Now that his players are wearing shells in practice -- and the full pads come out on Friday -- Virginia coach Mike London says it's time to see what he has in his young football team.
"We'll see here, if not today, then the next couple weeks," London said before Wednesday's third practice of the summer. "Because today is the first day of shells, where you can actually, physically block, tackle someone. And see how physical and rugged we are."
As London pointed out, the majority of his players are either sophomores, redshirt freshmen, or incoming freshmen. While many have some game experience, most are just learning the game at the college level.
"A lot of questions are yet to be answered," London said. "But I'm hoping that out of this practice, and tomorrow's, and then Saturday's scrimmage, that we'll have some answers for some of these young players."
One question still unanswered is who the Cavaliers' starting quarterback will be, though all signs point to David Watford. The sophomore has taken all of the snaps with the first-team offense through the first three days of camp, and said Wednesday that his comfort level has grown each day.
"Just getting back in the flow of things," Watford said. "Because Monday, I was just really anxious, and really excited to get back out here. Some of the anxiety, it showed. But I felt like today I'm more comfortable, I'm more relaxed."
"Still, you make mistakes every day in practice," added Watford, who did throw an interception during 11-on-11 drills on Wednesday. "But you've got to learn from them, and just bounce back and get better every day."
London said before practice that he's seen improvement from all of the teams quarterbacks, particularly with their accuracy. And he said getting into more full-contact drills would impact the evaluation process at the quarterback position.
"I think we're moving in the direction of finding out who can do what," London said.
"Today is important, because now there will be kind of a live rush at them. There will be guys that will be in their faces," he explained. "And that's always important. Coaches will call plays to put pressure on the quarterback, to make them make decisions. And you want to see how those things play out."
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