Who Wore It Best? The Virginia Tech Football All-Numbers Team: Part 3 (#20-29)

Part 1 (#1 – 10)
Part 2 (#11 – 19)
Part 3 (#20 – 29)
Part 4 (#30 – 39)
Part 5 (#40 – 49)
Part 6 (#50 – 59)
Part 7 (#60 – 69)
Part 8 (#70 – 79)
Part 9 (#80 – 89)
Part 10 (#90 - 99 + Bonus)

Welcome to Part 3 of our list of the best Hokie Football Players to wear each jersey number. Now that National Signing Day and the Super Bowl are behind us, we don't have very much football to keep us occupied until Spring Practice starts. So this seems like the perfect time to look back on some of the great Hokies of old.

Today, we'll take a look at the Roaring Twenties (#20 – #29). Most of the players on today's list were either running backs or cornerbacks; I even threw in a punter for good measure. This week's list also includes the best Tech football player that you've probably never heard of. So here's the list. (Note: The Honorable Mentions are listed in alphabetical order.)

#20 – Jayron Hosley

As I put this list together, I was amazed at how many great DBs we've had at this school. One of those great DBs is Mr. Jayron Hosley from Delray Beach, FL. Jayron's best season came in 2010 when he led the NATION with nine interceptions; that tied Ron Davidson's school record for most INTs in a season. During a game at NC State that season, the Hokies found themselves in a 17-0 hole. But they stormed back for a 41-30 victory thanks in large part to Jayron's three interceptions against future NFL star Russell Wilson. Jayron continued that success for the remainder of the season and helped the Hokies capture the 2010 ACC Crown. It seemed like Jayron always came up with a pick whenever the Hokies desperately needed one that season. He was also a pretty great kick/punt returner for the Hokies. Following the 2010 season, Hosley was honored as a first team All-American. He remains the most recent Hokie to earn first team All-American honors.

(Honorable Mention: Kenny Lewis, Pierson Prioleau)

#21 – Rashad Carmichael

Rashad "Roc" Carmichael was a cornerback for the Hokies from 2007 – 2010. Roc never received the fanfare of some of the other CBs on the team (most notably Jayron Hosley), but he was a solid contributor for Tech. He became a starter in 2009 and earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors after collecting six interceptions. For his career, Roc had ten interceptions, two of which he returned for TDs. Roc's best moment was when he sealed the win against Georgia Tech in 2010; with 14 seconds left on the clock and the Hokies clinging to a seven-point lead, GT's Tevin Washington threw a pass into the endzone that was intercepted by Carmichael (see photo above). In those days, the winner of the Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech game always won the Coastal Division; so that victory effectively earned Tech a trip to the ACC Championship game, which they won.

(Honorable Mention: Michael Crawford, Brandon Semones, Howie Wright)

#22 – Lee Suggs

I've never been more confident that we would score a touchdown near the goal line than when we had #22 in the backfield. "TD Lee" burst onto the scene in 2000 by scoring 28 touchdowns; that season, he led Division 1A in both scoring and touchdowns. Suggs was named the Big East Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2000 as well as a third team All-American. The duo of Suggs and teammate Kevin Jones were known as "The Untouchables," which is still the coolest nickname for two teammates that I've ever heard. During his time at Tech, Suggs set the NCAA record by scoring a TD in 27 consecutive games; he ended his career as the all-time Tech and Big East leader in both rushing touchdowns (53) and total touchdowns (56). Suggs was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

(Honorable Mention: Dickie Beard, Tyronne Drakeford, Alger Pugh)

#23 – Nic Schmitt

Nic Schmitt was one of the top punters in the nation during his time in Blacksburg. He is Virginia Tech's career punting leader with an average of 42.6 yards/punt. In the 2006 Gator Bowl, Schmitt set Gator Bowl records for punt yardage and average punt distance; he booted six punts for 300 yards in the Hokies' 35-24 victory over Louisville. Schmitt was named a 2006 Pre-Season All-American by Playboy Magazine (ooh la la!). He was also built like a defensive lineman, which meant that if any returner ran his way, they were in for a rude awakening.

(Honorable Mention: John Ludlow)

#24 – Ron Davidson

Ron Davidson was part of the legendary Hokie secondary of the late 1960s that featured future Hall of Famers Frank Beamer and Frank Loria. But Davidson (who also returned punts for the Hokies) may have been the best athlete of the three. He set a school record with nine interceptions in 1967; he now shares that record with Jayron Hosley. He also set a Tech single-game record with three interceptions against FSU. Davidson helped the Hokies earn trips to two bowl games in three seasons (1966 Liberty Bowl and 1968 Liberty Bowl). That's very impressive when you consider that there were only nine bowl games in 1966. Davidson was inducted in the VT Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

(Honorable Mention: Larry Austin, Bobby Wolfenden, William Yarborough)

