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Aug. 17, 2010
8:12 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Early in training camp, he worked at cornerback. Now he’s at safety.

Where Pablo Alvarez will end up, it’s probably too early to say.

“He’s just a young player,” Anthony Poindexter, who coaches UVa’s safeties, said after practice Tuesday.

“A young player’s gotta learn. We’ll start him out at cornerback, move him in to safety, try to groom him at both positions, just see if he’s going to be ready to help us this year. If not, we’re just waiting till he’s ready to develop to play next year.”

Alvarez, a 6-3, 185-pound true freshman from Coral Gables, Fla., is among the fastest Cavaliers. With Mike London’s blessing, Alvarez is likely to compete for Virginia’s track team after football season ends.

At Florida’s Class 3A track-and-field meet in May, Alvarez won two state titles: one in the 300-meter hurdles and the other on Belen Jesuit Prep’s 4×100 relay team. He was also one of the nation’s fastest high-schoolers in the 110 hurdles as a 12th-grader for Belen Jesuit.

Not counting Alvarez, UVa has only four safeties on scholarship: senior Trey Womack and juniors Rodney McLeod, Corey Mosley and Dom Joseph.

“So we’re cross-training a little bit here [with Alvarez],” Poindexter said, “trying to add some depth to the position. We’re kind of light, but if we can stay healthy, I think we can be a pretty good group.”

It’s not ideal to have so few safeties, Poindexter acknowledged, but right “now you gotta practice with who you got and try to get them blows when you can. But it’s training camp, so [the first- and second-teamers] will be getting most of the reps anyway. As we start moving closer to the game, Coach London’s got a plan to cut people’s reps back and get their legs back under them. I let him handle that. Right now we’re just pushing forward.”

Jeff White

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