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Coach Groh talks about the opening days of training camp

Sunday is Meet the Team Day at Scott Stadium

At the end of each season head coach Al Groh talks about “putting the team back together” for the following year. The process begins with the winter workout period and progresses through the spring practice period. Following spring ball the next phase is the summer workout time that prepares the Cavaliers for training camp and the season upcoming.

Part of this training camp will be utilized to put the offensive line “back together.” RG Ian-Yates Cunningham and C Jordy Lipsey graduated, while LG Branden Albert entered the NFL draft and was a first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, the second Cavalier offensive lineman taken in the first round in three years, joining D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who was the New York Jets’ top pick in 2006.

“When players leave, it’s unrealistic to replace the player and it’s unfair to the next player,” Groh said Wednesday. “What we just try to do is try to replace the aggregate performance by the unit. Obviously it’s more easily schemed up on defense where you can account for the production more so than it is when you account for blocks.

“Those guys are gone. They were great for us, but time moves on and we’ve moved on to the future without them. This is a new team with a different personality.”

As the senior-most member of this year’s line, senior LT Eugene Monroe will be looked to extend Virginia’s reputation of developing excellent offensive linemen.

“We feel like we’re establishing a reputation for developing offensive linemen,” said Groh. “All of them have … developed throughout the course of their careers. (Monroe) is the only one between Albert, Ferguson and himself who was hindered by injuries early in his career, so he didn’t have the opportunity for the same consistency and repetition that the others did, but now that he’s being able to build up those repetitions his game is really starting to move along nicely. He’s got very good athletic ability and has been one of the hardest workers on the team. He really knows what’s going on at his position and he’s got a lot of focus at it.”

Groh indicated that Zak Stair, Patrick Slebonick and Austin Pasztor have been working at left guard.

He said the staff was pleased with Stair’s performance in the spring and how it has carried over to the early stages of training camp. “He had one of the most positive timeframes in the spring,” the head coach said. “He seemed to be pretty well focused during the summer. He knows what’s going on and he can play all the positions. Hopefully that will be a real aid in there to some of the other players.”


The team practiced in helmets and shorts through the early part of training camp and puts on shoulder pads for the first time today. The squad moves into full gear on Friday.

Five first-year players have been added as walk-ons during training camp. In addition, former Cavalier men’s soccer player Yannick Reyering, who has never played football before, has joined the team as a placekicker.

No. Name
High School
70 John Maghamez C 6-3 285 1 Asburn, Va. Briar Wood
16 Kyle McCartin QB 6-4 200 1 Warrenton, Va. Fauquier
21 Johnny Pickett WR 5-11 165 1 Centreville, Va. Westfield
30 Robert Randolph PK 5-10 160 1 Naples, Fla. Naples
10 Yannick Reyering PK 6-5 205 4 Mettingen, Germany Furstenberg School
39 Brady Stovall LB 6-2 235 1 Roanoke, Va. Cave Spring
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