Mike London has consistently said that UVa would name a starting quarterback early in fall camp, and move forward. The fourth-year Virginia coach did just that on Monday, tapping redshirt sophomore David Watford as the Hoos' starter against BYU on August 31st. Watford beat out redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert for the job, after both Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims left the program this off-season.
Watford played in ten games as a true freshman in 2011, before redshirting in 2012. In his first year at UVa, Watford never started a game, but rotated with starter Michael Rocco, throwing for 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In that year the Hampton, Virginia native led a spirited comeback that came up short against Southern Miss, and threw the game-winning touchdown to Dominique Terrell in overtime to beat Idaho. Rocco eventually won the job, and with Phillip Sims transferring in from Alabama in 2012, Watford watched from the sidelines as Virginia's 3rd string quarterback.
Watford entered spring practices as the first-string quarterback, and started the spring game for the Cavaliers. Mike London has praised Watford's growing leadership ability since taking his redshirt year last year, calling him one of the squad's best leaders. London also said Monday that Watford's mobility was a factor in his decision, and that his knowledge of the game has improved significantly since his freshman year.
With all of the turmoil and drama with the quarterback rotations in the past two seasons, most Virginia fans will probably be very glad that the UVa staff has made a concrete decision at the position so early in camp this year. Watford will be the 'guy' for the rest of fall camp, and should get all the meaningful reps with the first team heading into the first game, just 19 days away.