We are deep in the middle of college football's Dead Zone. For players it's offseason workouts and healing their bodies before the 2011 season starts in three months. For the coaches, it's about cherry picking as much top talent for the 2012 recruiting class. That means summer camps, hosting for visits, reviewing tape and making calls. After a disappointing finish to the 2011 class, Frank Beamer went out of character and made some staff changes, all in the name of better recruiting. It's been a little over three months but the changes look like they have worked. The Hokies have 12 verbals already, with defensive backs on the east coast racing to the phones to pledge their verbal to Frank and his staff. Recruiting is hot in Blacksburg and it's not luck either. Beamer noticed UNC and UVA encroaching on "his" territories and he made hard changes to better position his program. For the last few years the yeoman's work of recruiting fell on Bryan Stinespring, Curt Newsome, Torrian Gray and Jim Cavanaugh, so less than half the staff bringing in 90% of the recruits. By moving Coach Cav to a recruiting coordinator spot and bringing in Shane Beamer and Cornell Brown, the staff now has five big time recruiters, three of them under 40 years of age. Not to be overlooked is Cav overseeing the staff's effort. He is an excellent talent evaluator who has very good rapport with high school coaches in the Commonwealth and region. Enough about what you already know, let's take a look at the current verbals and some of the major targets known to be on the Hokies board.
Is David Wilson ready to be the Hokies' featured running back?
"I think I perform well when pressure is put on me," says Wilson, who gained 619 yards on 113 carries while splitting time with Evans and Williams last season. "When I have to do something, that's when I feel like I perform better."
"It's my time," Wilson says. "I'm the No. 1 running back going into the season. I have to work hard and make sure I lock that down and keep moving forward. I can't be complacent. I have to be consistent."
It would seem so. However, I think it would be unreasonable for anyone to expect Blacksburg's very own sunny blend of Superman and Evel Knievel to make up for Evans' and Williams' production last season. While Wilson banged out 619 yards on his own, the 100 Proof Backfield combined for 1,331 yards. I think it would be a major success if he could carry his own production forward and account for 75% of the losses. That would be 1,617 yards.
In other news, bowling balls are disregarding gravity and taking to the air. Wilson finished 6th at the NCAA Track Championships. He leaped a personal best 53-1.75 in the triple jump and earned All-American honors.
H/T @dmiller1856 for the title.
In the absence of important Hokie football news, and anything compelling to watch on television, let's take a couple of minutes to review the soap opera being broadcast out of Morgantown.
After 3:00 AM on May 18 offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting Dana Holgorsen was asked to leave the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort .
Police records indicate Metro 911 received a call from the casino at 3:13 a.m. that night. A "white male" was said to be "refusing to cooperate with the casino's management." Casino supervisors had the male detained at the time.
Nitro Police spokesman Patrolman Raymond Blake said Holgorsen cooperated with law enforcement when they arrived at the scene and did not appear to be in violation of any laws.
"We got up there and spoke to the male and said, 'Hey, they want you to leave,'" Blake said. "He complied, walked out, sat out on a bench, waited for the taxi, and when the taxi arrived he got in and left.
Holgorsen could have hit on one too many slots, pulled a chip off a table, smoked in a non-smoking area, drank too much, cursed at a table, done anything really. It doesn't really matter. He didn't get arrested or commit a crime. Still, it's damning to anyone's image to have the fuzz called on them in the early morning.
David Wilson. David Wilson. David Wilson.
Andrew Jones writes that Wilson is ready to be the main man carrying the rock.
"It's a lot of pressure because I am expected to be the man," Wilson said. "A lot of hard work comes with it. I'm ready to take it on and get ready for the season."
Down to 201 pounds after losing seven during track season, Wilson believes the lost weight will help him get more breakaway runs from scrimmage. His first few steps off the snap have been incredibly explosive, but Wilson thinks the fourth, fifth and sixth, the ones that usually enable a back to break free into the secondary and beyond, will be improved.
If anything I would have thought Wilson would have tried to maintain or increase his weight so he could better take a season full of pops.
