CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia Cavaliers are pulling back the reins, despite the go-ahead from the NCAA. The football team will not pick up any weights or balls until the commonwealth and the university give it the green light, but it’s been a blessing in disguise.
“This is actually more than what we’ve ever done in the month of May and June,” Kelly Poppinga, the Cavaliers’ outside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, said.
The team would typically finish finals in May, and coaches wouldn’t talk to them until the summer semester started in mid-June.
“We’re getting more communication done with them now than we ever have in the past. It’s just really the lack of not having spring ball," Poppinga said.
Coach Poppinga says he has full trust in his players that the 'Hoos are doing exactly what the coaches are asking of them.
“Guys are getting bigger, faster, stronger. Coach Griz has done a good of a job as he has done with the circumstances. There’s no rush, I think we have plenty of time now we get into July. Then yeah, things start to get a little more intense and you feel a little bit more pressed,” he said.
Until then, players continue to work hard, and coaches coordinate with each other. Clint Sintim is joining the defensive coaches, and he used to wear that orange and blue jersey at Scott Stadium.
“He can really relate to them of how it is to play good defense," Poppinga said. "He was on some good defense when he was here. He’s played with some really good players, as well. Just his experience that he has of being here. I think can really relate to these guys and man he’s really smart. I think he presents very well, players listen to him.”
The first game of UVA football season is scheduled for September 7 against Georgia in Atlanta, but with safety the number-one priority, it’s possible that date could still change.