Mike Goforth updated BeamerBall.com on injuries. ACL Bros Michael Via, Tony Gregory and Antoine Hopkins are fully cleared for participation. That's fantastic news. D.J. Coles (PCL) is "coming along slowly", but he started jogging and Goforth said, "I have my fingers crossed that we can have him ready to go by the time camp opens." If Coles isn't ready by camp, then it's concerning. We're already extremely thin at receiver, and Coles may be the best we have. Tariq Edwards is jogging, and his rehab is on schedule to be ready by the start of the season. G-W is running and, "pretty much beating everybody at his position." Competition at Whip this summer is going to be the best it's been in three years. Bruce Taylor is rehabbing his right foot at home in Myrtle Beach. Goforth said, "I think Bruce is doing fine." And, "Something tells me that when it matters he'll be ready to go." Is that a vote of confidence?
Preseason practice starts August 7th in Blacksburg.
The Golden Nugget has released odds on 111 games. Virginia Tech opened as a 6.5 point favorite at Miami, and a one-point favorite over FSU. There are no lines (yet) for the Georgia Tech and Clemson games. Clemson will probably be the only game we aren't favored in all season, and I'd expect us to be 9.5 point favorites over Georgia Tech.
Thomas has been lifting at 7:30 a.m., then heading out to the Tech practice fields to throw passes to wide receivers Marcus Davis and Corey Fuller and tight end Randall Dunn.
"I want to be completely comfortable with all my receivers," Thomas said. "I think it's going to be important that it's not just the top four, but it's four through eight as well. I just want to get out there as much as possible, throw with them, make them better."
The latter four need the most work.
Thomas said most of Tech's players are around Blacksburg this summer. The Hokies will begin 7-on-7 drills this week. Coaches aren't allowed to attend those sessions, so Thomas leads the offense while veterans like Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller head up the defensive unit.
"It's fun," Thomas said. "It's good to be able to go out there and compete without the coaches breathing down your neck all the time, having to be perfect."
And to add to the enjoyment, Thomas said workouts will usually end with some sort of offense-versus-defense competition.
I was told there were around 60 players at school for the summer.
"Back" and "Not Back". One of President Eric Barron's "keys to success" for FSU in the future is to realign the ACC divisions. It's about cutting travel costs.
One popular line of thought is to move Georgia Tech to the Atlantic Division to join Clemson and Florida State - possibly switching with Maryland or Boston College - to give the league a more regional footprint.
I'm against this because it's the first step towards a north-south ACC alignment, and the "Techmo Bowl" has been the best rivalry in the league the last four seasons. Although, I would want Tech to play Maryland every year as its permanent divisional opponent.
NFL Hokie. Duane Brown is on the verge of a breakout season in the NFL. Although his 2011 campaign —16 starts, one sack allowed— isn't anything to bat an eye at. "I tell you, we were talking as a group yesterday. He's one of the guys who have had a great offseason in my opinion, watching him practice," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said.
It's winding, but Dennis Dodd makes the argument that because of subjectivity, schedule strength, and handshakes a top-four playoff would limit postseason access to the four power conferences. I tend to agree, but wouldn't have used Tulane to make my point. (The picture at the top caught my attention.)
(This is ripe for Photoshopping /memeing.)