As intimidating as it might be to look across
If Harold is going to be the pass-rushing specialist he's expected to become in new defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta's aggressive approach, finding ways to get around a massive mound of flesh like Moses is a great test. Of course, since Moses is making the transition from right tackle to left tackle this spring, there's plenty for him to pick up against a speedy player like Harold, too.
It's as symbiotic as relationships get on the line of scrimmage.
"I love him," said Harold of Moses. "He's my big brother."
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, it may sound absurd to classify Harold as a little dude, but that's where he fits in at a defensive end position where most guys in the Atlantic Coast Conference are 20 to 40 pounds heavier than him. He looks even smaller when he locks up with Moses, a 6-6, 325-pound senior.
After starting 11 of 12 games last season at right tackle, Moses will make the transition to left tackle this season to replace Oday Aboushi, a three-year starter who has graduated. If Moses stays at left tackle, he'll be protecting the blind side of Hampton High graduate David Watford, Greyson Lambert or Phillip Sims — whichever right-hander starts at quarterback.
Moses said he's gotten used to new offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild's up-tempo style, which includes some no-huddle.
"It's definitely more comfortable for me being on the left side," said Moses, who has played a little at left tackle and right guard during his time at U.Va. "Being able to play all the positions is really a key for me in this offense.
"Playing (left tackle) a little bit during last season definitely helped me out a little bit coming into this spring. Just being able to play left and right is helping me overall."
Though he may never be the prototypical defensive end in terms of size, Harold has an asset that could do wonders for him in Tenuta's blitzing 4-3 scheme — speed.
Harold finished his freshman season last November with 36 tackles, including seven for loss, and two sacks while playing in all 12 games and starting only one. He said he hasn't gained weight, but he's already stronger than he was just 4 1/2 months ago.
"I'm a lot more explosive," said Harold, who will be working with the first team defense Saturday during U.Va.'s spring football game. "I got stronger in my upper body and lower body. I'm just trying to run. I'm going against one of the best tackles in the country, so I'm just trying to get him better, and he's making me better every day."
Tenuta is a gruff, no-nonsense kind of coach who is more likely to be caught dropping an expletive or three on the practice field than praising a player. As a matter of fact, he refuses to comment on individual players until he knows them a little better — choosing instead to evaluate needs, and who can fill those needs.
"I think it's the toughest thing that anybody ever has to do when you come in and you go, 'Well, OK. What do I have? Who do I have? Who's played? Who hasn't played,'" Tenuta said. "I go back to crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Then, obviously, what can they grasp? Is there any carry over from base concepts? Then, go from there. I'm teaching them the concepts. Then, once I figure out who the better guys are to do what, that's what we'll do. You've got to stop what people do, but you've got to also find out what players can do what."
For a team that finished with just 17 sacks last season, an unproven player like Harold with a reputation for being a quick-footed, quarterback-harasser might be just what Tenuta is seeking.