Hokie Tracks are Flipping Over Walls

Former Tech utility man/out fielder Austin Wates of the now Astros Double A Corpus Christi's Hooks makes a, to put it mildly, spectacular, over-the-wall, home run robbing catch.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto resigned (was fired by the league presidents) yesterday. As Brett McMurphy, who first broke the news wrote, "He was set up to fail by the league's presidents because they handcuffed his ability to make any relevant changes." Big East presidents turning down a nine-year new media rights deal worth $1.4 billion put the conference on shaky ground, and led to Pitt and Syracuse leaving for the ACC. Then the rest of the dominoes fell. Even if the presidents had accepted the media deal, brought in UCF, kept 'Cuse, Pitt, and TCU, and stayed strong at ten teams it would only have been a matter of time before the league failed, because it's impossible to serve the interests of the basketball only schools in today's football driven world.

Hokie Tracks Are Playing Catch Up

Hokie Tracks took a backseat during spring practice, but it's back now. For anyone new here, this is a semi-regular feature summarizing relevant Virginia Tech, ACC and college football news as it piles up. It's not timely, but hopefully it will serve as discussion starter.

National Recruiting Analyst for Rivals.com Mike Farrell dropped some very good information in a live chat Thursday. He believes Deon Newsome, "best fits on offense where he can be a slot receiver, scat back and also potential special teams return guy." He notes with regards to Jonathan Allen that the, "Hokies have turned up the heat and he is responding a bit". Last month Allen named Florida and Alabama his finalists, but now he's considering Florida, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Penn State and Ohio State. Farrell also believes Wyatt Teller will stay in-state, and Tech has 50-50 chance to land him.

We Hired James Johnson, Now What?

Only ten days ago, Seth Greenberg was the head coach of the men's basketball team, and everything was normal. Now, Seth's gone, James Johnson's in and we have to find another way to spend our time than reading the Teel/Giannotto/Berman Coaching Rumor 3000 (patent pending).

So, starting week one of the James Johnson era, the questions still stand. Why JJ? How will bringing in Seth's top assistant do anything to change the program? Yeah he can recruit, but can he actually coach? Is this guy going to actually write something other than rhetorical questions?

The only people who can officially answer those questions are Jim Weaver and James Johnson, but it's fun to speculate. So regardless, here are the questions that JJ is going to have to answer between now and the start of the season.

1. Can he get the recruits to stay?

Well this one is already partially answered, and so far signs are pointing to yes. Marshall Wood is reportedly back on #teamHokie after initially asking for a release from his scholarship. No offense to Wood, but I think everyone's concern is actually about Montrezl Harrell (for the love of god, can someone please let me know how to pronounce his first name? I feel like an idiot every single time I try). Harrell is a forward from the Blake Griffin School of Explosiveness, and honestly, I dream about his dunks in transition. If JJ can bring him back, that would be huge.

Reports: James Johnson is the next Virginia Tech Basketball Coach

Update: According to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, James Johnson will indeed be the next coach. (Of course this broke three minutes after my original post went up, which follows below.)

Another Update: Raines is happy, and Erick Green tweets he'll be back next year.

Cowboys Draft Danny Coale, Remaining Hokies to Sign Free Agent Deals

Danny Coale was the last of the trio of Hokies to be drafted. The Dallas Cowboys selected him with the 17th pick in the fifth round, 152nd overall. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has been bullish on Coale since the combine. He referred to him again as a, "blue-plate special".

You can listen to Coale talk with the Cowboys brass right before being picked. Also, here's an interview he did with 105.3 The Fan. The hosts joke about Coale working in at punter. If that happens, hopefully he does everyone a solid and punts a ball through the JumboTron.

Even though they weren't drafted, other Tech hopefuls will get their shot as undrafted rookie free agents. Eddie Whitley will join Coale in Big-D. Cris Hill will sign with the Buffalo Bills. Jaymes Brooks signed with the Packers. It sounds like Jarrett Boykin will be a Jaguar. Finally, Blake DeChristopher is close to signing with the Arizona Cardinals.

Congratulations to everyone!

