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Countdown to Virginia Football: #78 R.J. Proctor

Continuing the countdown, today marks 78 days reamining. And that means today is R.J. Proctor's day.

Position: OC
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 305
Hometown: Bealton, VA
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Twitter: @thenamesPROCTOR

Though currently listed at 305, Proctor came to college at more like 320 pounds. If he's lost 15 pounds, the hope is that he has developed a more streamlined body without sacrificing strength. Coming out of high school, he was squatting 585 pounds and bench-pressing 380. Those are big numbers. But he was slow. If he's going to be an interior lineman, which is where he is currently slotted, he needs to be able to move. This is especially true in a spread offense, where linemen have more ground to cover.

Proctor was a 3 star recruit by ESPN and 247 sports, and 2 stars by Rivals. Proctor's Hudl page includes various highlight reels including his senior season highlights.

Proctor is an enormous man and was often facing opposition that just didn't have the size to match up with him. He was often able to just shove his opposition to the ground with a single push. That obviously won't happen in college. However, he moves well for a man of his size, especially sliding laterally to stay in front of his man.

His hand play needs some work, which is common for HS OLs. He hasn't really needed the best technique because of his size and strength advantages. This is likely what he's been working on during his redshirt year. He'll also have to adjust to playing inside after being a tackle in HS. His lateral quickness gives him an advantage there because he will not have trouble pulling on run plays or getting to the second level to take on LBs.

Right now, Proctor is a better run blocker than pass blocker. Or at least that was the case out of HS and we have no reason to believe otherwise. He's going to have to improve his pass blocking before he's really ready to see the field. And, moving to OC, he's also going to have to learn about making line calls and about snapping the ball accurately. Under new OC Robert Anae, the Hoos are likely to spend a lot of time in shotgun (and perhaps even pistol) formations. That can be tricky for a new center.

The Hoos aren't particularly deep on the OL right now, so Proctor may be needed this year. Though the hope is he could step in at OC, it's more likely that he starts his career at OG. Next year, Jackson Matteo will be gone, and the status of Eric Tetlow is up in the air. So Proctor may be the #1 OC going into 2017. That makes getting him on the field this year very important.