05/01/13 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 University of Richmond senior transfer quarterback Michael Rocco has been denied eligibility in the 2013 season by the NCAA, the Colonial Athletic Association program announced. NCAA bylaws stipulate that a transfer from the Football Bowl Subdivision to the Football Championship Subdivision can play immediately only if he has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Rocco, who transferred in from the University of Virginia in January, has only one season of eligibility left, and must continue to spend the year at Richmond as a transfer in residence. Richmond had sought a waiver to permit Rocco to be eligible to compete this season because he is on track to graduate in spring 2014.
Rocco, the nephew of Richmond head coach Danny Rocco, can practice with the team this year and will be eligible to play the 2014 season. "While we are disappointed with the NCAA's decision, we are ready to move on," Danny Rocco said. "Michael will continue to practice and be an important contributor as we prepare for the 2013 season, while earning his degree from Richmond. We look forward to having him eligible to compete during the 2014 season." Michael Rocco, from Lynchburg, Va., did not redshirt at Virginia, where he started 21 games the last three seasons, including eight last season. He threw for 4,731 yards and 27 touchdowns and had 24 interceptions with the Cavaliers. - The Sports Network
04/30/13 - (FB) - Kendall Gaskins, Sr, 6-0, 226 Bills agree to terms with 16 Undrafteds...FB Kendall Gaskins - 6’0” 226 - Richmond...Gaskins rushed for over 1,700 yards for the Spiders averaging almost four yards per carry in his career (3.9) and 34 rushing touchdowns. Also was a factor in the pass game with 46 catches and four receiving touchdowns in his career. “He ran 4.69 for us at his workout. Basically he was a one back and did some fullback work, but was their big running back. He was pretty productive, caught the ball well at his pro day,” Majeski said. “A big, physical runner than can break tackles. We didn’t see him at fullback until the Texas vs. The Nation game during the practice week and he did some good things there. Team captain.” - Chris Brown, BuffaloBills.com
04/08/13 - (FB) - Kendall Gaskins, Sr, 6-0, 226 2013 Richmond Pro Day: Kendall Gaskins FB (6", 226 pounds) - Gaskins ran 4.70 and 4.76, did 34 in the vertical, 9-foot-10 in the broad jump, 4.49 in the short shuttle, 7.32 in the three-cone, 20 reps on the bench press, and did a positional workout. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
04/08/13 - (TE) - Kevin Finney, rSr, 6-6, 243 2013 Richmond Pro Day: Kevin Finney TE (6-5¾”, 243 pounds) - Finney ran a 4.93 and 4.99, did a 30-inch vertical, a 9-foot-2 broad jump, 4.56 short shuttle and 7.49 three-cone. He did no bench presses and no positional workout. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
04/08/13 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 2013 Richmond Pro Day: Scouts brave the cold at Richmond Pro Day...The weather was crisp - about 35 degrees - for Richmond’s outdoor pro day on March 19. Scouts from 20 NFL teams braved the cold to watch seven players work out. Nobody there that had gone to combine, but there were three players of note: Cooper Taylor S (6-4¾”, 228 pounds) - Taylor ran 4.58 and 4.49, did 36½” in the vertical, 10-foot-7 in the broad jump, 4.29 in the short-shuttle, 6.96 in the three-cone and 23 reps on the bench press. The coaches worked Taylor out as a linebacker. His official position will be strong safety, but he’s one of those guys who could possibly bulk up and play outside linebacker. Reminiscent of Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
03/18/13 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 The University of Richmond will welcome National Football League scouts and position coaches to Robins Stadium on Tuesday, March 19 for the Spiders' annual Pro Day. This year's events will be closed to the general public. Among the players participating in the Pro Day activities will be Richmond players Cooper Taylor, Kendall Gaskins, John Laub, Kevin Finney, Darryl Hamilton and Rodney Barnes.
