On Monday, four Cavalier players met with the media to talk VMI, the bye week, and more. Here are some highlights...
Tight end, Zach Swanson is coming off of a four catches for 43 yards performance in Virginia's loss to Oregon. Swanson noted that he was one of the team's most improved players during the spring and it is now translating onto the field.
This season, Swanson made the transition from fullback to tight end, which is his natural position. The Texas native said that he missed getting the ball when he was at fullback, and he can utilize his skills better at the tight end position.
While every team utilizes the bye week differently, the Cavaliers were hard at work addressing mistakes from the first two games. Swanson said that the bye week was "tough" and had a "camp-like" feel to it."
While the bye week was intense, the junior still managed to have a little fun. Swanson switched jersey numbers with fellow tight end, , Jake McGee for a practice, which drew the ire of defensive coordinator, Jon Tenuta.
While defensive ends, Jake Snyder , and Eli Harold garnered much preseason attention, all eyes have been on the interior defensive line so far this season; more specifically, on Brent Urban. Urban is in his second season at DT, and his impressive play has drawn in dozens of NFL scouts to Virginia practices. Urban said on Monday that the attention is flattering, but he does his best to tune out the distractions, and just plays his game.'
After an injury-ridden first two years in a Cavalier uniform, Urban is finally healthy. The Canadian said on Monday that being injury-free. Urban said that light came on for him midway through last season, and the Virginia Tech game was a benchmark in his development.
Originally recruited as a defensive end, Urban slid over to defensive tackle prior to the start of the 2012 season. The senior said that UVa was his first offer and gave him the best opportunity to play.
Urban was selected number two in the CFL draft last year, but never wavered in his decision to return to Charlottesville for his senior season.
Cornerback, Drequan Hoskey , and the Virginia defense fell into an early hole against Oregon back on September 7th. Hoskey credited lightening-quick Duck offense for their efficiency, and noted that it was tough to come back once Oregon got going.
Despite the lopsided defeat, Hoskey remains confident in the UVa defense. The Richmond native said on Monday that Oregon will prepare the team for any opposition facing them for the rest of the season. Hoskey noted that Virginia used the bye week to correct several mistakes from the Oregon game.
Hoskey had high praise for true freshman, Tim Harris, who saw limited action in Virginia's loss to Oregon. The junior corner said Harris is "learning the game fast, and will be a great player in the future."
In addition to football, Hoskey is a track standout at UVa as well. Hoskey said that running track has made him a better football player.
Matt Fortin is in his third year as Virginia's starting long snapper. Fortin said that he has learned a great deal from his predecessor, current New England Patriots long snapper, Danny Aiken , and that the two still regularly communicate via text.
Fortin said that there is more of an emphasis on special teams during practice this year, thanks to first year coordinator, Larry Lewis.
At 5-11, 185 pounds, Fortin is often one of the smallest player on the field. Fortin said that his small build has occasionally led to ribbing from opponents, including the Auburn defensive front, who called him "Rudy" during the Chick Fil A Bowl.
A former walk-on, Fortin was awarded a scholarship prior to a team meeting in the spring. The West Chester Pennsylvania native said that he would like to come back for fifth year in 2014.