http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVArticle_print.asp?ID=20751&pid1191 An open letter to Chris Canty J.D. Moss Cavalier Daily Columnist Dear Chris Canty, Thank you for all of your contributions to the University of Virginia. I'm not just talking about the tackles and plays you made on the field, but you, as a person, as well. Not that I ever want anyone to get hurt, but you were the last person I wanted to see sidelined for his senior season. This summer, you said you came back to Charlottesville to compete for an ACC and national championship. You passed up the chance at NFL riches because you said you enjoyed the camaraderie with your teammates. Now, your cleats are hung up for good in Scott Stadium, as you have been relegated to cheerleading duty. Obviously, your reputation at the University comes from what you do on the field, so let's start there. As a football player, you will be missed. This fall, you were a Lombardi Award and All-American candidate. You were a two-time second-team All-ACC defensive end. You led all ACC defensive linemen last season with 104 tackles, the second straight year you were the only lineman in the top 20 in the ACC. You simply dominated the line of scrimmage, racking up 30 tackles in four games this season, including seven for losses. Your "95" jersey was in the opposing backfield so often that it was like you lined up there. You were a tenacious run-stopper and used your freakish athleticism to constantly pressure the quarterback. As a leader, you will be missed. You were the captain, heart and soul of the "Orange Crush Defense." Your emotion was infectious on the field and carried into the student body at Scott Stadium. From your "Birdman" pose to any of your celebrations, there was no one students would rather see make a play. We responded to your arms motioning for us to make noise, and you responded with high-energy plays. You simply got your teammates ready to play. You knew your role as a captain was to lead both by example and with words. You screamed in practice, "This is our house." Your mouth was always running, whether to motivate or entertain through your practice field renditions of hits like "Crazy in Love." Your coach, Al Groh, said the following in a press release Monday: "Chris is one of the guys who has built the heart of the team. He has a great passion for football and his teammates. That will be missed even more than his playmaking ability." Your resilience has been unparalleled. You came to Virginia as an unheralded recruit, playing your senior season in high school, only your second in football, at a mere 205 pounds. You were relentless in the weight room, adding almost 90 pounds to your 6-foot-7-inch frame in five years despite dealing with much adversity. You battled back from a broken leg in the spring of 2002, missing the first two games but still finishing with 86 tackles. A dislocated elbow kept you from playing in the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl in your hometown, but you were ready for spring practice in 2003. You are the player that coaches dream about, not for your athleticism but for your heart and passion. The University would be hard-pressed to find a better representative, let alone one from its football program. You were always genuine, always willing to speak to the media and have been the best interview that this reporter has ever known. You were polite and soft-spoken, yet surprisingly vocal. You spoke with clarity and wisdom beyond your years. Your ear-to-ear grin never leaves your face, matching your sense of humor. At the ACC Football Kickoff this summer, you said you planned to play golf the next day, though you had never played before, and "throw the sticks around." Sure enough, you did, with several of your whiffs recorded on virginiasportstv.com. But the smile never disappeared, even as you missed golf ball after golf ball to the delight of teammate Elton Brown. I remember in that same interview, I asked you if you would ever get disciplined in the video game NCAA Football 2005. Your response: "Chris Canty is too disciplined for that." And, though you were joking, that was right. You understood that the face of the University was on your shoulders, and you embraced that role. You earned your degree in May, and you have always been a model citizen. You were projected to go in the first round of April's NFL Draft, with great speed and mobility for your size. Now, you hope to be ready for NFL training camp although your draft position could be significantly lower. On one play, one in which no one can tell how your knee was hurt, all of your hopes for a banner senior season went up in smoke. Your tackles will be replaced, but you will not. Everyone associated with the Cavalier football program will miss you. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, and best of luck in the NFL. There is no one I would rather see succeed. Thanks for all of the memories, J.D. ************************************************ Maybe he has a bad combine and falls to the 4th round and we grab him. Al Grogh has ties to Parcells and I'm sure if Dallas in interested Grogh will give us the behind the scene look. With his size he reminds me of Richard Seymour or Leon Lett. I think he would make a great 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE in the pros.