Virginia Tech started football practice yesterday at 5:00 PM. It's happening.

The Frankinator is getting the boys fired up. Bud's chewin' on some food for thought. Stiney's not coordinating the offense and LT3 is in the middle of it all. Kickoff is that much closer, 29 days away you guys.

The following quotes from Coach Beamer, Wiles and O'Cain were transcribed by VT Football Camp Confidential unless otherwise noted.

Coach Beamer:

"Well, the way it's set-up, NCAA-wise, you go in shorts for two days, shoulder pads for two days, then full pads for a day. The biggest thing that I want to get squared away is our kickers, right now. I think some back-ups on defensive line, some back-ups in our secondary, who is going to be our six receivers that we are going to go with. Those are the things that we need to go get settled on. For the most part, we know who should be our starters. It would be nice if some of these younger guys could come in here, back-up and have a positive effect on the team."

The task of naming his starting kickers sounds like it's a blocker on Beamer's mental Gantt chart. It's the first thing he's mentioned needed to be done in every interview he's given going back to spring. Journell and Coale have to be the odds-on-favorites to win the kicking and punting jobs respectively. Beamer said as much to Kyle Tucker.

Beamer said after practice that wide receiver Danny Coale's summertime tweaks to his punting technique have helped and that he looked good today and remains the leader to win the starting job. Crazy, right? Beamer also said Cody Journell still looks like the guy who'll win Tech's field goal gig.

Six receivers? Consider that our 5th and 6th receivers last season, D.J. Coles and Austin Fuller, only caught a combined seven balls all of last season. Perhaps Beamer's looking to spread out the offense a bit more.

Hokies To Watch This Fall Camp

As camp starts today, we're waiting for so many questions to be answered. This year seems so different, doesn't it? Last year's camp had one of the most celebrated Virginia Tech players of all time leading our offense. We had the utmost confidence in our 1,600+ yard running back. We had John Graves, who was the latest installment of Bud Foster's defense personified. Those are the kind of guys that had you feeling at ease when you thought about leadership and production.

The next generation of those cornerstones are taking the field today, and we have a pretty good idea of who they are, but it's not 100%. Nothing is 100% right now.

And that's why today is so exciting. Logan Thomas takes over as QB1. David Wilson takes control of the backfield. Jayron Hosely is going to show us how agile he is on ESPN Sports Science.

But, again, there are so many questions to be answered the next 30 days.

Here are some Hokies we should be keeping an eye on this month, as their development could pay big dividends this fall:

Hokies 13th in Preseason Coaches Poll

Florida State and Virginia Tech are the only two ACC teams ranked. Miami (49), UNC (14), Clemson(7), N.C. State (4), Georgia Tech (1) all received votes. Based on their schedule I think Miami has a chanced to be ranked in the bottom quarter of the poll by the time they head north to Blacksburg. What do you guys think, is 13th too high, too low or just about right?

Aug. 4, 2011 - preseason poll

Rank Team (first-place
2010 record Points Final 2010 ranking
1. Oklahoma
12-2 1,454 6
2. Alabama
10-3 1,414 11
3. Oregon
12-1 1,309 3
4. LSU
11-2 1,296 8t


Analyzing the 2011 Roster

Players reported today to get measured and weighed before the start of August practice tomorrow. What follows after the jump is a before and after comparison of their measurements, some notes and some breaking transfer news.

Orange Pants in 2011?

Last year we learned what our 2010 Nike Pro Combat uniforms would look like when I saw them on display at a Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairfax, VA days before the official announcement.

And now here's a picture of orange pants on display in Charlotte via @brooksaker.

Oh please let these be paired with the orange helmets.

My guess, without any confirmed information is we'll see Antone Exum and the rest of the team rocking those pants at some point this season.

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.

Blake DeChristopher Reportedly Out 4-6 Weeks

If you were following along this morning, you caught rumblings that preseason All-ACC tackle Blake DeChristopher suffered a pectoral injury. At the time the extent of the damage or how long he'd be out for was unknown. Later in the morning noted DeChristopher would be out two weeks and left guard Greg Nosal isn't 100% ready to practice, still recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery.

HokieSports released an update this afternoon stating DeChristopher would be out 4-6 weeks.

I don't want to speculate on the reason for the confusion between two sites that should be on the same page, but it seems like the injury is a little more severe than was thought before noon.

If the offensive line is going to be successful this season they need DeChristopher and Nosal healthy. DeChristopher has 37 career starts, 22 in a row, and is referred to as "the leader of a veteran line", in the media guide. Nosal started every game last year, over 800 snaps in his career, including one with a nub for a pinky finger. In my opinion these are our toughest and best two offensive linemen.

What To Do With DJ Coles?

Those of you who logged on to this morning were greeted with a positional breakdown of the coaches' biggest concerns heading into fall camp this week.

