As we stand on the eve of another spring football season, I resign myself to worry about the Hokies. I worry that the linebacker depth has evaporated. I worry that all the moves in the secondary rob Peter to pay Paul. I worry about offensive line continuity and new running backs. And, I worry about finding punters, place kickers, returners, and guys who can make things happen in coverage.
But, it is the promise of expectation and potential which brings us back every year and lets us hope to dream the impossible dream. And, when I look at the Hokies roster this spring, the thought of Mark Shuman and Laurence Gibson winning jobs on the left side of the offensive line gives me something to aspire to hope for.
Mark Berman of the Roanoke Times Tweeted the following early this afternoon, "Met with Seth. JT won't be returning to #Hokies, but Seth will. JT will transfer. But Seth not leaving for SMU". Berman elaborated about his conversation with Seth a bit more on his blog.
He said neither he nor his representative have talked with anyone from SMU or with SMU’s consultant in the search, former Hokies athletic director Dave Braine.
It would seem then that ends that.
JT Thompson looked primed to have a memorable final year at Tech. However, it never came, and his inside presence was definitely missed. After tearing the ACL in his left knee his 2010-11 season was a wash, and he missed the 2011-12 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. He was honored at senior night against NC State back on March 4th, so his transfer isn't a huge suprise to me. The best of luck to JT in the future, and over the rest of his career.
Lane Casadonte of CBS 6 Richmond reported the following via Twitter late Sunday evening, "Sources tell #CBS6 Sports that #VT's Seth Greenberg is a top candidate for the job at #SMU #ACC".
SMU fired coach Matt Doherty on March 13th after going 80-109 over six seasons. SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini stated the following.
"As I have said previously, we have set a goal of top-25 status for our men's basketball program and want to compete for BIG EAST championships. With our membership in one of the best basketball conferences in the nation, the Crum Basketball Center, our $40-plus million renovation of Moody Coliseum and our location in the fertile recruiting grounds of Dallas, we believe we have the pieces for a championship-caliber program."
At first, SMU might sound like an illogical destination for Greenberg. But when you consider SMU is transitioning to the Big East, a premier hoops league, is located in Dallas, and has invested serious dollars into its hoops program, it sounds a little more plausible. It might even remind you of Greenberg's takeover scenario at Virginia Tech sans the gobs of local talent.
Spring practice begins this Wednesday. Once the pads start popping we'll be able to talk more Xs and Os, until then it's more bookkeeping.
BeamerBall.com announced James Hopper's football career is over. He's taking a medical redshirt and will student coach in the secondary this spring, then transition to a graduate assistant this fall. Future head coach at Virginia Tech in 2060, best of luck James.
With BRUUUUUUCE, Tariq, and Telvion (permanently) out, there will be a lot of inexperienced, yet promising players along with new-to-the-position defenders getting the majority of reps at Mike and Backer. Derek DiNardo (Whip/Rover/Safety) and Josh Trimble (Rover) will mover over to Backer. Chase Williams, who's finally healthy, is going to rep at both Backer and Mike. Brian Laiti will have an opportunity to distinguish himself at Mike. I hope we get to watch Jack Tyler and Chase Williams on the field at the same time. They could be the linebacking tandem of the not so distance future, and it would be great to see their on-the-field chemistry.
Michael Parker is an impressive athlete out of Kettle Run High School in Nokesville, Virginia. He holds regional (Virginia Tech, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland), as well as national (Illinois, Ohio State, Boston College) offers. Schools are recruiting the talented 6-4 200 pound junior as either a safety or wide receiver. He had a very productive 2011 season netting 63 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 4 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries and a score on defense to go along with 20 receptions, 300 receiving yards, 200 rushing yards (Jet Sweep package) and 5 TDs on offense. Kettle Run Coach Jeff Lloyd was generous enough to take the time to answer questions I had about Michael.
Photo by Randy Litzinger via Fauquier.com
From his highlight film, Michael shows playmaking ability and versatility, both blitzing from a standing position and dropping into deep zones. He lines up all over the field, so much so it's hard to tell if he's playing safety or outside linebacker. Can you talk about how important Michael is to your defensive scheme, what coverage he plays in, and how you like to use his athletic skill set?
Update: Per a Virginia Tech release, he's been dismissed from the team.
Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer announced Tuesday that linebacker Telvion Clark (r-Jr., Norfolk, Va.) has been dismissed from the team for violations of team policies. In making this announcement, Beamer said there will be no further comment on the situation.
So with Edwards out because of injury, it looks like it's Chase Williams' time to shine at backer during spring.
The original post follows below.
Over the weekend I was tipped that linebacker Telvion Clark had been arrested outside of TOTS late Saturday night.
Today I found confirmation of the charge, Public Swearing/Intoxication, which is a class 4 misdemeanor in Virginia. His hearing is scheduled for 5/3/12.
The offensive line played pretty damn well last season. Protecting Logan Thomas was crucial, and the first-year quarterback's jersey was kept clean. He was sacked just 17.0 times in 14 games (T-22nd nationally) and flourished. They made it possible for David Wilson to do his thing. Tech rushed for 186.86 yards per game (28 nationally), Wilson netted just over 1,700 yards and was ACC Player of the Year. Above all else, they were the most consistent unit fielded by coach Curt Newsome since coming to Tech (2006-present). A group featuring four senior starters with talented depth behind them should be good, but not taken for granted. Now Tech must rebuild the o-line. Unlike during the beginning of Newsome's tenure, the cupboard isn't bare and the players Tech is depending on to step up have been in Newsome's system.
Looking poised in the pocket, via: NewsRoanoke.com.
In order to gain more insight on the type of player David Prince could be at the next level, I reached out to his coach, Patrick Henry offensive coordinator Aaron Fiddler. He was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions I had.
