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No change at QB but plenty on the line as Virginia released its post-spring depth chart.
Geoffe Burke | USA TODAY Sports
Virginia coach Mike London (center) listed walk-on Jackson Matteo (67) as the No. 1 center on the Cavs’ post-spring depth chart.
Jackson Matteo (center), a walk-on from Broad Run High School, tops UVa’s depth chart at center. Redshirt senior Luke Bowanko moves from center to the No. 1 left guard.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Prior to the release of Virginia’s post-spring football depth chart, most of the anticipation surrounded the identity of the player who would be taking snaps from center.
There was some news Monday involving the center-quarterback exchange, but it concerned the snapper.
Jackson Matteo, a redshirt freshman walk-on from Broad Run High School in Loudoun County, was listed No. 1 at center. Luke Bowanko, the Cavaliers’ starting center in 2012, was listed No. 1 at left offensive guard.
Bowanko, a redshirt senior, was Virginia’s starting right guard in 2011.
“We went into [the spring] trying to determine who our top five or six linemen were,” UVa head coach Mike London said in a teleconference Monday. “You try to find the right mix.”
Virginia also had distributed a pre-spring depth chart that had sophomore David Watford, redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert and junior Phillip Sims listed in that order at quarterback.
They were listed in the same order Monday, but there was an “or” separating each of their names.
“Trust me, we are committed to having our quarterback named in the early part of August,” London said. “There’s three very talented quarterbacks. We’re excited to see who’s going to come out of this hunt.
“We all know they have the skills. They all have the ability. I want to see who emerges as leaders out of this group. What happens now is, there’s no coaching intervention now, no coaching or teaching.”
Sims, a transfer from Alabama, played in all 12 games last year and made four starts. Some may have viewed him as the heir apparent when eight-game starter Michael Rocco decided to transfer following the season.
“Don’t forget, David played as a true freshman,” said London, who chose to redshirt Watford last season. “Greyson Lambert is everything that’s advertised, being 6-5 with a strong arm. I think we’re blessed to have guys with an enormous amount of talent.”
A comparison of the pre-spring and post-spring depth charts showed considerable shuffling along the offensive line.
The early chart had a first five of senior Morgan Moses at left tackle, junior Cody Wallace at left guard, Bowanko at center, sophomore Ross Burbank at right guard and senior Sean Cascarano at right tackle.
Only Moses’ slot remains unchanged on the updated list. Bowanko is at left guard, Matteo at center, Cascarano at right guard and sophomore Jay Whitmire at right tackle.
The last time the players were measured, Matteo was listed at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds. He advised UVa’s sports information office that he is up to 290.
Matteo originally committed to Temple as a senior in high school but elected to take a preferred walk-on spot at Virginia. He could be in for a scholarship if anticipated playing time comes to fruition in the fall.
“Although Luke Bowanko was a very, very good center, [the move] will make us a more rugged, physical team,” London said.
Theoretically, Matteo could be the Cavaliers’ center for the next four years, while Bowanko has one year of remaining eligibility.
“Luke will be right next to him,” London continued. “The center is the guy who makes [the calls] but I’ve been here before when Elton Brown was a guard and he did that, and Eugene [Monroe] was a tackle and we relied on him to identify some looks.
“In the recruiting world, you like to recruit tackles, left and right tackles. Having a young center could make that a position of strength for years to come.”
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