UVa's Michael Rocco Will Transfer to Richmond
LYNCHBURG - One-time Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco has decided to transfer to Richmond where he'll play for his uncle and head coach Danny Rocco.
Michael returned to his parent's home in Lynchburg on Sunday after taking an official visit to Richmond over the weekend.
Michael will be able to play immediately if he is granted a waiver. Rules state a junior transferring from a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school to a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school must sit out a year. If granted, he'll have one year of eligibility remaining. He plans to be enrolled and in classes this coming Monday.
Michael's father Frank said, "Where else would you feel comfortable, playing for your uncle and a staff your familiar with, on top of the fact Michael's brother Chris had a very successful college career while playing for Danny when he coached at Liberty?"
He added, "Geography and comfort were [key factors] in Michael's decision. Add in Richmond's academic reputation with Michael coming from UVa, another great school, and Richmond became a better option for him as compared to other schools."
Michael is the second UVa quarterback to transfer to Richmond in the past two seasons. Michael Strauss, who has two years of eligibility remaining, did so last season and began the 2012 season as a backup to senior John Laub.
Rocco played three seasons at UVa but after a season in which he was benched and replaced by sophomore Phillip Sims, Rocco met with head coach Mike London after the season and asked him if he could be released from his commitment to UVa. London granted that request and shortly soon after, Rocco and his father began the process of searching for potential destinations for the signal caller.
The main scenario they were in search for was a team that had a rising senior at quarterback along with inexperienced backups.
A host of schools fit that category including Penn State, Temple, and several Mid-American Conference schools including Akron, Ball State, and Bowling Green.
Frank said, "Penn State (Frank's alma mater) was certainly a viable option but because of the NCAA sanctions, they only had three scholarships earmarked for QBs and two of those three were already taken and they opted to use the third on a junior college kid from California (who has immediate eligibility). They're taking a major risk with just three quarterbacks but that's what they decided."
It was also speculated that Rocco visited Temple but that visit never took place. Temple's campus is in an urban setting in Philadelphia and that wasn't something Michael was really interested in.
Frank also said there was some interest from SEC schools, namely Alabama, but that was before junior A.J. McCarron decided he would return for his senior season.
As an ABC 13 Football Friday area star for Liberty Christian Academy, Michael was recruited by Danny while he still coached Liberty but eventually committed to Louisville out of high school but when London was hired at UVa Rocco re-opened his search and decided to join the Cavaliers in Charlottesville.
This past season (his junior year) Rocco started eight of the 11 games he played in and threw for 1,917 yards for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also completed 60.5 percent (161- 266) of his passing attempts.
During his sophomore season in which the Cavaliers posted an 8-5 record and reached the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Rocco started all 13 games and threw for 2,671 yards to go along with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. For all of his statistics while at UVa, click here.
Michael preferred a pro-style offensive system and although Danny has used a spread attack with quarterback Mike Brown at Liberty, he also used a pro-style set with fellow LU quarterbacks Tommy Beecher and Brock Smith.
To see our story on when Rocco decided to transfer, click here.