Instagram Analysis: Michael Brewer

Back in March, French published an excellent analysis of incoming quarterback transfer Michael Brewer. Given the limited film available, he did as thorough a job as possible. However, French's breakdown focussed on X's and O's gleaned from the tape; how Brewer throws moving outside the pocket, his arm strength, throwing motion, and concern over batted balls. Unfortunately, there was no discussion of the intangibles: moxy, leadership, desire.

Mook Reynolds, A Versatile Defensive Weapon

Kyle Fuller being selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the NFL Draft helped Virginia Tech build upon its reputation as DBU. The Hokies return two sophomore cornerbacks with elite potential in Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson, while highly recruited safety prospects Holland Fisher and C.J. Reavis join the program this fall. With this strong foundation in place, Coach Torrian Gray has been hot on the recruiting trail looking for the next generation of terrific Hokie defensive backs.

Update: Benedict Hospital Reports Untrue, Determination on Football Status Not Made

Update: Virginia Tech commented on Shurburtt's report via its Twitter account. Contrary to what was reported by Shurburtt earlier, Brent is not in the hospital and is at his parent's home in Greenville, S.C. doing fine. Brent suffered a left ankle injury during spring ball and developed deep venous thrombosis after the April practices concluded. A decision on his football status hasn't been made.


Following the '99 campaign, the conversation in the offseason among Hokie Nation always boiled down to Tech's chances of winning the national championship. At least that's how I remember it.

"We're thin along the d-line, but Tyrod will put up enough points to beat Boise, and the rest of the schedule sets up perfectly," someone (probably me) said in August 2010.

World Cup for College Football Fans: Part I

Hello. As you may already be aware, there will not be any college football games played until the end of August. That means an entire summer with no football. However, do not fear, as the World Cup is being played this summer! Since the World Cup is a "soccer" and not football tournament, you may not be overly familiar with it. You're in luck! As I have previously watched soccer and football, I feel I am somewhat qualified to acclimatize you to international soccer. I'll do my best to present everything to you in college football terms so you can show off at parties with your astounding, intricate knowledge of "The Beautiful Game". Today, we'll talk about the basics as well as introduce you to the first group of countries.

Tech Specs: Maroon-White Game

Editor's Note: Tristan Raisch is going to be joining the team as a contributor this season. Tristan graduated from Tech this year with a degree in mechanical engineering, and will begin a PhD program in Translational Biology, Medicine and Health in the fall. He's been longtime member of the community, and is going to write writing a weekly opponent watch feature this fall. Also, he'll be charting plays from Tech's games. The play charting is something I'm amped for because it'll allow us to crunch more advanced stats, discover trends, and let everyone to take a deeper look at each game. Tristan will publish each play chart as part of his Tech Specs column, the first of which, a trial run for the spring game, is below. If you have any suggestions, leave 'em below. --Joe

Well, another spring in Blacksburg has come and gone, and now it's time to sit and twiddle our collective thumbs until August camp begins. As Hokies and college football fans, this is easily the toughest part of the year. The weather is great, the beaches are calling, school is over, and all we want to do is sit down and watch some football... alas. However, there's still plenty to talk about with regards to the Maroon—White game and the direction of the program, so let's get to it. This will be the first in a series of articles examining every detail of Tech's most recent game, with a play chart that will include information on play calls, formations, personnel, miscues, and so much more. Ever wonder what play Lefty is most likely to call on third-and-medium? Wonder how J.C.'s yards after contact compare to Trey's? Well, this handy information will be available to you and used by your loving TKP staff to delve even deeper into the world of Tech football. Sounds cool, right? I'm pretty excited about it. For every game, I'll offer the raw data as well as some thoughts on trends and tendencies that I've picked up. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts from the spring game, followed by the play chart in all its glory (or at least as much of its glory that we could fit on the webpage).

Know Your Opponent: Braxton Miller and OSU's Counter Trey

This is a first in a series of film breakdowns of Ohio State's core offensive plays leading into the Hokies' matchup with the Buckeyes on September 6th.

Much has been made over the last decade about how Urban Meyer's offense has elevated football programs at Utah, Florida, and now Ohio State. Meyer uses elements of a variety of classic offenses in a hybrid spread system that forces defenses to account for multiple options in space on every snap. However, any good offensive system is built upon classic principles that have a solid history of success. In Meyer's system, the quarterback position harkens back to the era of the single wing "tailback." In the old single wing, the tailback received the direct snap much like a quarterback receives the snap in the shotgun today. From the alignment, the tailback was required to be a triple threat; run inside with power, outside with speed, or throw downfield.

Versatile Defender Mook Reynolds Discusses his Recruitment

Like the rest of Hokie Nation, Northern Guilford (Greensboro, North Carolina) standout Mook Reynolds took notice of the Bears drafting Tech's Kyle Fuller 14th overall in the NFL Draft.

