According to Evan Daniels, a basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com, Virginia Tech and Buzz Williams secured commitments from guard Ahmed Hill and center Satchel Pierce. Both are class of 2014 prospects that had signed with Marquette in November 2013. Both were released from their LOI this past week.
I found the following two quotes from Bud Foster to the media rather telling. The first is from last Thursday, the second is from yesterday.
"We're seeing it all from our offense right now, my credit goes to those guys what they're doing too ... I mean, we're seeing it all. That's going to be good for us as we prepare for a season, but you know obviously we got to catch up right now for everything, but they're making progress."
I was able to watch Virginia Tech scrimmage for the first time on Saturday. By now you've read all of the reviews and looked at the new depth chart (which I promise I'll get to a little later), and have gobbled up every little scrap of football news that you got your hands on. I don't blame you, I did the same thing.
After all my reading and finally seeing this new team in person, I felt that we should talk about what's been happening, and the trends that we are starting to see now over halfway through spring practice.
These are my five major themes of the spring so far, and on Friday I will ask the biggest questions yet to be answered.
The question is no longer if Marshawn "Juice" Williams will contribute this fall, rather now folks are wondering how much will he play. In his Lane Stadium debut two Saturdays ago, Williams raised eyebrows with a stiff arm and powerful, yet shifty, set of moves. Last Saturday in Tech's second open scrimmage, he rushed 13 times for 66 yards. That performance raised expectations.
Frank Beamer had this to say Saturday about his true freshman's afternoon, "I thought he made a couple nice cuts. Planted his foot... And I think it's natural to him. I think that zone read play for him is very natural. He feels an opening and he hits it. You don't teach that a lot. I was impressed with him."
Editor's Note: It seems like there's a good, old-fashioned, quarterback competition happening in Blacksburg. Historyhokie summed up the relevant information very well, so I bumped his thread to the front rather than creating a duplicate post. --Joe
It's still waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay early to be bothering with who the starting QB will be next year, with Brewer not getting on campus until the summer, but interesting to see Brenden Motley listed as the No. 1 QB on the HokieSports.com depth chart now.
The way Phoebus Coach Jeremy Blunt tells it, his team needed inspiration. Rival Denbigh High had the ball on their own 10-yard line. Blunt spoke to his team during timeout.
His junior star defensive lineman Harry Lewis made a guarantee.
"I called the timeout and got the guys back in control," Blunt recalls. "Harry looks at me in this tough game and looks me right in the eye. He says, 'I'm gonna make a play, coach.'"
Today was the perfect day in Blacksburg. The weather was beautiful. The spirit of HokieNation was all around Tech's gorgeous campus for the 3.2 Run in Remembrance. The Hokies swept the Hoos in a pair of games on the softball diamond. And to top it all off, there was a football scrimmage. I repeat, it was the perfect day in southwest Virginia. After I finish writing this article I'm going to go downtown and enjoy some of the best happy hours Virginia has to offer. I love this town.
For those of you not lucky enough to be here, no worries, I'm happy to fill you in on what went down in Lane Stadium.
This photo was tweeted by Norm Wood of the Daily Press who added, "Here's a mid-first quarter shot of #UVA's spring game crowd (lots of folks in the shaded sections)".
Last season, Tech's defensive line was a position of certainty. In 2013 there was a logjam at end, and 4 guys capable of rotating at tackle. However, when spring practice began there were only two starters on the front-four penned in, tackle Luther Maddy and stud end Dadi Nicolas.
Charley Wiles spoke about the defensive line to the media last night, "We've got our best four on the field with Ken, Corey, Dadi, and Luther, but like Bud said, Seth's a heckuva prospect. I think Dewayne is improving. It's good healthy competition. They're all giving good effort, I've been very pleased."
I miss Greg Boone.
The only thing better than watching Greg Boone lay out defenders or make a catch across the middle was shouting our patented "BOOOOOOOOOONE" cheer every time he made us proud. Greg Boone also holds the distinction of being the centerpiece of the Wild Turkey formation, widely regarded as the best named formation in football history. The Wild Turkey was Virginia Tech's version of the Wildcat formation and is rumored to be making a return to Blacksburg.
