One of the first tweets I saw this morning was from a reader suggesting that Fork Union Military Academy coach John Shuman was “ticked” at Virginia.
For a guy who has had two sons play for Virginia Tech, the UVa football staff couldn’t have a bigger ally.If former UVa coach Al Groh (or was it Ron Prince ?) hadn’t passed on Shuman’s older son, Ryan, I think it’s quite possible that both boys could have ended up as Cavaliers.
Their grandfather, Bill Miller, was one of the Cavaliers’ best basketball players of his era.
But, John Shuman wasn’t ticked at Virginia when he put defensive lineman Tyrell Chavis on the phone with me Wednesday.
He was fed up with the disingenuous antics of three Fork Union players who had committed to Virginia, including safety Malcolm Cook off the Fork Union undergraduate team coached by Mickey Sullivan, who retired after this season.
When UVa coach Mike London stopped by Fork Union on Monday and met with Chavis and Valles, they never told him they were decommitting.
As soon as London left, they said they were reopening their recruiting.
Decommitting? Reopening? What’s the difference?
Shuman insisted on putting Chavis on the phone with me Wednesday and dared him to tell me that he was decommitting, which Chavis did, although he said he is still considering UVa.
“Until you tell Mike London, you’re not opening it up,” Shuman said.
That’s the quote I used in today’s College Notebook.
Shuman went on to say, “You’re opening it up on e-mail and stuff you’re doing behind our back. On the computer. Facebook. That’s how these guys get in touch with coaches now.
“What they’re doing in opening it up is, they’re trying to get stroked.”
I REMEMBERED Shuman’s comments when former longtime Virginia Tech assistant Jim Cavanaugh was moved into an administrative post and wondered what Shuman had to say about Jim Reid’s ouster as UVa defensive coordinator.
“When you go over to camps and work with Jim Reid and Jeff Hanson and hang out with Shawn Moore for what, four years … ?” Shuman said. “We went over there and listened to Jim Reid until 12:45 in the morning.
“Jim Reid has been a warrior everywhere. VMI, Richmond, UMass, Boston College, in the pros. The defense was a monster [at Virginia Tech]. They couldn’t block [Brent] Urban, they couldn’t block No. 9 [Laroy Reynolds], No. 13 [Da Da Romero]. You got a rising superstar, [Eli] Harold coming on. My geez!
“Who are they going to get?”
SHUMAN DESCRIBED himself as a Jon Tenuta supporter for the UVa defensive coordinator’s post and my understanding is that Tenuta is in the running.
A possible hold-up would be the composition of the rest of the defensive staff and whether Tenuta would be able to bring anybody with him. Holdovers from the 2012 defensive staff are Vincent Brown (linebackers), Anthony Poindexter (cornerbacks) and Chip West (safeties).
Poindexter could move to running backs, a role he filled earlier in his UVa years, but would Tenuta be OK with Brown and West. West is a great recruiter and he’ll stay regardless but neither he nor West had coached above the Division I-AA level before coming to Virginia.
Indeed, an absence of coaching experience at the I-A level is seen as a possible reason for Virginia being in the shape it is. Who on London’s first staff in 2010 had been a I-A assistant? Reid at Boston College, Poindexter, Scott Wachenheim at Rice?
And, you’ve got to wonder about the offensive staff if it includes coordinator Bill Lazor, Poindexter, Wachenheim and first-time full-timer Marques Hagans. People have asked me if Virginia had enough coaching firepower on the offensive side of the ball and that was before the changes.