Pretty standard stuff. I won't reveal too much, as I'm worried Greg Roberts' smooth question-asking abilities will haunt my dreams. What I will reveal is that every position has its usual football concerns: depth, injuries, experience, etc.

Well, every position but one: Wide receiver.

Preseason Position Grades

The Hokies begin preseason practice on Thursday. Aside from the games themselves, August camp is when we learn the most about the players on the team. A the end of camp we'll know how good or bad we are from listening to the coaches, reading practice reports and watching the scrimmages.

But how do we stand right now? Here's my modest attempt at ranking each position. For the most part, I'm trying to avoid the hype and positive prognostications and evaluate each positional unit based on actual on-the-field evidence as the average sum of its parts. Experience and depth matter the most.

Quarterbacks: C+

The quarterbacks are all talented, have wowed us in practice, but have very little actual game experience. The unknown scares me. It's perfectly acceptable to be impressed by freakish athleticism and dominance in exhibitions. However, quarterbacks proves their worth by how they perform in games, under pressure while taking it in the chops.

Fullbacks: B-

Joey Phillips proved he could open holes during goal line situations last year. He'll be fine handling the starting duties this season. Martin Scales adds the necessary depth.

Tailbacks: B+

The BCO's All 20-Year-Team

From Drop Box


The other day, I was curiously* thinking about NFL free agency and in some roundabout way it got me to thinking, about the Hokies ... and my All-Hokie team. Over the last twenty years (since my freshman year in 1991) what would my perfect Hokie starting lineup look like? All of the guys on my team are all conference, but they aren't necessarily the best during that time, just my favorites.

Let me just say it pained me to leave off the following players, I loved all of these guys:
Tyrod Taylor, Jim Druckenmiller, Lee Suggs, Jarret Ferguson, Bryan Still, Antonio Davis, Cornell Brown, John Engleberger, Jim Davis, Jonathan Lewis, Jamel Smith, Xavier Adibi, George Del Ricco, Macho Harris, Ike Charlton, Aaron Rouse and Torrian Gray, but they just didn't quite make the cut. You might as well call these guys my second team!

Without further ado my 20-Year-Team ...

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.

Fun For Every 'Hoo in Your House!

Virginia football is now available in Valpak! That's right VALPAK, along with other fine retailers and services such as: KLEEN N' TEAM, CLOVER LAWN SALON; RT 250 CROZET, The Great Frame Up, FABIO'S NY PIZZA GREENE RUCKERSVILLE and DRS. RICE & RICE DENTISTRY; RT 250.

BeerControl's biggest scoop to date? I think so.

Starting at $72 and slowly declining to free-for-Hoo-ever-will-come-watch-us-in-November values! Act now, ACT NOW!

*In other news, Virginia Tech season tickets are sold out for the 12th-consecutive season.

UNC Fires Butch Davis

Here's the entire release from North Carolina.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp announced this evening that Butch Davis has been dismissed as head coach of the Carolina football program. Davis was informed by Thorp and Director of Athletics Dick Baddour of the decision.

"To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it's time to make a change," said Thorp. "What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this University's reputation. I have been deliberate in my approach to understanding this situation fully, and I have worked to be fair to everyone involved. However, I have lost confidence in our ability to come through this without harming the way people think of this institution. Our academic integrity is paramount and we must work diligently to protect it. The only way to move forward and put this behind us is to make a change."

Thorp said the decision was not related to any change in the NCAA investigation, but that it was the result of the cumulative damage to the University's reputation over the past year.

Seven Hokies to Sign as Undrafted Rookie Free Agentts

The Indianapolis Colts inked hometown kid Darren Evans. Evans is ecstatic.

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed punter Brian Saunders. Davon Morgan signed with the New York Jets. Andre Smith signed with the Chicago Bears. Beau Warren will sign with the St. Louis Rams. John Graves and Steven Friday will sign with the Houston Texans and join former Hokies Xavier Adibi, Duane Brown and Roc Carmichael.

via @VT_Football

Potential For Being Upset?

Our non-conference scheduling philosophy, as stated by Jim Weaver sometime last fall on Tech Talk Live, and as regurgitated by my memory is to include a BCS school, two non-AQ schools and a I-AA school. It makes a lot of sense to me. That schedule serves as preparation for conference play, is respected by voters and computers and is winnable. Although, Tech hasn't followed that blueprint the last two seasons, and won't again in 2011.

Whereas the last two seasons deviated from the plan in order to schedule tougher opponents, Alabama, Nebraska and Boise State, the 2011 non-conference slate is by the Hokies' own standards embarrassingly weak. My guess, Beamer and Weaver saw the writing on the wall long ago and didn't want to toss Logan Thomas to the wolves in his first year as starter. There is no BCS opponent and East Carolina, Arkansas State and Marshall all finished under .500 in 2010. This has to be the year Tech puts their non-conference struggles behind them. Right? I sure-as-shit hope so, but this is Virginia Tech Football. Expect the unexpected.

Have any of these teams knocked off a "big boy" school before?