Richmond's Pro Days have traditionally been well attended by NFL scouts and coaches in recent history, as current NFL players and Spider alumni Tim Hightower (former Washington Redskins running back), Justin Rogers (Buffalo Bills running back) and Lawrence Sidbury (Indianapolis Colts defensive line) have all participated. - Richmond football
01/18/13 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 2013 SHRINE GAME PRACTICE RISERS: 4. S Cooper Taylor, Richmond (6042, 229 -- East Team)...A Georgia Tech transfer, Taylor stood out as the most impressive defender on the East squad during practice. With his size and strength, he is an enforcer against the run but he also showed the range and athleticism to be effective in coverage as well as the football intelligence to digest a lot of coaching all at once. Taylor routinely drew praise from the coaching staff during drills and often made the calls to get his teammates in proper position. His NFL draft arrow is pointing up after this week, creating some buzz among scouts. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/15/13 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 EAST WEST SHRINE TUESDAY EAST PRACTICE: Richmond safety Cooper Taylor continued to stand out on Tuesday with his aggressive style of play. The coaching staff routinely praised the former Spider for his decisiveness and burst, arriving to the play quickly and ready to blow up the ballcarrier. Somewhat expected with such a tall safety, he plays too upright at times and this will show during full contact drills, but Taylor has looked like one of the most physical players here. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/15/13 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 EAST WEST SHRINE GAME - MONDAY PRACTICE: During the East practice session, the top small-schooler that stood out was Richmond safety Cooper Taylor. His size is impressive for the position, as you rarely see a 6-4, 230-pound safety roam the back half of the field. But his athleticism was also better than expected, flowing well to the action and breaking down on the move.
He showed good footwork in drills and drew some praise from the coaching staff for his closing quickness on plays in front of him. A Georgia Tech transfer, Taylor is starting to create a little bit of buzz among the scouts and NFL representatives in attendance this week. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/07/13 - (TE) - Sean Fitzpatrick, rJr, 6-5, 250 Richmond football coach Danny Rocco announced his program's signing of three transfers - quarterback Michael Rocco from Virginia, wide receiver Shane Savage from Cornell and tight end Sean Fitzpatrick from North Carolina - on Monday. Savage will have one season of eligibility remaining at Richmond. He has graduated from Cornell after three seasons in which he finished fourth all-time in receptions (154) and fifth in receiving yards (2,013). Fitzpatrick can play two seasons at Richmond. He appeared in 12 games for the Tar Heels in 2011, including the Independence Bowl.
"We are all very excited about these additions to our program," said Rocco, whose team went 8-3 and earned a share of the CAA Football title this season. "All three student-athletes have outstanding resumes as well as transferring in from competitive academic institutions. Our ability to continue to build depth and to create an element of heightened competition will increase our probability for continued success." Richmond announced all three players will begin classes next week. - Sports Network
01/07/13 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 Former Virginia starting quarterback Michael Rocco is transferring to Richmond. Richmond coach Danny Rocco announced Monday that his nephew is joining the Spiders next season. Two other transfers - wide receiver Shane Savage from Cornell and tight end Sean Fitzpatrick from North Carolina - have also transferred to Richmond.
Rocco played in 30 games over three seasons at Virginia and threw for 4,731 yards and 27 touchdowns with 24 interceptions. He had said in December that he intended to transfer. Rocco shared the starting QB job with Phillip Sims, a transfer from Alabama. Because Rocco only has one season of eligibility remaining, the NCAA mandates that he sit out a season, but Richmond plans to petition the NCAA for a waiver that would allow him to play this season. - AP Sports
01/07/13 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 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."
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. - Justin Feldkamp, WSET, ABC TV-13 News
12/16/12 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 University of Richmond senior safety Cooper Taylor has been selected to participate in the East-West Shrine Game. The showcase for potential NFL players will be played on Jan. 19, 2013, at Tropicana Field, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Taylor recently was named first team FCS All-American by The Associated Press and The Sports Network. Taylor, 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, who played two seasons at UR after transferring from Georgia Tech, also was named Academic All-American by Capital One.
Taylor, an Atlanta resident and a first team All-CAA Football selection, helped Richmond to an 8-3 record, 6-2 in the CAA, and a share of the league championship. Taylor made 78 tackles, including five tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks, and four interceptions. - John O’Connor, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
12/01/12 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 Quarterback Michael Rocco has informed Virginia coaches that he plans to transfer. Rocco, who started eight games in 2012 and 21 in his career, met with coach Mike London on Friday and has been granted a release from his scholarship, The Roanoke Times reported. Should the junior transfer to an FBS school, he would be required to sit out a year and then have one season of eligibility remaining. The Times described the parting as amicable. Rocco split time with Alabama transfer Phillip Sims in 2012. Sims started four games, but the two quarterbacks rotated throughout the season. Rocco will leave the Cavaliers ranking among the school's top 10 in several statistical categories. - The Sports Xchange
11/19/12 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 Among the Spiders’ seniors being evaluated for participation in January showcases such as the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, Cooper Taylor is receiving the most looks. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound safety, a transfer from Georgia Tech, has four interceptions, and occasionally rushes the passer. The Atlanta resident also has been used as a wildcat back this season. “I was more than willing. It’s been a lot of fun to do,” said Taylor.
