Canaan Severin hopes to play right away this season at Virginia. And the freshman wide receiver needs only to look at his roommate this summer for motivation.
"I'm roommates with Dominique Terrell," Severin said Tuesday after practice. "So he's helping me every night. Every night we're going over the plays. He's telling me where I'm supposed to be lining up. He's helping me a lot."
Terrell appeared in all 13 games at wide receiver and punt returner as a true freshman for the Cavaliers last season, finishing his first season with eight catches for 59 yards, including the game-winning touchdown against Idaho. As a sophomore, Terrell entered the preseason second on the Virginia depth chart behind fellow second-year receiver Darius Jennings.
Now Severin, a four-star recruit according to Rivals, says he's trying to follow in his roommate's footsteps.
"I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't want to play my first year, and I think that's a lot of people's expectations," he said. "I'm going to have the ability to do that. That's my goal. That should be everyone's goal, to get better and get on the field their first year."
Severin arrives at Virginia as part of a 2012 recruiting class that the major recruiting websites all ranked among the top 30 in the country last February. The Cavaliers won eight games last season after playing more than a dozen true freshmen.
But before Tuesday's practice, coach Mike London it's too soon to guess how many first-year players will see the field this fall.
"You're going to start putting things on their plate," London said. "Then you're going to have pads on. Then you'll be out there on field. No coaches will be out there; they'll be out there by themselves. So the other things will add up to whether they're ready to play."
Severin was one of four incoming freshmen rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals. The others were defensive ends Eli Harold and Mike Moore, and linebacker Kwontie Moore.
"The biggest adjustment is just the speed of the game," Mike Moore said Tuesday. "Everything is just a little bit faster; everybody is just a little bit stronger. So you've got to find something that separates you from everybody else.
"I want to play," Moore added. "If I'm ready to play, I hope I play. But if I'm not ready, just give me the redshirt."
"It's a little bit overwhelming, but I've just got to stay focused," said freshman corner CJ Moore. "Because the depth chart can change any day, depending on how you do."