March 29, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE — When UVa’s football players jogged onto the practice field this afternoon, the quarterbacks wore red jerseys.
Quintin Hunter was in blue.
Hunter, a 6-1, 195-pound rising sophomore, is a wide receiver again. That was the position he played for the Cavaliers as a true freshman last season, but he asked new coach Mike London for an opportunity to work at quarterback this spring, and Hunter’s request was granted.
After two weeks, however, it became clear that Hunter was unlikely to crack the rotation at QB, so he moved back to wideout.
“Coach London, he gave me the chance to be a quarterback the first two weeks of spring practice,” Hunter said today. “It was kind of sluggish for me, and I realized now’s the time when I can be best at receiver.”
London said: “There’s no use being a fourth quarterback right now, because you’re not going to play. You don’t want to be the fourth quarterback and not play special teams. You want to be another position, receiver, and play on special teams. Get on the field. I know he just wants to get on the field and he wants to play, and we’ll give him a chance to try to do that.”
At Orange County High School, Hunter starred at several positions, including quarterback, tailback, wideout and defensive back.
He appeared in nine games for UVa last season, catching one pass for 13 yards.
“All the feedback we got was that he ran good routes,” London said, and Hunter’s hands are among the best on the team.
Hunter said he’s not that far behind the players who’ve been working at wideout all spring, “because I’m not losing a lot going from QB to receiver. I know the plays and the formations. I just got to get back to the receiver stuff.”
Rising senior Marc Verica has taken most of the snaps with the first-team offense this spring. Ross Metheny and Michael Strauss are battling for the No. 2 job.
Metheny will be a redshirt freshman in the fall. Strauss is a true freshman who started classes at UVa in January.
“We’ve got to find a backup that can run the offense,” London said Saturday after UVa’s practice at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. “Don’t ask too much of him. Just make the throws and calls, hand off to our backs and let the line block for them.”
Three more quarterbacks will arrive this summer: Miles Gooch, Jake McGee and Michael Rocco. Each could end up at another position.