With quite a few notable players gone from the 2012 UVa football roster, this year's team is ready to start filling some of those voids.
The Cavaliers' rushing attack lost running back Perry Jones to graduation and Clifton Richardson to transfer, but teammates say junior Kevin Parks is ready to step up.
"You have Kevin Parks, who is an amazing running back. He does so many things for us," says senior offensive tackle Morgan Moses, while pointing out that Parks led the team in total rushing yards in 2012.
There is also fresh talent in the backfield that Moses expects to make an impact right away.
"Taquan Mizzell, who's a true freshman coming in, we're looking for him to step up as well.
"Perry's a great player, but I don't think, if you ask [Kevin Parks], I'm pretty sure he'll say that he can do everything that Perry does. So I don't think we're losing that much in the backfield."
Moses leads an offensive line that lost Oday Aboushi, but has four starters back from last year. "That will definitely help us," he says. "That's one thing that you look for on offense, is to have a great offensive line to get that running game."
The players aren't just filling new roles on the field. For some, they're also in new leadership roles. Moses is one of just eight seniors on the 2013 roster. Fellow senior and UVa defensive end Jake Snyder says that puts both players in a unique position.
"Just off the bat you know if you've been around for 5 years, you're going to be looked up to no matter what. You add in starting for a few seasons, and that just makes it even more so."
Snyder and Moses have both started 24 games for the 'Hoos over the last two seasons. Now, as two of the most senior members of the team, their offseasons have involved more than just training.
"I think that's one thing I've developed this spring is being more of a vocal leader instead of just going out there and playing ball," said Moses. "I think that's helping me, I know it's helping Jake out to be more vocal and to have that character of leadership."
"Guys are going to look up to us, because of the way we work and because of the way we play," adds Snyder. On the field, off the field, all things, just trying to do the right thing, trying to set the example for the young guys coming in is the most important thing for us."
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