David Wilson being awesome at what looks to be Macado's. (via)
BR: Favorite song?
DW: Hustle Hard, Ace Hood
DW and Roth also talk extensively about Hokie football. If you're into that sort of thing.
Things have been quiet around here. That's a good thing, noise around a college football team at this point in the season is never a good thing. I hope you guys have more to share than I do.
Jim Tressel resigned as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes on Memorial Day morning. His brilliant coaching career was ended the minute he withheld information about his players receiving improper benefits. Good people make mistakes too, and I hope he gets the opportunity to redeem himself. Tressel (241) had been second only to Joe Paterno (401) in wins among active coaches. The Frankinator (240) now has the distinction of riding shotgun to JoePa. The HokieMD is thankful for everything Coach Beamer has done.
Their facial expressions are priceless.
THERE ARE ONLY 100 MORE DAYS UNTIL WE KICKOFF* AGAINST APPALACHIAN STATE. WOO!
*I mean this in the most literal sense. If we win the toss we're going to defer, and if App State wins they'll take the ball.
Preseason rankings mean very little, but they make for good conversation to obsess, gripe and swoon over. Bill Roth says preseason preview magazines Athlon and Lindy's have the Hokies ranked 7th and 12th respectively. I think both are too high. I rate a team based on how good I think they are, not how well I think they can manage their schedule. I can't see the ceiling for this team, but the offensive line and LT3 really need to convince me they can ball before I look up.
More importantly Roth reports (pun intended?) the STRAIGHT BURNER and Nosal will be 100% healthy for camp.
INJURY UPDATE: Good news on the injury front for the Hokies. Per Assistant Director of Athletics for Athletic Training Mike Goforth, Tech receiver Dyrell Roberts is "100 percent and back over 200 pounds for the first time." Goforth said he’s never seen anyone so excited to get back on the field as Roberts, who endured a painful injury and rehab from his compartment syndrome incident in last year's Georgia Tech game. Goforth says that lineman Greg Nosal, who had shoulder surgery, will be at 100 percent by the start of the second summer session and should be ready to for the opening of preseason practice. Safety Theron Norman, who also had shoulder surgery, could return by the end of September or early October, per Goforth.
The mainstream media has used the following outline to guide their thesis, or supporting argument for any piece on Virginia Tech football this offseason.
- Write an article about the Hokies.
- Compare Logan Thomas to Cam Newton.
If Thomas does do something magical like guide us to a national championship, I agree with Furrer4Heisman, he'd be more like our own Tee Martin.
Roc Carmichael's career may be on hold at the moment, but his journey leading to being drafted by 127th overall by the Texans is respectable. Through Roc, Rick Maese gives us a glimpse through the keyhole into what it takes to become a professional athlete.
As I mentioned last week I hope Hokie Tracks catches everyone up on relevant Virginia Tech, ACC and college football news, as well as puts forth discussion points to engage you and spark conversation below.
1: Is this the year Florida State wins another ACC championship and gets back into the discussion for the national title?
Media darling Florida State is certainly the preseason favorite to win the ACC. As it stands now they have the deepest, most talented roster in the Atlantic. However, they travel to Clemson after hosting Oklahoma, and have to head north in November to face Boston College on a Thursday night. I think they lose one of those two ACC games, and they'll be a slight home dog to the Sooners. Splitting against Clemson / BC will be enough to get them Charlotte, but they're still a year away from national championship contention.
2: Will Georgia Tech's defense make significant strides in year two under Al Groh?
I hope this will become a semi-regular feature summarizing relevant Virginia Tech, ACC and college football news as it piles up. It will most certainly be a day late, and dollar short, but hopefully it will serve as discussion starter. If I missed anything feel free to email them to me or post links in the comments.
EDSBS dug up a handout of Bud Foster's Attack Defense from the 76th AFCA Convention in 1999. We no longer exclusively use true eight man fronts, and haven't for a long time, but it's still a very worthwhile read because many of the philosophies and theories such as the Whip / Rover positions, attacking style of play, and multiple coverages remain the same. Oh, and there are diagrams, so many pretty diagrams.