#25 – Frank Beamer

I had originally planned on putting Kevin Jones in this spot; after all, he is considered by many Hokie fans to be the greatest running back in school history. KJ was the top recruiting prospect in the history of Virginia Tech football, as most recruiting services had him ranked as the #1 recruit in the nation in 2001. In 2003, KJ rushed for 1,647 yards, which broke the single season Tech rushing record by more than 200 yards; he was named a Consensus First Team All-American. He left after his junior year as the school's #2 career rusher, just 293 yards shy of breaking the school's all-time rushing record. He seemed like the easy choice for the #25 spot; but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important Frank Beamer is to this football program. Beamer's #25 jersey is proudly displayed in the North End Zone of Lane Stadium; granted, that's more for "Frank the Football Coach" than "Frank the Football Player." But I don't know if any single person has meant more to this football program than Frank Beamer. During Beamer's 29 seasons as Head Football Coach, Tech enjoyed unprecedented success with 23 consecutive bowl games, four ACC titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three Big East Conference titles, six BCS appearances and a trip to the National Championship Game. Prior to Beamer being named Head Coach, Tech had one conference title and one bowl victory in its history; Beamer won seven conference titles and 11 bowl games. Of course, Beamer wasn't wearing a jersey during his coaching career, but his #25 in the North End Zone serves as a strong reminder of his impact on this program. I don't think anyone will argue that Kevin Jones was a better player than Frank Beamer, but Beamer is the right choice for this spot.

(Honorable Mention: Mike Giacolone, Kevin Jones, DJ Parker)

#26 – Cody Grimm

The Grimm Reaper, The Deathbacker...these are not nicknames that are simply handed out to anyone; they must be earned. Cody Grimm came to Tech as a walk-on and left as an All-American. Grimm's best season came in 2009 when he earned first team All-ACC honors. In a game against NC State, he tied an NCAA single-game record with three forced fumbles; and by the way, those three forced fumbles came on NC State's first four plays of the game! Grimm was named the defensive MVP of the 2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl when the Hokies beat Tennessee 37-14. After the season, Grimm won the 2009 Dudley Award as the top NCAA football player in the state of Virginia. He also received third team All-American honors from the AP; he joined John Engelberger as the only former walk-ons in school history to earn All-American honors.

#27 – Jarrett Ferguson

Jarrett Ferguson joined the Tech football team as a walk-on in 1997 and wound up becoming one of the best fullbacks in school history. During his time in Blacksburg, he was one of the top fullbacks in the nation; he exceled as a runner, receiver and blocker. Perhaps his biggest claim to fame is that he caught Michael Vick's final collegiate touchdown pass; Ferguson caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Vick during the 2001 Gator Bowl. Ferguson added a touchdown run later in the game as the Hokies dominated the Clemson Tigers 41-20. He is now the Senior Director of Strength and Conditioning for the football team.

(Honorable Mention: Justin Hamilton, AJ Hughes, Jon Jeffries)

#28 – Ken Oxendine

Ken Oxendine was a tailback for Tech during the mid-1990s who helped the Hokies to back-to-back Big East titles in 1995 and 1996. He had his best season in 1996 when he rushed for 13 touchdowns and earned first team All-Big East honors. He rushed for 150 yards against a vaunted Nebraska defense in the 1996 Orange Bowl. Despite splitting time with Lamont Pegues as a senior, Oxendine still made the All-Big East second team. After graduating from Tech, he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. In 2012, Oxendine married a Playboy bunny; so...go him!

(Honorable Mention: Branden Ore)

#29 – Frank Peake

Here's the best Tech football player that you've probably never heard of. Frank Peake was a legendary halfback and punt returner for the Hokies from 1925-1928. He was part of the famed "Pony Express" backfield, a nickname that was aimed at Notre Dame's popular "Four Horsemen." Statistics were still in their infancy at that time, but based on newspaper clippings and testimony from people who actually saw him play, Peake put up video game numbers. Peake apparently gained 675 yards in the 1926 victory over UVA. Damn! Newspapers reported that Peake's "average per game during his four years was close to the 200-yard mark." During one three game stretch in 1927, Peake accumulated rushing and return yardage of 306, 314 and 353 yards. That's uh...that's pretty good. That season, Peake was credited with gaining 1,761 yards in eight games; 930 yards from scrimmage and 831 yards on punt returns. During his senior season, Peake was sidelined with an injured hip when the Hokies took on UVA. But Peake came off the bench and returned a punt for a touchdown on his first play of the game; the Hokies beat the Wahoos 20-0. Following the 1928 season, Peake was named to the All-Southern Conference team. He also became the first Hokie to be named Honorable Mention All-American.

