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Dec. 8, 2006

Charlottesville, Va. – Virginia grid stars Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Will Barker, and Jameel Sewell have been named to The Sporting News’ Freshman All-American team.

Fitzgerald was named to the first team, while Barker was a second-team choice. Sewell was an honorable mention selection.

Fitzgerald saw his most significant action since his junior year of high school in Richmond three years ago, He burst onto the collegiate scene this fall, starting all 12 games. He averaged 5.3 tackles per game this season, tops in the nation among freshmen linemen and 18th among all freshmen. He led the team with six sacks, the third most by a UVa freshman, and ranked third nationally among freshmen. He also shared the team lead with 12 tackles for loss, fourth among all rookies and third-most in a season by a UVa freshman.

Barker, a native of Bryn Mawr, Pa., added more than 40 pounds to his 6-7 frame during the offseason and won a starting spot at right tackle. He started all 12 games there this season and was one of three first-time starters along the line. His development progressed throughout the season and mirrored that of the offense that four of its top-six performances in the second half of the season.

Sewell moved into the starter’s role at quarterback in the fourth game and remained there the rest of the way, setting virtually every UVa freshman passing record. He started the final nine games and completed 143 of 247 passes for 1342 yards and five touchdowns. Sewell also finished as the team’s second-leading rusher with 200 yards and four scores.

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