Hokie Tracks

Hokie Tracks are Talking about the Sugar Bowl and Michigan.

Hokies going to New Orleans, we're still trying to finalize the details of the Unofficial Sugar Bowl Meetup (unofficial because the BCO can't make it). Please leave a note on that thread if you're planning to stop by and say hello, and if you're assertive enough leave a suggestion of where it should happen.

Regarding our traveling rep, Tech has been allotted 17,500 tickets. On Tuesday the athletic department announced Hokie Club members and season ticket holders had purchased 5,000 tickets. Yesterday @VT_Foootball Tweeted, "students purchased over 1,200 tickets in the first hour to the Sugar Bowl". The general public will be able to buy tickets starting Monday at noon. If we don't sellout our allotment, expect more backlash from the mainstream media.

For those of you watching at home, ESPN announced Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be calling the game. Todd's Taste of the Town will no doubt leave him cringing in the fetal position; all that roux will clog up the intestines like lard down a drain pipe.

Hokie Tracks Are Heading to Greenville

Are you hazy on just what-in-the-hell ECU's Air Raid offense is all about? Then checkout this piece from the TKP archives.

The Air Raid aerial philosophy is like a polished playground attack. There's not an overwhelming amount of passing plays. Rather, the same plays are ran out of many different formations. It also stresses quality, through repetition at practice, over quantity. Receivers work short routes over the middle of the field and to the sidelines trying to feel out and settle in space, and there's always an option to push it deep. Simply put the receivers try to get open and make a play. How our linebackers defend the short routes is going to be something to keep an eye on.

The chillest offensive line in the country?

This isn't a new or lofty request, a bunch of SEC schools provide scooters for the players to cruise around on. I've seen Georgia and Florida players riding them first hand. I'm not sure what Jaymes means by "carts", but I can only assume it's either golf carts riding on chromed out eights, go karts, or co-eds with broad shoulders. Whatever it may be just keep in mind that recruits like shiny things.

Hokie Tracks Are Attending the Alumni Comedy Show

Jayron gets Sport Science'd

Both Appalachian State and the Hokies will rely on contributions from freshman during Saturday's game. Caleb Farris (center), Mark Leal (quarterback), Zack McCray (defensive end), Duan Perez-Means (defensive end), Luther Maddy (defensive tackle), Corey Marshall (defensive tackle), Boye Aromire (rover), Detrick Bonner (corner) are all listed as backups on Tech's two-deep. Appalachian state is starting freshman at left tackle, left guard, receiver and right defensive end. There are 290 starts among the 57 players listed on their roster, an average of 5 each. Their backup left tackle is also a freshman, his name is Shaq Counts. Finally, excerpts from the pronunciation guide, my favorite section of the game notes. Say 'em slow now: DRAY-gurr, Daddy, JARE-in Goo-VAY-uh.

David Teel chronicles the decision that led to Frank Beamer being our coach these last 25 years and not Bobby Ross.

Hokie Tracks Get Previewed

For no reason in particular here's a picture of David Wilson's whip.

via @Bwoolwine

Previewed. CBSSports.com senior writer Brett McMurphy thinks the Hokies will "roll" through their soft schedule. I really want to describe Tech's schedule as idiotproof, but come on, it's college football, so manageable is more fair. Four winnable non-conference games to ease Logan Thomas and an inexperienced platoon of defensive reserves into the ACC schedule sets up for success. Bill Connelly's examination of Tech is as thorough as a physical, honest and fair. I suggest you read the entire preview. College Football Matrix concludes there's a better chance for teams to pull an upset against Tech at Lane than in their own home.

Backup wideout Xavier Boyce will transfer to Norfolk State.

The STRAIGHTBURNER has switched positions from flanker to split end. Duly noted. I read that as, Dyrell has a better chance getting playing time over Coles than Davis. The positions are quite similar, the frequency at which each run specific routes is a notable difference. Some statistics to chew on, Boykin, Coale, Roberts and Davis caught 29%, 22%, 16% and 4% of completions in 2009, and 25%, 19.5% 10.5% 9.5% in 2010 respectively. What do you think the breakdown will be like this season?

Hokie Tracks Are All Smiles

25 More Days... via VTPhreak4evr

Rivals.com ranks the Hokies 12th in their 120 countdown. They echo HokieJoe3's modest and reasonable expectations for Logan Thomas.

