that made the initial two-deep of London’s tenure are surprising.
On the ends, Zane Parr and Cam Johnson lead the first line with Jake Snyder , Bill Schautz , and Jeremiah Mathis listed as back-ups. Parr and Johnson could provide a formidable one-two pass-rushing punch in the 4-3 defense. Parr burst on the scene as an end in the Cavaliers’ substitution defenses (nickel/dime) and delivered some solid numbers in that role: 33 tackles including 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, 1 pass break-up and 1 quarterback hurry. Those sacks ranked second to only senior Nate Collins last season; Parr now has 4.5 sacks in his career with two seasons still to play.
Johnson, meanwhile, presented the new coaching staff with an immediate, and obvious, position switch candidate. London wanted his defense to feature more speed and ends with a burst off the line and Johnson, an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, fills that request and then some. At 6’4″, 260 pounds, he’s someone that can provide explosiveness on the snap while still be strong enough to deal with some bigger tackles. Defensive coordinator Jim Reid told The Washington Post at a VAF event that Johnson made the switch to...
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