After starting 21 games as a Cavalier, quarterback Michael Rocco will reportedly seek a fresh start somewhere else.
According to a report from Roanoke Times writer Doug Doughty, Virginia junior quarterback Michael Rocco will transfer, presumably at the end of the fall semester. Doughty said that Rocco informed Mike London of his intent to transfer, and will seek an opportunity at the FBS level. Rocco would have to sit out one season, and then would have one year of eligibility remaining, starting in 2014.
Rocco was a part of Virginia's 2010 recruiting class, flipping from Louisville to Virginia just before signing day. The Lynchburg native played sparingly as a freshman, backing up senior signal caller Marc Verica. As a sophomore in 2011, Rocco started all 13 games, leading the Cavaliers to a Chick-Fil-A Bowl berth. This year Rocco started for the Hoos to open up the season, before eventually losing his job to Phillip Sims after a 2-3 start. Rocco and Sims both played during the Cavaliers final four games, with Rocco starting the final three.
Rocco will be remembered for leading the Hoos on several game-winning drives, against Indiana and Florida State in 2011, then against Penn State and Miami this season. Rocco was 11-10 as a UVa starter, and threw for 4,500 yards. He is the only quarterback in college football history to win at Miami and Florida State in the same season. Going forward, Virginia will have four quarterbacks in spring practice (Sims, David Watford, Greyson Lambert and Matt Johns) sharing reps. The Virginia staff could hand the reins over to Sims, or instead open the competition up to Watford and perhaps Lambert as well.