1) So many times in high school the quarterback is the best athlete on the field and team leader. On some plays it looks like David's going to run right off the film. What traits make him such a dynamic athlete? What skills does he need to improve on? Is he that leader in the huddle that the team looks to?
His speed is what makes him such dynamic athlete, it is one thing that we cannot coach. He will need to improve his route running if he plays WR, and technique if he plays DB. Tech has one of the best coaching staffs in the country, and they will mold David into the type of player they are looking for at either position. With David they have a great athlete to build on. David's toughness is apparent in his willingness to run between the tackles, and his teammates follow his lead in seeing that he will do whatever it takes to get the ball down the field.
Update: It's official, he's committed.
This morning David Prince (@D_Prince8) from Patrick Henry in Roanoke, Virginia Tweeted he plans to verbally commit to Virginia Tech later today. In addition to Virginia Tech, Prince held offers from Virginia, ECU, and Wake Forest. Shane Mettlen of the Culpeper Star-Exponent detailed Prince's recruitment battle between Virginia Tech and Virginia last week.
The hammer dropped, well kind of.
The NCAA penalties are as follows:
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Three years of probation from March 12, 2012, through March 11, 2015.
- Three-year show-cause penalty for the former assistant football coach prohibiting any recruiting activity. The public report contains further details.
- Postseason ban for the 2012 football season.
- Reduction of football scholarships by a total of 15 during three academic years. The public report includes further details.
- Vacation of wins during the 2008 and 2009 seasons (self-imposed by the university). The public report includes further details.
- $50,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).
- Disassociation of both the former tutor and former student-athlete who served as an agent runner (self-imposed by the university).
Here's the complete summary from the NCAA.
Over the course of three seasons, six football student-athletes competed while ineligible as a result of these violations, and multiple student-athletes received impermissible benefits totaling more than $31,000.
Original photo is via the terrific Ivan Morozov.
Georgia Tech's NCAA appeal was denied. The Bees 2009 ACC Championship remains vacated, but their 222-0 victory over the Frat Bros of Cumberland remains.
"We feel strongly that Friday nights should be reserved for high school football and we want to do everything that we can to cooperate with the high schools and protect their game," Swofford said. "High school football is extremely important to college football and it is vital that we work together on matters such as this."
During the postgame presser, a reporter asked Greenberg about the Hokies reaching only one NCAA tournament (2007) in his nine seasons. Greenberg fired back rapidly.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished," he said. "Prior to this season, we won 20 games four of the last five years. We won nine games twice in the ACC, 10 games twice, got to the semifinals of the ACC tournament (three times). If you don't think that's good, that's your problem."
A few moments later, without prompting, Greenberg returned to the subject.
"What we've done the last four years? It's pretty remarkable," he said of 2008-11. "Pretty remarkable. Just as remarkable as we weren't in the tournament any of those years. ... If you want to define those kids' careers and say it's a failure, that's your problem, because what those kids accomplished, what they built in a basketball program where there was no basketball program was pretty special. Forget about me. Don't take anything away from those kids."
via Teel, one of the best.
I guess it's my problem then.
'Arch Matness,' as it is being called this year, is wrestling's version of the big dance. 33 wrestlers will vie for All-American status and more importantly the title of National Champion from March 15-17 in St. Louis (Scottrade Center). Virginia Tech will send six wrestlers this year, a drop-off from the seven that they sent to Philadelphia last year. However that's a good number of bids despite the injuries to 157 pound senior Jesse Dong, and senior heavyweight David Marone. Both probably would have earned sports in the tournament pushing the number to eight national qualifiers. But, let's not dwell on what might have been, let's talk 2012 Arch Matness.
That was a back and forth game for 35 minutes. Then Zo and Erick Green hit back-to-back threes that spurred a 9 point run which broke a 52-all tie. The Hokies were up 61-52 with 2:21 left. I thought it was over. Jarell Eddie did too.
I see you, I see you at 2x zoom.
But it wasn't. Of course not, that's not this season or team. Close games are their thing. They either figure a way to scrap and fight out of a deficit to the finish, or implode.
Clemson did the only thing they could and pressured. They forced turnovers. They raised my blood pressure, made my chocolate milk less enjoyable. The Hokies gave them a hand and fouled. Seth's reaction to Doe-Doe's foul while trying to rebound a missed free-throw said it all, "This shit's happening again?"
With how the season had gone, I laughed too.
Now it seemed the pooch being screwed was merely a formality.
I'm glad I was wrong. The Hokies banged home five of their final six free-throws to seal the victory. We usually don't do that. Wins in a one and done situation build confidence.
Three more Ws for an improbable tournament berth. Duke tomorrow, let's go!
The Hokies don't begin spring practice until March 28, but other teams on their schedule have been pitching around the oblong. Here's a look at their opponents that are already popping pads.
Start: Feb. 18
Game: March 31
Montel Harris re-aggravated his left knee injury after BC's first spring practice. He's being held out for the rest of spring, a move that seems more precautionary than anything.
Andy Bitter caught up with Torrian Gray who dropped some knowledge regarding the starting secondary this spring, a move "that gives us our best four."
Antone Exum will move from rover to corner. That's a bit of a shock to me. In my mind, Exum staying at rover was the one given in the defensive backfield. Bud Foster had confirmed as much back in February.
"At the safety spot when we looked at our cut-ups, when 'Tone was just able to go out and play, he was unbelievable," Gray said. "When things moved around for him, sometimes it slowed him down. We just want to kind of see if he can do it, 'Hey, you're out here on No. 1 and just play ball.'
"We think it's something worth looking into to see what he can give us out there."
"I'm trying to free your mind, Neo." -- Morpheus