UVA opens preseason camp In Charlottesville

Tony Elliott Era is Officially Underway
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:38 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) -Just as Tony Elliott started the spring buzzing around to individual drills, the UVA head coach picked up there with the Cavaliers first practice of fall camp.

“At the end of the day football is won when the pressure is on,” Elliott said, pointing to one of the reasons he is so involved, “Is when guys can trust their fundamentals and stay fundamentally sound, late in the game or in those pressure situations.”

Elliott provided an edge to practice on Wednesday, stepping in to throw balls for receiver drills, pulling Billy Kemp and Demick Starling aside for punt return practice and yelling at players to put their helmets fully on while waiting between reps. The first time head coach was also relieved to see a full roster at practice after starting last spring with just 54 scholarship players.

The extra depth across the field will help answer some of the burning questions for Elliott in his first fall camp, mainly on the offensive and defensive lines. But if the Cavaliers are going to work towards answering the questions on the offensive line or shoring up defensive miscues it starts with one thing: fundamentals.

“I think they got better by addition just because all the guys who came in had experience and creates competition,” Elliott said, “There were some young talented guys, but the biggest thing is for us as coaches to make sure that we instill confidence and it starts with the fundamentals and as the fundamentals continue to improve then we can focus on schematics.”

Since the spring, Virginia added six transfers primarily in the trenches. Dartmouth transfer John Paul Flores has played at guard and tackle, but also saw reps at center on Wednesday, while UVA also added Leigh transfer Andrew Canelas on the offensive line. At the start of fall camp though, Virginia used a lineup of all returners in Jonathan Leech, Derek Devine, Ty Furnish, Noah Josey and Logan Taylor as the first unit.

On the defensive line, the Cavaliers look much deeper with the additions of grad transfers Kam Butler, Paul Akere and Jack Camper on the edge, along with Devontae Davis inside, a presence Elliott says you cannot miss at 6′4″, 300-plus pounds.

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