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Ras-I Dowling sits out day two of Virginia football training camp

Updated: 9:42 p.m.

Senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling did not participate in Saturday's practice, the second of Virginia's training camp. Dowling, who sat out the final 45 minutes of Friday's practice after suffering cramps in both his feet, declined to discuss why he did not practice Saturday, though he said he planned to participate in Sunday's workout.

Virginia Coach Mike London speaks with reporters before practice begins and was not available for comment afterward. Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid said Dowling "had a cramp (Friday), of all things in his foot because I think his shoes were too tight. He could have gone (Saturday), but he's mad at us because we made him sit it out."

A two-time second team all-ACC selection, Dowling is expected to be one of the leading performers on the Cavaliers defense this season. He has been named to the watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy -- given annually to the nation's top defensive player -- and Thorpe Award -- given annually to the nation's top defensive back.

The players have practiced in helmets and jerseys the first two days of camp. Beginning Sunday, the players will don shoulder pads as they continue to go through the NCAA-mandated acclimation period at the start of camp.

As for other notes from day two ...

  • London said he likely would not receive a grade report on how senior running backs Keith Payne and Raynard Horne performed in their final summer school classes until Monday. Whether either player is eligible to compete this season is dependent largely upon the grades they receive in their respective classes.

    "I feel pretty confident about the fact that they will have met the criteria that was set before them," London said. "They seem confident about it. We'll keep marching forward and see what happens on Monday, but I think so far, so good."

  • Asked for an evaluation of senior quarterback Marc Verica's performance on the first day of training camp, London said "starting out, not as sharp as what it needed to be, and then as practice went on, he started making the throws that we're calling for him to make in the offense."

    London said he wanted to see Verica assert more command in the huddle and not be shy about "getting in somebody's face if he needs to." As the first practice progressed, London saw improvement in that regard.

    "He's a work in progress like all of us," London said. "But (Saturday) is a big day for him to see what kind of level of improvement he's made, as well as several other players out here."

    Verica appeared to be just as sharp throwing the ball on day two as he was on day one. His passes of short, intermediate and long range often found there mark, including one 40-yard strike to sophomore Tim Smith down the sideline with junior cornerback Chase Minnifield in coverage.


By Steve Yanda  |  August 7, 2010; 6:21 PM ET
 
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