Scouting the ACC: Virginia
Offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson is the top prospect on this side of the ball.
An outstanding athlete, Ferguson possesses great skill in pass
protection, blocking with solid fundamentals and displaying the ability to slide
his feet off the edge. Quick to the
second level, he redirects to linebackers and effectively pulls across the line
of scrimmage, blocking in motion. A
big imposing athlete, he jolts defenders at the point of attack and easily
adjusts anywhere on the field. Not
overly instinctive, Ferguson overextends and at times presents himself as a
marginal run blocker who cannot finish. He
offers terrific size as well as upside for the next level and will be a top 12
selection next year. Right tackle Brad Butler does not get the same mention of his teammate yet is still a solid
late round prospect. A solid
position blocker, Butler rides opponents from their angle of attack and stays
after assignments. Setting with a
wide base, he is also an alert lineman who works well with teammates.
Needing to improve his overall playing strength, Butler lacks the
dominant base and is more of a backup at the next level.
Guard Brian Barthelmes is a nasty lineman best in a small area.
Explosive into blocks, Barthelmes is quick to the second level and works
to take opponents out. Getting straight legged, he lacks the dominant base, footwork in space and does not play
with great balance. Running back Wali Lundy is a patient ball carrier on the inside who breaks the first tackle to
pick up yardage off initial contact. Displaying
both patience and vision, Lundy waits for blocks to develop then finds the
running lanes. Not a creative or
elusive back, Lundy is best between tackle and underachieves as a blocker.
The team welcomes the return of Ottawa Anderson and a consistent
pass catcher who sat on the sidelines last year due to academic in eligibility. Anderson presents himself as a potential number five receiver
in the NFL. Jason Snelling is a hard
hitting fullback who works to get a pad on defenders. Strong in his lower body, Snelling picks up yardage off
contact and breaks tackles between carrying the ball.
The Cavaliers have a tremendous amount of talent at linebacker starting with junior Ahmad Brooks. An explosive defender with outstanding instincts, Brooks quickly diagnoses the action and immediately fills gaps up the field, displaying the ability to run ball carriers down in pursuit. Stacking well against the run, he remains disciplined, plays under control and effectively defends the pass in zone. Brooks must now overcome a serious knee problem as he underwent surgery in January to regenerate bone growth. He will miss the season opener and his status is uncertain. Brooks physical skills and play on the field warrant a top 15 pick in the draft yet recent medical procedures on his knee could send up red flags. Teammate Kai Parham is another explosive athlete who displays top sideline to sideline range. Hard-hitting, Parham quickly fills gaps in run defense yet also gets depth in coverage. Not efficient, Parham does not always take correct angles to the action and gets caught up in the trash laterally. Offering plenty of physical skill and good size, the junior must smooth out the rough edges of his game. Marcus Hamilton is a junior corner we like a lot and a fluid cover man with good instincts. Displaying footwork in reverse, Hamilton quickly plants then breaks on the throw. Active backed off the line of scrimmage, he does a nice job reading the quarterback and has a decisive move to the play. Senior defensive linemen Brennan Schmidt and Kwakou Robinson are players to keep on the radar screen.
Virginia Prospect List