"That pretty much reassured my decision, it made me feel really good about my decision," Reynolds told me Friday afternoon.

Mook made a verbal commitment to the Hokies in early February, but that hasn't stopped other schools like Notre Dame and Tennessee from pursuing him.

What does he tell other suitors?

TKP Community Interview: Eric Whitehead

Defensive tackle Eric Whitehead originally planned to commit on May 30th, but decided to end his recruitment a bit early on May 3rd. He verballed to Tech then and give Charley Wiles a birthday present in the process. The 6-1.5, 295 pound run stopper from Indianapolis, Indiana (Lawrence Central) looks to fill a need at tackle along Bud Foster's defensive line. Eric was generous enough with his time to answer the questions you all came up with.

Defensive End Depth and the Melvin Keihn Factor

Before the start of spring practice, my primary positions of worry for the defense were tackle and linebacker. As I had an opportunity to read accounts of the defensive productivity, watch the final scrimmage, and the spring game, a new concern emerged: defensive end. Dadi Nicolas is the only proven commodity at end (assuming, based on his outstanding spring at nose tackle, Corey Marshall stays inside). Ken Ekanem is a very talented player who had an outstanding spring, but has next to no game experience. Both should be productive players, but in Bud Foster's system there's a critical need for solid depth along the defensive line.

The Challenge: Fundraising and Millennials

Virginia Tech hiring Whit Babcock as its new Athletic Director brought great hope to Hokie Nation. By all reports his greatest strength was his ability to engage students, alumni, and the greater community to raise interest and, more importantly, money. Whether it's the new indoor practice facility, the small(ish) football staff (by SEC standards) or the ever-pressing need to keep up in the arms race that is major college athletics, Whit's prowess at opening checkbooks is a much needed addition to the Tech Athletics Department. Working in his favor is a sizable alumni pool that is one of the largest in the nation, many of whom reside within a 5-hour radius of campus. With that being said, Whit has been immediately tasked with re-engaging a fan base that has become frustrated with the recent performance of the two revenue-generating sports—football and men's basketball—while building a strong foundation for future giving throughout the Virginia Tech community.

Handicapping the Running Back Battle: Joel Caleb

Last week I discussed how the spring game format made it very difficult to get a good measure of the offensive position battles. Different personnel groupings focused on different offensive series. The maroon group featuring J.C. Coleman and Marshawn Williams, ran mostly power plays where the offensive line blocked down play side with the back sid guard leading around. As Joe highlighted, the white team featured much more zone read and bootleg action. Because the running backs were being utilized in very different ways, the tape doesn't provide a real "apples to apples" comparison.

DRAFT WATCH: Virginia Tech Edition

When I was younger, each year a new black and white covered composition notebook would be my "draft book". I would then steal the draft preview issue of my dad's Sporting News and start predicting. No lie, I would do multiple seven round mock drafts in that notebook. So many so that the magazine would eventually fall apart from wear and tear. Then I would have to staple it back together.

I think it goes without saying, I didn't have a ton of friends growing up.

Six Pack: NFL Draft Edition

I love the NFL Draft. I love the spectacle of it all; from the inevitable opening jeers of Commissioner Goodell to the inevitable cheers...or jeers...or whatever you call Jets fans' annual reactions (I could seriously watch this clip 1,000 times). The league used to have it perfectly set up, cordoning off an entire weekend. Then, a few years ago, ego entered the picture. Goodell & Co. realized that after years of printing money and dominating the airwaves, they had the ability to drag out the process over three days and cash in even more. Rather than dominate consecutive weekend afternoons, the league decided to go head-to-head with the Thursday evening sitcom juggernaut and Friday evening reruns of NCIS. Loved ones suddenly were forced to play the inevitable game of chicken with their spouses: convince them that you could DVR "The Big Bang Theory" in favor of viewing the Draft live, or ultimately being banished to the secondary television in the household. (Kudos to those of you that have a significant other that is an equally-rabid NFL fan.)

Virginia Tech is Hiring Two Recruiting Related Positions

If you recall in early March, during a discussion with Andy Bitter, Bud Foster noted Tech's small football staff size with regards to recruiting.

Yeah, and in my opinion, this is just my opinion, we need to catch up because of recruiting. Not so much the quality control guys and the football part of it, but in the recruiting part of it, that's where the Alabamas and even like Ole Miss, they've had the last two years, they've had two top-10 recruiting classes.

Spring Game: Wide Receiver Production

Very few position groups improved as much over the last season as wide receiver. We all know how much they struggled early in the season against Alabama, but they kept chopping wood and improved steadily from game to game. After spending time working with the JUGS machine catching balls after every practice, the receivers significantly reduced their number of drops. Willie Byrn, Joshua Stanford, and Demitri Knowles all ended up with over 40 receptions and 600 yards. In 2014, the Hokies will require even more production out of this unit.