Mike London names David Watford Virginia's starting quarterback

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer

Virginia quarterback David Watford will start for the Cavs in 2013, Mike London announced Monday. (USATSI)
Virginia quarterback David Watford will start for the Cavs in 2013, Mike London announced Monday. (USATSI)

For the first time in recent memory, it appears that Virginia has a stable quarterback situation. Cavaliers coach Mike London announced Monday that redshirt sophomore David Watford will be the starting quarterback for 2013, beating out redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert for the job.

Watford and Lambert were the last two standing after the departures of Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims, and London's announcement ends an ongoing quarterback battle that essentially dates back to the 2011 season.

That season, London's second in Charlottesville, featured quarterbacking from both Michael Rocco and David Watford as the Cavaliers knocked off Georgia Tech and Florida State en route to a 8-win season and Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance. Watford then decided to redshirt the 2012 season while Rocco battled with Alabama transfer Phillip Sims.

Rocco transferred to Richmond in January, leaving Sims, Watford and Lambert -- a former four-star prospect from Jesup, Ga. -- to compete in spring practice. The trio shared first-team reps through the spring, but no apparent leader in the competition.

With all the quarterback shuffling during Watford's career, some may be wary of London's declaration. But the Cavaliers coach was sure to reinforce the fact Watford will be "the guy" in 2013.

"[The job is] his, and that's the decision. He has to perform, but he doesn't have to look over his shoulders," London said.

London said that Watford has gained the respect of his teammates, and that played a role in the decision. With the quarterback controversy in rearview, the Cavaliers can now focus on one of the most daunting early season schedules in the country. Virginia will host BYU on Aug. 31 to kick off the season, then follow that a nationally televised matchup with Oregon, ranked No. 3 in the USA Today preseason coaches poll.

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