Andrew Brown’s spring is over.
Virginia’s ballyhooed early enrollee exited practice on March 20 on crutches and wasn’t present two days later when the Cavaliers held an open practice for fans and media members at Scott Stadium.
During a Wednesday teleconference with reporters, UVa head coach Mike London announced Brown is sidelined with turf toe.
The freshman defensive tackle won’t be available again until August camp.
“It was a freak accident that occurred,” London said. “The good thing is he came here as a mid-year player and got into his classes and is actually doing well in his classes. He got acclimated to the college environment. He’s done all that.
“Now his learning is in the film room and watching practices. But, yeah, it’s a little bit of a setback, but he’ll be ready to go in the fall.”
Brown, a monster of a 6-foot-4, 300-pounder who earned high school Gatorade National Player of the Year honors for his stellar 2013 season at Oscar Smith (93 tackles, 30 for loss, 18 sacks, nine forced fumbles), had been getting first-team reps on the interior alongside David Dean.
Now that spot belongs to Donte Wilkins, a sophomore who started four games and was one of 12 true freshmen to see playing time in the fall.
“Andrew Brown did have a chance to start out in spring practice and play and keep involved in some reps,” London said. “And then you got a guy like Donte Wilkins that did play last year. He’s stronger, he’s more explosive. His football IQ is getting better, has gotten better.”
Wilkins, a 6-2, 290-pounder, made 12 tackles, including a half-sack, and forced a fumble in ’13.
“[It’s] between Donte and Chris Brathwaite and other guys that are kind of in the mix there,” London said. “It’s like, ‘OK, your performance and your production is going to allow you to run with the first group and get a significant amount of reps,’ so there’s competition at that spot. ... But Donte’s done a nice job in the classroom, in the weight room and he’s getting better on the field.”