With a broken left hand, Taylor relinquished the wildcat role to receiver Ben Edwards and Kendall Gaskins on Saturday against Delaware. On defense, Taylor couldn’t hold three passes he stepped in front of, apparently because of the cast on his hand. Taylor had eight tackles, including a sack, was credited with a quarterback hurry, forced a fumble, made the game-ending interception in the end zone, and broke up two passes in UR’s 23-17 win. Gaskins (6-1, 235) and tight end Kevin Finney (6-6, 250) also are being evaluated for postseason showcases, auditions for players who may be selected in the NFL draft. - John O’Connor, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
11/17/12 - (FB) - Kendall Gaskins, Sr, 6-0, 226 Kendall Gaskins rushed for one touchdown and caught a pass for another to lead Richmond to a 21-14 win against William & Mary on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams. With the victory and Towson's 64-35 win over New Hampshire, Richmond (8-2, 6-2 Colonial Athletic Association) claimed a share of the CAA title. It's the Spiders' 11th overall conference championship in program history and the third CAA title (2007, 2009).
The Spiders' Michael Strauss threw for 222 yards, and Ben Edwards caught a career-high 13 passes, pushing his season total to 80 this season, which ties for the second-most in school history. Edwards' 13 receptions were also a CAA-high this season. DeShawn Holmes recovered Drake Kuhn's fumble in the end zone to give Richmond (8-3, 6-2) a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Michael Graham passed for 196 yards and two TDs for the Tribe (2-9, 1-7). - AP Sports
11/15/12 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 THIS WEEK'S GAME: North Carolina at Virginia, Nov. 15 -- One of the oldest football series in FBS history plays its 117th installment when the Cavaliers host the Tar Heels at Scott Stadium. Thursday night's game will tie Virginia-North Carolina for the fourth longest series in FBS history. KEYS TO THE GAME: Run the ball. Rushing yardage totals have dictated success in this rivalry. Dating to 1940, the winning team in the Virginia-North Carolina game has posted more rushing yards than the other team. PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Michael Rocco is coming off the best game of his career, in which he completed 18 consecutive passes to set a school record. Rocco threw four touchdown passes, another personal best, and became the first Virginia quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in a game since Marc Verica in 2010. Rocco has four career 300-yard games, 11 career 200-yard performances and 4,399 career passing yards, the eighth-highest total in team history. - The Sports Xchange
11/12/12 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 WEEK 11 ACC OFFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Michael Rocco, Virginia, Junior, QB, 6-3, 225, Lynchburg, Va.,...Rocco completed 29 of 37 passes for 300 yards, four touchdowns, and had no interceptions to help Virginia to a 41-40 upset of Miami. Rocco tossed a 10-yard throw to TE Jake McGee in the back of the end zone with six seconds left to produce the go-ahead score for the Cavaliers. Rocco’s passing numbers included a school record streak of 18 consecutive completions and set new career highs in completions (29) and touchdowns (4). Virginia’s final drive saw Rocco direct the Cavaliers 87 yards in 2:32, converting two fourth downs during the drive. Rocco either passed or ran (one QB sneak) for all 87 yards during the drive. - ACC football
11/10/12 - (FB) - Kendall Gaskins, Sr, 6-0, 226 Richmond held off Delaware's fourth-quarter charge to beat the Blue Hens 23-17 in a Colonial Athletic Association game on Saturday. The Spiders held a comfortable 20-7 lead in the fourth quarter, but Delaware's Ricky Tunstall returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown to close the gap to six points. Richmond (7-3, 5-2) responded with a 13-play, 77-yard drive that culminated with a 23-yard field goal from Remington Hinshaw to end the threat. Kendall Gaskins rushed for 92 yards and scored two touchdowns to pass Josh Vaughan on the Spiders' all-time list with 36. Michael Strauss threw for 267 yards. Trent Hurley threw for 265 yards for Delaware (5-5, 2-5), but he was intercepted four times - three times deep in Richmond territory, including once in the end zone for a touchback - and sacked three times. - AP Sports
