The back page of Virginia’s weekly game notes revealed some potential good news for a football team in dire need of it coming off an open date on its schedule.
Defensive tackle Brent Urban is listed as a first-teamer on the depth chart. So is cornerback Maurice Canady.
The duo has been injured for the better part of UVa’s current seven-game losing streak. They both could return for Saturday’s noon game at Miami (7-3, 3-3 ACC).
Urban’s been out since the second quarter of the Maryland game on Oct. 12 with a high ankle sprain. Canady’s missed the last three games with an undisclosed medical condition.
“I can speak to Brent’s situation since he was at a walk-through [practice] yesterday,” Virginia coach Mike London said during his Monday press conference at John Paul Jones Arena, “and we’ll see how that progresses on through the week.
“Maurice, because of his medical condition, I can’t speak in particular to that, but you would like, in hopefully the best case scenario, two of your better defenders having an opportunity to travel and play.
“[That] would definitely be a plus for us.”
Urban, despite his extended absence, is still third on the team in tackles for loss with 7.5. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound senior also leads all Wahoos with eight pass break-ups.
“Losing ‘Big Urb’ is detrimental, especially to the defense and the team,” said UVa linebacker Daquan Romero. “Batting down passes, he takes stress off the [defensive backs]. Even in the run game, he’s a big run-stopper. He just took up a whole lot of space. How tall is Urb? Like 6-8, 6-7, that’s a big dude.
“Us losing him, it hurt a lot. We looked at him as someone that dominates that one space and we knew he would be there.”
But will he be there Saturday? Virginia will release its ACC-mandated injury report Thursday.
The first-team defensive tackle spot is Urban “or” freshman Donte Wilkins. The first-team corner spot is Canady “or” freshman Tim Harris.
Canady is seventh on the team in tackles with 38, including two sacks. The sophomore also has six pass break-ups.
London confirmed Monday that Andrew Brown, a five-star defensive tackle from Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, has signed his financial aid-agreement to enroll mid-year at Virginia.
He’s expected to arrive on Grounds in January.
“Andrew is a dynamic player on the defensive side of the ball,” London said. “He’s the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country [according to Rivals.com and 247Sport.com]. His ability, his accomplishments, his work ethic, I mean there’s so many different things about him that he brings to his table that makes your football team a better team.”
Brown, the defensive leader of an Oscar Smith squad that has given up all of 54 points in 11 games this season, will play in the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., along with fellow UVa commitment Quin Blanding.
London said Brown will be the only early enrollee of Virginia’s 2014 recruiting class.
For Virginia’s eight seniors, next Saturday against Virginia Tech will be their final game in a Cavalier uniform. That’s confirmed.
But what about a pair of Wahoo juniors?
Safety Anthony Harris is second in the nation with seven interceptions, likely making his coverage skills attractive to NFL teams.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on the games we have,” Harris said following UVa’s 45-14 loss at North Carolina on Nov. 9. “UVa’s a great place. I love the guys on the team, having a great time playing college football right now. So I’m not looking to rush anything.”
Tight end Jake McGee leads Virginia in receptions with 36. Since the start of last season, the Richmond native has made 64 grabs for 679 yards and seven touchdowns.
“I haven’t thought about that stuff too much,” McGee said Monday when asked if he had given attention to filing paperwork for the NFL Draft Advisory Board. “I’m sure I’ll look around and see about the draft process or whatever. But I’ll most likely be here.”