Thomas has garnered all sorts of hype, and his size and athleticism have even resulted in some comparisons to Cam Newton. But no reasonable fan should expect Thomas to replicate Taylor's 2010 season, let alone Newton's Heisman-winning campaign.

Rivals preview isn't hurrying the next Hype-O-Meter off the presses (or exported out of Photoshop as it were). I'll be happy if Logan just mitigates rookie mistakes and takes command of the huddle.

Virginia Tech had 32 takeaways and only 13 giveaways last season to lead the nation in turnover margin. It will be interesting to see if the Hokies take care of the ball equally well this season now that they are inexperienced in their backfield.

Positive turnover margin (+2 BC, +2 NC State, 0 WF, +1 Duke, 0 GT, +6 UNC, +5 Miami, +1 UVa, +2 FSU), that's how Tech overcame the shortcomings of a young and average-at-best defense last season to win the ACC. The ball never bounces the same way twice, so I'm not banking on us leading the nation again.

Hokie Tracks Have Impressed Peter King

NFL-Hokies. As of right now Tyrod Taylor is taking all the second team QB snaps for the Ravens. He's impressed both offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and longtime coffee critic / NFL writer Peter King.

Cameron said. "This kid is special and you guys that have watched him play [at Virginia Tech], you guys have seen him play more than I have, but you saw the practice. We have got a heck of a young quarterback. It is asking a lot out of him, but right now, we're getting him ready to play."

Roc Carmichael and Ryan Williams signed their NFL contracts last weekend. Saturday Roc signed a four-year, $2.43 million contract that included a $397,088 signing bonus, and Sunday Williams inked for four years, $5.007 million, including a $2.14 million signing bonus.

Suspended wide receiver Xavier Boyce was indicted on felony child-endangerment charges.

Boyce and his girlfriend, Angela Hutchins, were arrested on March 23 after an investigation by Blacksburg police. It was initiated by a call from the Department of Social Services when Boyce's infant child suffered internal head injuries on Jan. 31.

The charges against Hutchins, the child's mother, have been dropped. Boyce, a fourth-year junior, could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the Class 6 felony.

I'm going to reserve my opinions until after the legal process resolves itself, but if it means anything the first thing I did in my NCAA '12 dynasty was cut Boyce.

Hokie Tracks Are Following Danny Coale, Quantum Punter

His name is Alston, not Bruce.

"We went up for Junior Day and there were all these people talking to him," Brooks said. "People he didn't know were just coming up and saying, 'This is Bruce Smith's son.' They were being real nice to him, and they'd never met him. He seemed, not annoyed, but uncomfortable."

"A lot of people think I picked Tech just because my dad went there," said Alston, who said he didn't consider family history as a positive or negative. "They showed me the most interest from the start. They sent me handwritten notes. When I was at their camp, I really liked the coaches."

Motivated kid, hall of fame lineage, size and athleticism-- I have to believe we're getting one hell of a "late bloomer".

Jayron Hosley will follow Tyrod and be the second Hokie to be featured on ESPN's "Sports Science".

The segment on Hosley will focus on his speed, reaction time and vision in reading a quarterback, all traits that helped him lead the nation in interceptions last season.

Queue up the Hosley highlights.

Wiz's Boarding Pass, interesting track selection, I would have went with Rick Ross' The Boss.

Hokie Tracks are Playing Golf at Pinehurst

ACC Football Kickoff started yesterday, and Danny Coale and Eddie Whitley are at Pinehurst representing the Hokies.

via @chickfilabowl

In the student-athlete interviews* conducted by the ACC Coale said it's a misconception that LT3 can't run, "...he's elusive, can move", while Whitley concluded, "he's the quarterback to get us to Charlotte."

/increases the Hype-O-Meter

*I wanted to transcribe these in full for you, but the ACC hasn't made them available in their archives yet.

Norm Wood tries to poo-poo #coale4punter by proposing a highly unlikely hypothetical situation.

I asked Coale what would happen if Tech faced something like a third-and-20 situation, and he went over the middle to make a catch that wound up a few yards short of the first down marker. Let's say he gets blasted by a defensive player on the catch, and maybe he needs a little extra time to collect himself prior to a fourth down play.

