As the Virginia Cavaliers look to correct the issues that caused a 2-10 season (you can check the podcast of the two hour breakdown with the WINA Football analysts http://wina.com/best-seat/virginia-football-round-table-hour-1/) two things definitely come to mind. Quarterback and depth in the defensive secondary. Obviously quarterback is the critical issue for this football team, and a program that hasn’t had a consistent answer at the most dynamic position on the field since 2005. Watford and Lambert may be the names most fans are familiar with, but there is another signal caller soon to arrive in Charlottesville that could push Watford and Lambert. His name is Corwin “Turtle” Cutler, a former teammate of Eli Harold’s at Ocean Lakes high school. Cutler is currently enrolled in a post graduate year at Fork Union Military Academy. While he won’t be able to join the Hoos until fall practice, one recruiting expert believes he has all the intangibles to make an impact on this team. ” Being a passing quarterback is part of his DNA” said Brad Franklin, recruiting analyst from Cavscorner.com in his recent appearance on “The Best Seat In The House”. ” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player get it as well in terms of the mechanics of that position. In terms of him being a cerebral guy he’s absolutely that, he understands route concepts he understands defenses, he understands how to get an offense moving and what he needs to do in order to do that.” Franklin also believes that Cutler could impact the rotation in 2014 ” Certainly I think the quarterback position takes a step up either because he pushes who wins that job or because he himself wins that job, the quarterback position gets a nice bump when he arrives on grounds.”
The other issue is depth in the secondary, the injuries to Demetrius Tre Nicholson and Maurice Canady put Virginia in a difficult position in their secondary this past season. At times they were forced to play true freshman Tim Harris, who showed his youth at times having to defend opposing receivers like Sammy Watkins of Clemson. Teams went after the inexperienced Harris for obvious reasons and they enjoyed success. However Virginia will get some much needed help in the back end of the defense next year when 5 star Virginia Beach talent Quin Blanding joins Mike London’s team. Franklin also had high praise for the highly recruited safety out of Bayside High School. ”Mike Ferrell of Rivals.com told me if Quin wasn’t a safety, he’d be the number one player in the country. Mainly because of his understanding of the game and the way he attacks it. He played pretty much anywhere on the field for his Bayside team this year, but he’s a safety and he’s gonna be a really good one, and you’ll probably see him start day one.”
As for Andrew Brown, Franklin believes he will have an impact, but doesn’t believe that Brown will start right away in the same manner Blanding will due to the nature of his position, and the depth UVA has at defensive tackle. Those two high prized recruits would not likely remain recruited to UVA if Mike London was not the coach according to Franklin. ” you’re talking about the entire country, the best of the best want those kids. It would be really difficult for them if Virginia made a head coaching change, to wait out and see who the next coach would be and then try to see what that relationship would be like.” You can hear the interview with Franklin and the entire to hours of the football season recap by following this link: http://wina.com/best-seat/categories/best-seat-podcasts/
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