Aug. 18, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE – When training camp opened Aug. 6, Terence Fells-Danzer seemed likely to emerge from preseason practice as UVa’s No. 1 fullback. Max Milien, however, has conceded nothing.
“Those guys have been battling,” Virginia coach Mike London said on a teleconference Wednesday morning.
“Terence started out ahead, and then Max has just done a nice job in practice and, I would say, just about pulled even. Again, the competition between the two will make both of them better.”
At this time last summer, when Al Groh was still in charge, both players were at different positions: Fells-Danzer at linebacker and Milien at tailback. The fullback all but disappeared at UVa in 2009, but new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has installed a pro-style scheme that often uses a fullback.
“You have situations where you can protect the quarterback more or you can run the ball or try to capture the edge,” London said, “and the fullback becomes a very important part of your offense, just as the tight end is for us.
“We’ve used the fullback a lot during this camp here, running isolations and getting the fullback the ball in the flat and just doing some things protection-wise with him.”
Fells-Danzer is a 6-1, 240-pound junior from Culpeper. Milien, who’s from Arlington, is also a junior, but at 6-0, 215 pounds he’s considerably smaller than Fells-Danzer.
For that matter, Milien is considerably smaller than one of the Cavaliers’ tailbacks, 6-3, 255-pound Keith Payne. But London said Fells-Danzer and Milien “have shown they’re very capable of being college fullbacks.”
Both can block, London said, both can run the ball, and both can slip out of the backfield to catch passes. And that’s a good thing, the Wahoos’ first-year coach said.
“The more that they can do, the more versatile we can be,” London said.