Cavalier Corner

April 2015

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Archer, the veteran assistant who oversaw the safeties last season, was promoted to associate head coach in the offseason and traded position responsibilities with Tenuta, who had coached the linebackers. "It's a win-win for us having Coach Archer focusing on the linebackers now and having Coach Tenuta working with the defensive backfield," London said. "We've already seen that playing out." Virginia opened spring practice March 17, and midway through the allowed 15 sessions, London said he had been very impressed with true first-year linebacker C.J. Stalker. The former four-star prospect from Ohio enrolled early this semester and is getting what London called a "crash course" in Tenuta's defense. "He's shown that he's up to the task," the head coach said. "Now it's a question of him being able to retain that information and continue to grow physically so that he's ready next fall. But he's a very, very smart kid who wants to be a doctor, and right now, he's showing us he's ready." Another intriguing change for the defense this spring has been to move cornerback Maurice Canady to safety opposite Quin Blanding. That allows the Cavaliers to have their best four defensive backs on the field (including corners Demetrious Nicholson and Tim Harris), London said. Offensively, the Cavaliers return a host of experience both at quarterback and on the offensive line. The biggest un- certainty might come at tailback, where UVa must replace departed fourth-years Kevin Parks and Khalek Shepherd. "Clearly, this is Taquan Mizzell's chance to show what he's made of," London said. "He had a rough freshman year with the injuries and then had a nice year last year. Now he's the guy. He's got to be able to produce for us." Along with Mizzell, London said that several other backs, including Daniel Hamm, LaChaston Smith and Jordan Ellis, all will have opportunities to earn time. — Brad Franklin

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