Virginia coach Mike London ended speculation about the Cavaliers' quarterback competition Monday, placing sophomore Greyson Lambert atop the post-spring practice depth chart.
"I don't think it's a huge surprise how things worked out," London said. "Greyson did a very good job with his on-the-field performance, his off-the-field performance, the things we've asked him to do. He's done them and he put himself in position to come out of the spring as the guy being named as the starter at this point."
Entering the spring, Lambert was locked in a three-way battle at quarterback with incumbent David Watford and Matt Johns. Watford and Johns are now listed as co-backups, with Brendan Marshall at No. 4.
Coming off the program's worst season in three decades, evidence was mounting that London would make a change at quarterback at the onset of spring practice. Lambert worked with the first-team on the opening day of spring practice and continuously earned more time with the starting offense. Off the field, he was given leadership titles within the team. Entering his third season with the program, Lambert was voted as a captain by teammates, and London placed him on the 13-player leadership council.
Lambert received the starting nod with the No. 1 offense during the April spring game, and he finished the afternoon completing 18 of 31 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions. Watford was 4 of 14 for 31 yards and two interceptions in the game.
Watford, a junior, struggled mightily in 2013 as a first-year starter. The Cavaliers finished 2-10, the program's worst record since a 1-10 campaign in 1981. He ranked No. 102 in the country in passing efficiency and accumulated an ACC-high 15 interceptions. He passed for only eight touchdowns and threw for 2,202 yards, completing 57.1 percent of his passes.
Both London and Watford alluded to an offseason situation that also might have played a role in Watford's demotion. Following the spring game, London mentioned Watford failed to meet his expectations.
"There are things that you have to do to continue to stay in it," London said after the spring game. "Every once in a while, everybody comes short of meeting an expectation. I have no question that David will get himself in position where he will be involved."
Watford called it a "team issue or a team incident" to GoDanRiver.com
"I fell short of some expectations," he told the website. "I'm disappointed in myself. I disappointed my teammates and Coach London as well. What happened happened. It's all about how you respond.
As a redshirt freshman, Lambert appeared in seven games, completing 33 of 75 attempts for 340 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Lambert's playing time increased as the season progressed, and in a late November loss against Miami, he was 13 of 19 for 134 yards, a team high.