Jayron Hosley Drafted 94th Overall by the New York Giants

New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese described Jayron as not being a, "big man," but having, "athletic arrogance." He likened his skill set to Adam "Pac-Man" Jones'.

Keeping with the tradition of DB-U, for the 14th draft in a row the Hokies have had a defensive back selected in the NFL Draft. What an absolutely awesome streak that started way back in '99 with Pierson Prioleau, and don't forget Antonio Banks and Torrian Gray in '97.

This is what Brandon Flowers, a member of this prestigious fraternity, had to say.

The Giants and Reese were able to look past Hosley's widely publicized failed drug tests, and dip in production due to a hamstring injury and see the promise of a player that intercepted 9 passes in 2010.

The Giants Drafted David Wilson and I'm Happy.

The New York Giants selected David Wilson with the 32nd overall pick in the NFL Draft. Wilson is the first Hokie to go in the first round since the Texans picked offensive tackle Duane Brown in 2008.

Q: What was your reaction when the Giants selected you?

A: I was sitting on the bed and the Giants had the last pick in the first round... And then Tampa Bay traded (up), and I thought, 'Maybe they'll get a running back. I know they need a running back.' At that point, I was hoping for anything. The Giants are Super Bowl champions, and I'm like 'They probably won't pick me...' I was just hoping that something would happen, and I get the New Jersey call and I start screaming. I answered the phone and it was the New York Giants. It was the best call that I got in a long time.

Transcript via Big Blue View

If y'all don't know I'm a Giants fan. I watch every snap of Virginia Tech football on Saturday, and as painful as it can be at times, every snap of Giants football on Sunday. I'm excited Jerry Reese drafted him, finally I get to root for a Hokie on my team. From my observations, here are a cheat sheet for success in New York for 4 (or maybe now 34), David Wilson.

Big Weekend Looms for Hokie Baseball and Softball

With just a couple weekends remaining in their respective seasons, the Tech baseball and softball squads face what is probably the most pivotal weekend of the season if either teams wants to continue on into postseason play. So let's take a look at where both teams stand and what lies ahead:

Baseball vs Maryland: Friday 5:30, Saturday 2, Sunday 1
Tech has had a roller coaster season featuring extreme highs and stunning lows. But with 4 weeks to go in the regular season, the Hokies are in contention for a spot in the ACC Tournament, a feat that could punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies (28-15, 8-13 ACC) have dominated out-of-conference play, winning the last 15 games against non-conference foes en route to a 20-2 record outside of the ACC. Tech has had incredible resiliency all season. Of the 28 wins, 21 have been come-from-behind victories, which is absolutely absurd to think about. Even more astounding, 16 of those 21 have been after the 5th inning and the Hokies have won 4 times when they've entered the 9th inning trailing. This team doesn't go down easily and they'll need to keep that mentality heading down the homestretch.

Three Sides

The fallout from Seth Greenberg's termination has radiated from the local media in and around Blacksburg to national personalities across the country. Everyone has an opinion on why he was fired, and whether or not it was fair. Jim Weaver's timing, delivery, and logic certainly didn't provide for a clean cut, but breakups are usually messy. How the Colts, Irsay, and Manning parted ways isn't the norm, it's the exception.

During his tenure at Virginia Tech Seth Greenberg forged many different relationships. The most public were those with the students he talked to at D2, and fans that packed the Cassell. Seth endeared himself to them. He was smart enough to know he needed their buy-in to create a big time college basketball atmosphere in Blacksburg —which had been non-existent up until his arrival— to attract recruits, and ultimately win games. He excelled at that. It's not surprising then, that those dedicated fans who not only witnessed those exciting moments, but felt like they helped create them, are upset he's gone.

Thanks, Seth.

Editor's Note: I can't give this perspective, I wasn't a student during Seth's tenure. I appreciate all he did for Tech basketball, but I never felt that connection with him so many of you did. Sparach did, his words follow.

First, I want to state the obvious: the timing was...odd. I was of the opinion that the Athletic Department could have justified firing him at the end of this season, yet at the same time was not surprised when they pledged support. Considering the circumstances - starters being injured, the relative youth of this years squad - I felt that Seth had earned a "get-out-of-jail-free" card for last season.