(Honorable Mention: Dustin Keys)

Here's our list after three weeks:

#1 – Isaiah Ford
#2 – Jimmy Williams
#3 – Bryan Randall
#4 – David Wilson
#5 – Tyrod Taylor
#6 – Jason Worilds
#7 – Michael Vick*
#8 – Vinnie Fuller
#9 – Vince Hall
#10 – Frank Loria**
#11 – Xavier Adibi
#12 – Maurice Deshazo
#13 – Bruce Arians
#14 – Torrian Gray
#15 – Don Strock
#16 – Jim Druckenmiller
#17 – Kam Chancellor
#18 – Brandon Flowers
#19 – Danny Coale
#20 – Jayron Hosley
#21 – Rashad Carmichael
#22 – Lee Suggs
#23 – Nic Schmitt
#24 – Ron Davidson
#25 – Frank Beamer*
#26 – Cody Grimm
#27 – Jarrett Ferguson
#28 – Ken Oxendine
#29 – Frank Peake

*Retired Jersey – the number can still be worn by Tech football players
**Retired Number – the number will never be worn by another Tech football player

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Awesome post once again, I really enjoy reading these every week

"Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give some people"

Great post.

Also, can we all agree that the jersey's from the late '90's-early '00's (particularly the all whites that Jarrett Ferguson has on) are the freshest uni's we've ever had? Classic, clean, and have "whoop ass" written all over them. Really wish we could go back to them...

Agreed. I think a modernized version of those jerseys would like incredible. Use the number font we have now and keep the orange numbers on the sleeves like the old ones. I made a rough mock up of what that would look like and posted it a while back. Looked pretty cool.

You misspelled bland.

It's Time to go to Work

Yeah, I'm not so sure about the all white ones. Nothing about them says Virginia Tech to me. I need that sweet sweet maroon.

I always somehow forget about Grimm. Man I loved that dude.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

I bet if you ask Frank he'd say Kevin Jones. Beamer became a legend on the sidelines and part of what got him there were the players.

Hosley was a damn ball hawk. Sucks that his nfl career hasn't really panned out

Bud masked his deficiency's by keeping him on the boundary side. In the NFL, the boundary side really doesn't exist since the hash marks are so close. He had great closing speed.

What's
Important
Now

I'm pretty sure he played field in 2010 when he led the nation in picks. Additionally, the narrative of our boundary corners not applying to the NFL is a little off base. Flowers was the best boundary corner we've ever had and it translated into him being the immediate starter and a successful career, albeit with some injury problems here and there. Furthermore, most of our boundary corners played field before they moved to boundary. For example, Macho was field until Flowers left early, then he was boundary and Virgil played field, then it was Virgil/Roc followed by Roc/Hosley, then Hosley moved to boundary in 2011 IIRC.

Peake apparently gained 675 yards in the 1926 victory over UVA.

More yards than fans at a UVA Spring Game.

Even more yards than the number of timeouts Coach FML is waiting to call.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

How is Lamar Cobb not even an honorable mention for 28?

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

For the Honorable Mentions, I tried to limit it to guys that had earned All-Conference, All-American or Honorable Mention All-American honors, along with Hokies that were taken in the NFL Draft. That was just my way of putting a cap on the list. But Lamar Cobb was one tough dude on the d-line.

Gotta love the cheerleader in the Roc Carmichael pic casually standing about 2 feet off the ground while giving a nonchalant thumbs up.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Oh him? That was just a VTGuitarman photoshop that people have forgotten was fake...

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Why is Peake not in the hall of fame. Sure does sound like he belongs there.

What's
Important
Now

Thanks the posts! I definitely enjoy reading about the past games as I didn't start watching football until I came to Tech in 09...good history in here.

Looking forward to the rest of the list!

I'm not going to argue against Frank Beamer at 25, but we have previously disqualified people for their post-playing achievements. ;)

My 2020 Season/Covid19 Challenge: only comment with Marvel memes.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes. (completed as of Nov. 29)

Can we do a pre-number honorable mention for Hunter Carpenter. Any player good enough to get UVA to cancel their series with us needs to be mentioned.

"I'll put a quote here to distract you from my inane comment."-Me

Haha, I was waiting for someone to ask about Hunter Carpenter. He's my "bonus pick" at the end of this list; so you'll hear about him in Part 10. His hatred of LOLUVA was legendary.

While I'm a huge David Wilson fan, I'm not sure about picking him over Eddie Royal.

30 years after starting grad school at Virginia Tech, I finally defended my dissertation and earned my PhD.
Don't give up on your dreams.

Yeah, the #4 jersey was definitely the most difficult pick of the entire list. I ultimately chose David Wilson for all of his accomplishments. Not only was he the 2011 ACC Player of the Year but he holds the school record for rushing yards in a single season (1,709). He also holds the school record for career yards per rush with 5.76 yards/carry. Throw in his kickoff return TDs against NC State and GT in 2010 and it was just too much to ignore.

Fair enough. I have these images in my head of Eddie burning the last legitimately good Miami team in their house, as a true freshman. He had a very good 4 years at VT. Then again you can't ignore the record setting, near mythical short career, of Wilson. This is one that could have had a tie for best.

30 years after starting grad school at Virginia Tech, I finally defended my dissertation and earned my PhD.
Don't give up on your dreams.