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Sunday, July 28, 2013
Since a posting a blog last week that covered Virginia’s updated football roster, there has been another update that includes more than a handful of walk-ons.
The roster currently on UVa’s athletics websites contains 111 players, only 105 of whom can go to camp with the Cavaliers.
The rest of the players can join the team after the start of classes, or sooner if there is any attrition in the 105.
I count a total of 31 walk-ons, some of whom have received scholarships and are familiar to many UVa fans. That group includes punter Alec Vozenilek, snapper Matt Fortin and fullback Billy Skrobacz.
A lot of these guys have been around for a while — guys like redshirt sophomore center John Pond, who recently came to prominence when he caddied for UVa women’s golfer Lauren Coughlin when she won her second straight Virginia Women’s Amateur golf championship.
Two other redshirt offensive linemen, guard Jon Goss and Nick Koutris, are fourth-year juniors.
It’s not clear if redshirt freshman Jackson Matteo has a scholarship yet but he’s a walk-on slated to start at center .
What jumped out at me, however, were the names I didn’t recognize:
I knew that Timesland athlete of the year Daniel Hamm from Fort Chiswell was walking on as a tailback candidate, but I didn’t know that 2012-13 Brookville High School standout Anthony Calloway was a Cavalier cornerback candidate.
Calloway (5 foot 8, 150 pounds) rushed for 1,190 yards last season at Brookville, a two-time state champion, and was a member of state-championship 800 and 400 relay teams.
Andrew Mackay is a 6-2, 200-pound walk-on quarterback and wide receiver candidate who passed for more than 3,000 yards in his career at W.T. Woodson in Fairfax. Eleven of his relatives have gone to UVa, including both of his parents, and his mother was a spectator at the epic 1995 UVa-Florida State game while she was pregnant with him.
There’s also Jack Babcock, a 6-3, 265-pound offensive lineman from Deep Run High School, alma mater of current UVa defensive end Jake Snyder and offensive guard Conner Davis. Babcock was the MVP of the Deep Run basketball team, which would indicate that he has decent feet, and his father played football at TCU.
Phillip Berry, whose name I’ve mentioned previously, is a 6-6, 290-pound offensive-line prospect who was an all-Prep League selection last year at Woodberry Forest, attracting significant walk-on interest.
Tyler Shirley, a 6-3, 195-pound long-snapping candidate from Midlothian, was a wide receiver at James River-Midlothian, where he also played baseball. One of his cousins is Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson.
Walk-on R.C. Willenbrock, no relation to Virginia Tech offensive lineman Jack Willenbrock, is a 2013 Dartmouth graduate who is a walk-on place-kicker for the Cavaliers.
Willenbrock played football and lacrosse at Cherry Creek High School in suburban Denver and appeared in nine lacrosse games for Dartmouth over three seasons, 2010-12. He missed the 2010 and 2011 football seasons due to injury but once was said to have “unlimited potential” by kicking guru Chris Sailer.
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