Happy Thirsty Thursday boys and girls. The Masters is upon us. It means four days of Uncle Verne whispering from a lonely tower in the woods; four days of David Feherty mocking poor club selections by Sergio Garcia; four days of Angel Cabrera chain smoking on the tee box (Oh wait, he quit smoking? Seriously?); and only three days until Jim Nantz and one awkward interview at Butler Cabin. So in the spirit of Masters Weekend, what better than discussion of golf, Hokies, and beer.
I learned the game of golf from my grandfather. Though he worked a full-time job right up until his death, I really only have memories of him talking about golf or playing golf. He was the type of man who played in the evenings after work and both days of the weekend. It was his greatest hobby, and despite his incredible love for baseball, it was hardly a competition between the two.
Hello. Spring football is upon us and as we fans ready ourselves for the spring game, the coaches and players finally are back out on the field. Considering that many of us spend the majority of our waking hours thinking about this football team, it gets me all hyped up when FOOTBALL PEOPLE start doing FOOTBALL THINGS, even if we're still five months away from a real, live game. Luckily, due to the recognized value that this website brings to the program and Hokie community, we've been granted unprecedented access to the coaches and team in order to bring you the most complete, up-to-date information from the field, film room, meetings, weight room, and locker room (1). Let's check in on how some of our coaches got ready for the first spring practice.
Deshawn McClease is a three-year starter at perennial powerhouse Oscar Smith High in Chesapeake.
He rushed for more than 1,600 yards and scored 30 touchdowns last season in the Tigers' multiple-formation, quick-paced offense.
Coach Richard Morgan kept him games during empty sets as a slot receiver.
McClease also blacked out during a 54-yard touchdown run in the 2011 state title game.
But last weekend, the 5-foot-9 back did something a little different. He served as unofficial tour guide to other recruits on a visit to Blacksburg. It only made sense — it was his fourth or fifth time at the school.
Today, I'm going to break down two basic principles of the Virginia Tech offense and defense matched against each other—the zone stretch versus the gap fit.
In Bud Foster's gap defense, each of the front-six defenders (all four down linemen and the two inside linebackers) have responsibility to attack a gap and either make a play in the gap or occupy it without being driven out. The outside "linebacker-safeties" (Whip and Rover) are edge players. Based on a defensive call they either "force" the play, playing outside contain to force the running back to the inside, or "spill" the play, attacking the inside shoulder of the running back, forcing him to bounce outside to an unblocked alley player which is often the free safety. Against teams that zone block running plays, the normal "key" for an interior player is go where the offensive lineman goes, cross his face, and fit the gap to his outside.
If the following run from Saturday's scrimmage is any indicator, it seems as if a ball carrier in maroon other than the quarterback will be running through defenders this season.
There were plenty of questions about the Hokies at the beginning of spring practice. With Trey Edmunds sidelined, would anyone step up to separate themselves from the rest of the running back pack? Would Bud Foster be able to find adequate replacements at linebacker after losing Jack Tyler and Tariq Edwards? Most importantly, who would best position himself in the competition for QB1? After the first scrimmage, some of those questions are beginning to be answered, while some are getting even more intriguing and complex.
Editor's Note: This is a fantastic story. Moved to front. --Joe
This story was originally for a class/possible CT article, but I figured y'all would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy Friday, y'all.
As he led the way to a secluded area for an interview in one of the tutoring rooms atop Lane Stadium, Michael Cole heard a familiar voice call out.
"EY, YO! IS THAT MIKE COLE I SEE?" shouted Kyshoen Jarrett, starting rover for Virginia Tech's football team, who was walking from the practice field with a backpack slung over his shoulder.
Frequently on the recruiting trail, buzz words pop up. They are thrown around carelessly in an effort to sum up a player as quickly as possible.
When the word is "athletic" and the young man is Hopewell High's Darrell Taylor, there's no room for hyperbole.
Mitch Vingle of The Charleston Gazette reported the news.
WVU has already announced like games versus Alabama (this coming season in Atlanta's Georgia Dome) and versus BYU (2016 at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins). Another game at the latter site could be on the horizon.
"We're in conversations with Virginia Tech about a D.C. game," Hammond said.
Spring football, much like the season itself, is a time of renewal. We're eager to learn more about the new group of Hokies and how they can contribute and star in the program moving forward. At the same time, perhaps we overlook players who have been in the program for an extended period of time. Case in point is the Whip position. The Whip has been utilized so little since the Boise State game that many consider the nickel defense the "base" set for Virginia Tech.