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Starting Jobs Up For Grabs in UVa Spring Practice - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Starting Jobs Up For Grabs in UVa Spring Practice

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The UVA football team is in its first week of spring practice.

Virginia is coming off a 2-10 season, and many starting jobs are up for grabs.

It's a fresh start for the cavaliers.

Rising senior cornerback Demetrious Nicholson says, "Energy, that's the biggest thing.  You see guys flying around on offense and defense, and guys are having fun, that's the biggest.

A lot of eyes will be on the quarterbacks.

David Watford struggled last year, and as result, Mike London says the starting job for this year is up for grabs

That opens the door for Greyson Lambert, who played in seven games last year.

Lambert says, "All of us feel like we have an opportunity to play this year.  This offseason, personally, I've been watching film, correcting any of the mistakes I made last year, or trying too."

Highly-touted running back Taquan Mizzell didn't have much of an impact last year as a freshman.  

The speedster, nicknamed "Smoke,"  hurt is ankle in the second game, and was never 100 percent.

He says he feels "explosive" now, thanks in part to joining the UVa track team.

"It helps a lot with speed, flexibility, and technique," says Mizzell, "and after they worked on my technique, I still have a lot of things to learn, but it's helped out already."

This begins Virginia's second year under offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild and defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta.

Nicholson says, "You see a lot of guys flying around faster.  You can see what coach Tenuta wants us to do.  Guys are aggressive, guys getting after it, and are blitzing."  

Mizzell says, "The team is looking great.  Our defense is looking awesome, our offense is getting together, and getting its identity."

Head coach Mike London says, "You go from six to twenty-two seniors on the field.  The sense of urgency that we have as a team is to get better, understanding that last year was not good enough."

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