'Hoos hope Snowden can be stronger against run

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- A year ago, Virginia's Charles Snowden led all linebackers in the country with nine pass breakups. The 6-7 Snowden also finished his sophomore season with two interceptions and 2 1/2 sacks.

UVA fans and NFL scouts are both eager to see how Snowden can build on those numbers in his third college season. But UVA coaches are more focused this summer on how Snowden has improved another part of his game since last year -- setting the edge and defending the run.

"From the minute the season was over, he knew exactly what he had to do," UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "And so while he was an effective space player and pass rusher, what he was not effective enough at was run defense, as our front seven all could have improved. And he took that personal, and has done a nice job addressing it."

Snowden started all 13 games at outside linebacker for the Wahoos last year, finishing with 61 tackles, including 7 1/2 for a loss. Snowden had 13 tackles in 10 games as a true freshman in 2017, including a win-sealing sack of Duke's Daniel Jones and a forced fumble against former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville.

Snowden was listed at 205 lbs. as a freshman. As of Friday, he was listed at 235 lbs. on UVA's online roster.

"His strength numbers went way up from last season. Even the summer, he took another huge step forward," said UVA co-defensive coordinator Kelly Poppinga. "So now he's even 6-7, 235 now, compared to 6-7, 190 when he's in there making a play as a true freshman versus Duke. Just a huge contrast. And his leadership, and just everything about him, he continues to develop."



 
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