11/10/12 - (QB) - Michael Rocco, rSr, 6-3, 225 Michael Rocco threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee with 6 seconds remaining Saturday and Virginia rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun Miami 41-40. Rocco threw four touchdown passes and Virginia (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its second in a row after a six-game losing streak. It was the Cavaliers third straight win against the Hurricanes. The victory kept the Cavaliers' slim bowl hopes alive. Virginia still has to beat North Carolina and Virginia Tech to become bowl eligible. Miami (5-5, 4-3) lost despite three touchdown passes from Stephen Morris and a brilliant performance by Duke Johnson. The freshman ran for 150 yards, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and threw a TD pass. The victory also cost the Hurricanes control of their Coast Division title race. But in the end, it was Miami's defense that let the Hurricanes down. Rocco led a 16-play, 87-yard drive, keeping it alive with a 9-yard completion to Dominique Terrell on fourth-and-7 from his own 44. Penalties also hurt Miami. There was a late flag for holding against cornerback Thomas Finnie on another fourth down pass that Terrell did not come up with at Miami's 20. Four plays later, Rocco found the 6-foot-5 McGee in the back of the end zone for the game-winner. He finished 29 of 37 for 300 yards and also threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Miles Gooch, and 6 and 5 yards to Darius Jennings. The second TD to Jennings pulled Virginia within 38-35 with 5:33 left in the game. - AP Sports
11/06/12 - (SS) - Cooper Taylor, rSr, 6-5, 228 NOV 5 CAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cooper Taylor, Senior, DB, Richmond...Taylor continues to solidify his candidacy as one of the nation's 20 players named to the Buck Buchanan Watch List. The senior standout turned in 13 tackles to lead a Richmond defense that shut out Rhode Island, 39-0, and allowed the Rams just 189 yards of total offense on Saturday. Taylor was not done there, however, forcing a fumble to go with two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup on the evening. - CAA football
11/03/12 - (FB) - Kendall Gaskins, Sr, 6-0, 226 Michael Strauss' 199 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with a stingy defense helped Richmond shut out Rhode Island 39-0 Saturday night. Richmond (6-3, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) took a 7-0 lead when Strauss found Ben Edwards for a 7-yard touchdown. Strauss completed 17 of 25 passes. Kendall Gaskins later ran it from 1-yard out to give Richmond a 13-0 advantage at the half. Gaskins finished with 92 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Strauss began the second half connecting with Hunter Westfall for a 3-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 19-0. Rhode Island (0-9, 0-6) was ineffective at moving the ball the entire game as Richmond's defense dominated, forcing two fumbles and five interceptions. Justin Williamson's interception and return of 24 yards for a touchdown extended the lead to 26-0. The Rams remain winless as Richmond has now won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the two teams. - AP Sports
10/23/12 - (OLB) - Aaron Roane, Jr, 6-1, 212 OCT 22 CAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Aaron Roane, Sophomore, DB, Richmond...Roane led a resolved Richmond defensive unit that refused to allow James Madison's offense to find any kind of rhythm in the upstart Spiders' upset of the second-ranked Dukes. The sophomore finished the afternoon with a career-high 14 tackles, including seven solo stops and a sack for a loss of four yards, that helped lead an unranked Richmond team to its first victory over a top-five squad in 11 seasons. - CAA football
10/22/12 - (FB) - Kendall Gaskins, Sr, 6-0, 226 Michael Strauss passed for four touchdowns in his first collegiate start and Kendall Gaskins ran for 106 yards and a score as Richmond handed James Madison its first Colonial Athletic Association loss with a 35-29 win Saturday. After falling into a 10-6 deficit in the first, the Spiders (5-3, 3-2) scored 22 consecutive points on three touchdown passes by Strauss, including two to Kevin Finney. Dae'Quan Scott jumpstarted James Madison's comeback try, accounting for 44 yards and a touchdown on a drive that cut Richmond's lead to 28-16. Gaskins' touchdown run extended the advantage to 35-16 early in the fourth, but Michael Birdsong passed for one score and ran for another to cut the Dukes' deficit to 35-29 with 35 seconds left. James Madison (5-2, 3-1) recovered the ensuing onside kick and drove into Richmond territory, but failed on a Hail Mary try. Strauss finished 27-of-43 passing for 271 yards. - AP Sports
10/06/12 - (QB) - John Laub, rSr, 6-1, 208 John Laub threw for 233 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 79 yards and a score to lead Richmond to a 28-17 victory over Villanova in a Colonial Athletic Association game on Saturday. Villanova's Mark Hamilton kicked a 21-yard field goal to close the gap to 21-17 in the fourth quarter, but on the Wildcats' final two possessions, John Robertson threw interceptions -- both to Darryl Hamilton -- to hand Richmond (4-2, 2-1) the win. Robertson threw three interceptions and lost one fumble. Richmond's Stephen Barnette caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, and Jovan Smith scored on a 45-yard run. Robertson passed for 308 yards and a touchdown, including a 72-yard bomb to Joe Price, and rushed for 117. Price finished with 153 yards receiving. The Wildcats (4-2, 2-1) had won four in a row after a season-opening loss to Temple. - AP Sports