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Jason Snelling: The Cheese Stands Alone At Scouting Combine

Feb 21, 2007 – 10:38 PM
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Ian Cohen

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Late April is often bittersweet for UVA fans. There is a certain degree of gratification in seeing so many Cavaliers drafted over the last couple of years, as Al Groh certainly needs all the help he can get on the recruiting trail. Perhaps the deferred promises of female adulation at the NFL level is more persuasive than what Cincinnati's bringing to the table. But then again, there's also the whole matter of Matt Schaub, Wali Lundy, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Chris Canty, Elton Brown, Heath Miller and Alvin Pearman making contributions in the pros and the cognitive dissonance that comes along with praying for the Peach Bowl year in, year out.

That shouldn't be much of a problem in 2007. Besides, "rebuilding," Al Groh's favorite phrase of the last season was that UVA was essentially playing their 2006 schedule with their 2007 team. So even if noted horticulture enthusiast Tony Franklin has been ranked as Virginia's best prospect, it shouldn't be surprising that Jason Snelling was the only Cavalier invited to the Senior Combine.
While it's worth noting that Snelling was UVA's most consistent offensive threat, this is a historically inept offense we're talking about. In years past, Snelling was quite effective as a change-of-pace fullback for Lundy and Pearman. However, underuse and injuries took their toll, limiting Snelling's touches. This season, he stole the #1 tailback spot after showing up so slimmed down, you'd think his offseason workout regiment heavily involved tapeworms. Snelling turned out to be a powerful, if not particularly speedy, bullish-type back struggling to make gains behind a woeful offensive line that came together far too late.

Optimistically, I'd like to think of him as a poor man's Brian Leonard (although most combine rankings probably make "homeless man's Brian Leonard" more accurate), but I've seen Antoine Womack and Arlen Harris on NFL rosters. I'm not counting any UVA running back out under those circumstances.
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