Report: Seth Greenberg has been fired

Update: 4:00 PM Jim Weaver announced Seth Greenberg has been terminated.

Update: 3:20 PM Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post is reporting Greenberg has been fired.

Update: 1:37 PM Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com mentioned Seth's only remaining assistant John Richardson "is returning to Old Dominion". Might that have been the final straw?

Updates as they come will go up here, the original post is below.


Report: "#Hokies press conference is about a change in head men's basketball coach."

Earlier today Virginia Tech announced a mystery press conference at 4:00 PM with Jim Weaver. No reason for the presser was given. Rumors started flying. Was Jim Weaver going to retire? Was Bud Foster going to accept the vacant head coaching position at Arkansas? No. According to David Teel, there's going to be a coaching change on the basketball team.

Thunder and Lightening Delays Unveiling of the New Look Hokies Offense

Well, it was terrific to meet may @TheKeyPlay posters for the first time, and we revelled in the rapid fire announcements of commitments that hopefully have given us bookends to the offensive line and the next great Hokie quarterback, but I was very eager to see the Hokies run their new offensive philosophy. I wanted this post to go one of two ways.

Recruitsburg Recap

Even though the Maroon-White game was a washout (puns, puns, puns), Tech still addressed a lot of its needs for the 2013 cycle Saturday on its biggest recruiting day ever. Four of the six players that committed held UVa offers too (Charles Clark, Bucky Hodges, Parker Osterloh and Braxton Pfaff), so naturally this is appropriate.

Of course this from our very own VTBox. His giffing skills apparently know no bounds. Every frame above is absolutely glorious.

The Hokies could take as many as 6 offensive linemen this year, and they're off to a fantastic start by landing the top two o-line recruits in the state.

Osterloh, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound junior, committed this weekend while in Blacksburg for the Hokies' spring football game.

"I've always felt that Virginia Tech was a great fit for me, athletically and academically," said Osterloh, who is leaning toward a biology major and has been recruited as an offensive tackle. "I was very comfortable with the coaching staff."

Braxton Pfaff  a 6-5 290 tackle from Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg, will join Osterloh in Blacksburg. It was a toss up between Tech and UVa to land Pfaff. He was at Festivus last week and enjoyed his time, but lucky for us he picked Tech.

Maroon-White Game Live Blog

Box is running it, it starts at 4:00. Stay dry my friends.

Maroon-White Rosters

They're hot of the press, but were released as jumbo images so here is the maroon roster, and the white.

In past years the teams have been divided somewhat fair, but not this year. It's straight ones versus twos. I'm extremely happy the starting o-line is on the same team. I've griped before when they've been split up. Now we'll get a truer sense of how they look headed into August. However, it's not the truest sense. While our second team d-line is probably better than some starting units in the ACC, there's no denying that they're a step, albeit a tiny one, behind the starters, particularly at the 4th end and tackle positions. Also, I've heard all spring about quality battles between Painter and Gayle, and I'm disappointed I won't be able to see them go at it firsthand. Personally I prefer starters against starters, backups against backups, because I think it's the highest level of competition.

Identity: The Key to the Spring

Before I get into the key issues I will focus on as I attend my first Hokie spring football game this Saturday, I would like to take a moment to also welcome Brian Marcolini to @TheKeyPlay's staff. I have been very impressed with his first post and he will be an excellent addition to the team.

So, after shooting off my mouth all last week about my concerns about the lack of offensive identity in the offense made worse by adding offensive plays that require a new fundamental skill set to be learned by the offensive line, quarterbacks, and running backs, now the Hokies coaching staff has an opportunity to make me drink a big ole glass of shut the hell up this Saturday. Here are some of the key things I will be looking for in the performance this weekend.

1) Offensive Identity

I exepect that if the Hokies extensively use a pistol and spread package, they should showcase the full array of BASE plays out of each set. I have spent some quite moments this week watching YouTube videos of Nevada's pistol offense, and there are a couple of base plays that I feel the Hokies must establish in order to utilize the set in the heat of the ACC schedule.