Before I could even ask if he'd be the right guy for the punting job in such a scenario, Coale responded with a half tongue-in-cheek answer for what he hoped Tech coach Frank Beamer and his offensive staff would do:

"Go for it," said Coale today at the ACC Football Kickoff media gathering in Pinehurst, N.C.

Has anyone seen Coale on the turf after taking a lick for more than 1/2 a second?

Hokie Tracks are Surprised we don't have an Established Tailback

Hey. How are you guys doing? I hope well. It's only 45 more days until kickoff, and I wanted to check in, because you all have been here which is awesome. So if your spirits aren't up, or being thrown down, don't worry because whatever is going wrong, it really won't matter by kickoff. Anyways, I wanted to say, if you're reading this, thank you. Now it's on to Hokie Tracks.

Normally I like to say something, but this time, let's just lead with the quote.

Another difference from Manuel: Thomas has no established tailbacks behind him.

Excuse me? Has Rivals been misinformed? David Wilson eats Chick-fil-A on Sundays, and for that matter, whatever damn day he wants. Rivals doesn't know that? OK... Well... I think DW is going to rip it up in '11, and I bet you do too, but, he's not established. Sorry. Now if you kick a ball in his direction you better believe he has a fair chance of housing it, but established... he isn't. Now, do I think he's going to establish himself? Yes, yes I do.

Hokie Tracks Have Been AFK for a Week

Apparently, there's a lot of news to catch up on and discuss. I didn't think spending the last week in June unplugged from Interwebs would put me behind the eight-ball. I was wrong.

The Hokies' future schedules got a lot sexier. Some foreplay, the University of Maryland has moved its 2014 game with Tech to M&T Bank Stadium, the home of Baltimore Ravens. I traveled to Byrd in 2009 and enjoyed the trip. I Metro'd there and back, appreciated the character of the stadium, as well as its cheeseburgers and tailgating, even though that just involved a pole and a 24-rack. It's a total speculation, but the ACC could use it as its Labor Day Weekend television obligation for ESPN. Either way based solely on location it will be a higher profile game, which bodes well for attracting elite recruits from Maryland. I know Hokie Nation will fill up M&T, but do consider this, from my experience in '09 Byrd's atmosphere wasn't anything threatening, in fact lifeless would be an accurate description. Even though the game will be played at a neutral site, it may turn out to be a tougher venue, because the buzz and hype will do a better job to attract those Terps who normally spend Saturday on the couch. All things considered, I think it's a positive move for Tech.

Hokie Tracks are only Second Best?

Rivals.com rates Bruce Taylor number 72 in their 2011 top 100 players countdown.

THE BUZZ: Taylor capitalized on the opportunity presented when a preseason injury sidelined Barquell Rivers. He recorded a team-high 84 tackles -- 15.5 for loss --- to earn second-team All-ACC honors. Taylor already has earned a reputation as a big-play performer. HIs pass deflection resulted in a pick-six in the ACC title game victory over Florida State, and he recorded two sacks each in wins over Boston College and Georgia Tech.

I will note that Bruce is a massive and imposing human that looks capable of butting up a rhinoceros when you see him up close and in person. However, he is compassionate and doesn't take the opportunity to form-tackle an out-of-shape groom who has a couple of drinks in him just because he "wants to see what it feels like."

Pat yourselves on the back, you helped sellout season tickets in Lane for the 12th consecutive season.

Hokie Tracks are Headed Back to Blacksburg

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.

Hokie Tracks are Outside the Playboy Mansion

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)

Bill Roth also caught up with Wilson.

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.

Hokie Tracks are Beating the Heat

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.

Hokie Tracks are Counting Down the Next 100 Days

Their facial expressions are priceless.


*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.

Hokie Tracks are trying to Follow David Wilson but are Blinded by his Bling

The mainstream media has used the following outline to guide their thesis, or supporting argument for any piece on Virginia Tech football this offseason.

  1. Write an article about the Hokies.
  2. Compare Logan Thomas to Cam Newton.
  3. ????
  4. PROFIT!!!

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.

Hokie Tracks are Following Mr. College Football

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.

Tony Barnhart asked and answered his Top 10: Burning questions about the ACC. I answered his questions too. I stole this idea from Bud.

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?

Hokie Tracks are Following Eight Man Fronts

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.