QB Michael Rocco leaves Virginia

Sports,Campus Confidential,Kevin Dunleavy

For two seasons, Michael Rocco has been the default quarterback for the University of Virginia, while coach Mike London has tried to work less-experienced players into the lineup who presented more big-play potential and long-range upside.

On Sunday, in a move that surprises few, Virginia announced that Rocco had been granted his release.

“After meeting with Michael and discussing his future with our program and his personal goals and interests I understand his desire to complete his college football career elsewhere,” London said in a statement. “Michael has been an outstanding member of our program on the field, in the classroom and in the community. I appreciate the competitive nature, work ethic and leadership he brought to our program and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

As a sophomore, Rocco (127.1 efficiency rating) clearly out-played true freshman David Watford (82.4), eventually winning the job and leading Virginia (8-5) to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This fall, Rocco (129.7) and sophomore transfer Phillip Sims (119.1) battled on fairly even terms. Rocco had 10 interceptions to four for Sims, who was rated No. 1 among quarterback prospects in the nation coming out of Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake.

The true junior could transfer to another FBS school and sit out a season as required by the NCAA, or perhaps end up at Richmond of the FCS, playing immediately for his uncle Danny Rocco.

The Spiders (8-3) played three quarterbacks this season before settling on sophomore Michael Strauss, a former backup at Virginia who led Richmond to four straight wins to close the year.

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