But due to circumstances largely beyond his control, Watford, a 2011 Hampton High graduate, was the odd man out. So it was hardly surprising Monday that in naming Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims as the Cavaliers' Nos. 1 and 2 quarterbacks, London said he intends to redshirt Watford.
If that plan prevails, if Watford spends 2012 on the sideline, he will have a season to further survey the landscape before making what could be a difficult career decision.
The one known here is that Virginia has a quarterback surplus.
Rocco has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Watford and Sims, a late transfer from Alabama, have three. Freshmen Greyson Lambert and Matt Johns are redshirting this season as well, with Corwin Cutler and Brendan Marshall pledged to the 2013 recruiting class.
Attrition, at some point, appears inevitable. Indeed, after Rocco won the starting job last preseason, quarterbacks Michael Strauss and Ross Metheny transferred.
If Watford is determined to stay at quarterback, the position that made his 2010 commitment to Virginia such large news across the state, and if the Cavaliers' logjam remains, he might be forced to look elsewhere for playing time.
But with a redshirt season at hand, there's zero need to draw premature conclusions, especially since Watford, a bright and affable young man, seems to enjoy the university's academic and social offerings.
For example, what if Sims supplants Rocco early and has an off-the-charts year. Might Rocco transfer for his final season? Or, would Sims, who set beaucoup state records at Chesapeake’s Oscar Smith High, consider declaring for the
Also, as London reminded folks Monday, injuries could change everything in a flash. Just look at Maryland, which lost quarterback
Similarly, London hoped to redshirt Watford last season. But he was clearly the team's second-best quarterback, and while his impact in 10 games was minimal, the experience made him better.
Watford would have been the clear No. 2, and a fierce, daily challenger to Rocco had Sims not transferred from Alabama, and had the
But Watford doesn't know Lazor's offense as well as Rocco, and he's probably not as gifted as Sims.
Watford "wants to be a great college quarterback," London said Monday at his weekly news conference. "He saw some of the things that he could do to narrow that gap even further.
"The conversation, 'Would you want to play another position?' He said, 'I will, Coach, if you want me to, whatever the team needs.' I asked him what he wanted to do. He said, 'I'd like to be a quarterback.' One of the best ways to bring his learning curve along, help him be what he wants to be, we talked about redshirting him.
"Again, I told him, as I told you guys, the first couple games, the first two, three games, we have to make sure our situation at quarterback is what we need to be. He even expressed, 'Coach, if you need me after the first couple games, I'll be there for you.'"
The logical change for Watford would be to receiver, but the Cavaliers are young there, too. The depth chart for Saturday's opener against Richmond lists junior Tim Smith and sophomores Darius Jennings, Dominique Terrell and E.J. Scott, and there's plenty of talent in the pipeline.
"With David, it was a tough call," London said. "David has done everything that we've asked and some. He's matured tremendously. His physical talents and skills have improved greatly."
With Rocco and Sims ahead of him, and the acclaimed Lambert just behind, Watford's future is more uncertain than most. The 2012 season should provide him, and Virginia, some clarity.
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