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Aug. 30, 2010
10:08 a.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — At least two of Mike London’s players will run track after football season ends — true freshmen Pablo Alvarez and Drequan Hoskey.

Hoskey, a 6-0, 163-pound cornerback from the Richmond area, came to UVa on a track scholarship, but he’s been practicing with the football team this month.

Alvarez is a 6-3, 185-pound safety from Coral Gables, Fla. He’s at Virginia on a football scholarship but, with London’s blessing, will also run track.

Hoskey won the 55-meter hurdles at the Group AAA state indoor championships as a Henrico High senior. Alvarez won two Class 3A state titles in Florida: one in the 300-meter hurdles and the other on Belen Jesuit Prep’s 4×100 relay team.

For years, London has seen skill-position football players at such ACC schools as Florida State and Miami thrive in track, and he’s eager to work with Jason Vigilante, UVa’s director of track & field and cross country.

London said he likes the idea of “having a track coach that can teach you how to run faster, and then utilizing our strength coach, Brandon Hourigan, in doing the football part of it. But fast is fast, and if somebody can teach you how to run even faster, then I’m all for it.”

Hoskey is one of the lightest players on London’s roster and clearly would benefit from time in the weight room. But the Cavaliers are thin are certain positions, and Hoskey might be pressed into service on special teams this fall.

“For everybody that’s out here, it’s a day-by-day thing now, with guys moving up and down the depth chart, and trying to find the best 11 on any special-teams [unit], any O or D situation, that can go give us the best chance to win,” London said before practice Friday.

“So he’s being evaluated like everybody else. The thing that he has is speed. He can run. So if it works out, fine. If not, if he’s not ready, then fine also. But like I said, the one prerequisite for running down on kickoffs and stuff like that is being able to run, and that’s what he can do.”

Virginia opens the season Saturday evening against Richmond at Scott Stadium. When the depth chart is released, true freshman Michael Strauss may be No. 4, behind starter Marc Verica and, in some order, redshirt freshman Ross Metheny and another true freshman, Mike Rocco.

The Wahoo’s No. 5 quarterback is true freshman Miles Gooch, and he’ll lead the scout-team offense in certain situations.

“If the [opponent’s] quarterback is a spread-option guy, he’s that guy,” London said of the 6-3, 215-pound Gooch. “If the quarterback is a guy that’s a mobile guy and we want him to scramble every once in a while, then he’s that guy. Then the other day we had Miles run down on kickoffs, just to see him and evaluate him.”

The No. 4 quarterback also will periodically work with the scout team, London said. In those situations, Gooch might play wide receiver, London said.

Jeff White

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