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News & notes from the first day of Virginia football training camp

A Virginia staffer standing next to first-year Coach Mike London blared a foghorn at 3:39 p.m. Friday, and with that, the Cavaliers' training camp began. Under a blazing sun, the Virginia players moved at a crisp pace, transitioning from drills to seven-on-seven situations to play executions. All in all, it was a fairly routine start to the team's first camp under London's watch.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • A few players had cramping issues, which was understandable given the intense heat. Most notably, senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling went down with heel cramps late in the workout. He had to be helped over to the side of the field by two team staffers. Once there and seated on the ground, Dowling took off his cleats and rolled his black socks halfway up his feet. Then a team trainer placed an ice pack underneath each heel. At one point, London approached Dowling and made a comment as he leaned over to check on him. Coach and player laughed as London walked away. Dowling was standing, though walking gingerly, by the end of practice.
  • London, who spoke to reporters before the start of practice, said he had received a few reports back from players who completed their summer school courses Friday and that all were positive so far. He said junior linebacker Darnell Carter "got the grade that he needed to be ready to play." However, London has not heard whether senior running backs Raynard Horne and Keith Payne passed their respective classes. Both players participated in Friday's workout. Payne said after practice he felt confident he had done enough in the classroom to remain eligible.
  • With the kicking duties already apparently set, it is possible sophomore place kicker Drew Jarrett will redshirt this season. London said junior Robert Randolph will handle the field goals and the extra points, Jimmy Howell will handle the punts and junior Chris Hinkebein will handle the kickoffs. Hinkebein also may attempt some long-distance field goals, according to London. As for Jarrett, London said the idea of redshirting him is "on the table."
  • Redshirt freshman Hunter Steward will play defensive tackle this season, provided he remains academically eligible. London said Steward, who previously had played offensive tackle, is "one of those guys that I'm waiting for the grades to come in to see where he is at that point. He'll start out there today and how long he stays there will be dependent upon his academic endeavors. In a couple days we'll see where he's at."

By Steve Yanda  |  August 6, 2010; 8:21 PM ET
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