Cavaliers look for options at tight end with Torchia done for the season
Virginia Coach Mike London confirmed Sunday night that senior tight end Joe Torchia will miss the remainder of the season with a lingering shoulder injury that was re-aggravated during the Cavaliers’ 34-14 loss Oct. 2 against Florida State.
Torchia and his father, Joe Torchia Sr., will fly to Birmingham, Ala. on Tuesday morning and meet with Dr. James Andrews -- a renowned surgeon in the field of sports medicine -- that afternoon, Torchia Sr. said Sunday in a telephone interview. Torchia’s surgery is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re going to lose Joe for the rest of the year, but that’s what happens sometimes,” London said. “Now we’ve got to get better play and find an answer to provide some depth at the tight end position with Colter Phillips and Paul Freedman.”
Phillips, a sophomore, started in Torchia’s place Saturday at Georgia Tech. He caught two passes for five yards against the Yellow Jackets and has compiled six catches for 52 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Freedman, also a sophomore, recorded his first two receptions of the season Saturday. He tallied five receiving yards against Georgia Tech.
As for a No. 3 tight end, London said he would not burn the redshirts of true freshmen Zach Swanson or Jake McGee. While preparing to face the Yellow Jackets last week, Virginia coaches considered using either redshirt freshman offensive guard Luke Bowanko (Centreville) or redshirt freshman defensive end Jeremiah Mathis in that role. Mathis played tight end in high school at DeMatha.
London said the coaches put Mathis through some tight end drills and threw some passes to him during individual periods at practice last week.
Mathis “actually did a pretty nice job,” London said. “I’m probably going to take a closer look at him again. We’ll take a long, hard look at him and Bowanko and try to find that third tight end.”
| October 10, 2010; 8:07 PM ET
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