Secondary, Hoos Learn In Spring

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Mike London

In what was a tune-up for next Saturday’s spring game, a crowd estimated between 750-800 people watched the final practice of the Virginia football spring road show at the Sports Backers Stadium here in Richmond on Saturday. A full slate of drills, special teams focus and a 10-minute scrimmage at the end of the session were part of the afternoon schedule.

“Being here and being in this area is important to us,” UVa coach Mike London said.

Virginia’s third year coach said he likes the opportunity to get around to different venues in the state where his team gets to go through the traveling routine by staying in hotels, attending unit breakout sessions and spending some quality time on the bus.

One UVa source told me that the road practices in front of Cavalier fans often seemed more spirited, especially late in practice. That certainly seemed to be true on this gorgeous spring afternoon.

Secondary coming together

There’s no doubt the Cavalier secondary will enter the 2012 season with a huge target on its back. The four young men playing with the first team defense Saturday (Demetrious Nicholson , Rijo Walker , Anthony Harris , Drequan Hoskey) have combined for 15 starts and while they all have played, the bulk of those reps have been on special teams.

But all spring we’ve heard London, defensive coordinator Jim Reid and players like Nicholson say that they believe the example set by players like Dom Joseph , Rodney McLeod , Corey Mosley and Chase Minnifield create a solid foundation for them to build on as a unit.

“Our guys now already know the steps to take in order to be a great secondary and we’re taking those steps pretty fast,” said Nicholson, a sophomore cornerback. “McLeod made all the calls and now we have Anthony Harris