Who Wore It Best? The Virginia Tech Football All-Numbers Team: Part 2 (#11-19)

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 2 of our list of the best Hokie Football Players to wear each jersey number. Here's Part 1 in case you missed it. These are the picks so far:

#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

Today we'll be going over jerseys #11 – #19. If I was smart, I would've shown jerseys #1 – #9 in my first post; that way, this week would see #10 – #19; but oh well...

So here's the list. Let me know what you think. (Note: The Honorable Mentions are listed in alphabetical order.)

#11 – Xavier Adibi

This was another tough call between two great Tech defenders: All-American LB Xavier Adibi and All-American CB Kendall Fuller. Oddly enough, Adibi and Fuller had the exact same number of career interceptions (8) and career interception TDs (2). Granted, Adibi started 40 games in his career, compared to Kendall's 28 starts. I'm sure that if Kendall was healthy during the 2015 season, he would have easily taken the top spot here; but his Tech career will always seem a bit incomplete to me due to his season-ending injury and his subsequent early exit to the NFL. This is where my personal bias kicks in. During my college days, I would rock the #11 jersey at every Tech football game in honor of my main man, Xavier Adibi. The "X Man" was a freakish athlete that would fly around the field. He was named to the All-ACC first team as a senior in 2007 when he led the Hokies in tackles; he was also named a first team All-American by AFCA. His pick-six against Matt Ryan to seal the 2007 ACC Championship remains one of my favorite Hokie memories. Plus, Adibi looked scary good in that uniform.

(Honorable Mention: Kendall Fuller, Bobby Owens)

#12 – Maurice Deshazo

I once read an article that called Maurice Deshazo the Christopher Columbus of Tech football because he led the Hokies to a New World...of Bowl Games! Believe it or not, the Hokies had never been to consecutive bowl games prior to Deshazo setting foot on campus. But all of that changed when he led the Hokies to back-to-back bowls in his final two seasons (1993 & 1994). Desahazo was a big time quarterback recruit in the state of VA, so signing him was a huge win for Frank Beamer. Deshazo had a bumpy career, but he was at his best during the 1993 season when he finished fifth in the nation in passing efficiency. Deshazo led the Hokies to a 9-3 record that year, which included a 45-20 victory over Indiana in the Independence Bowl. That was only the second bowl victory in school history, and Deshazo was named the game's offensive MVP. That bowl game began a streak of 24 straight bowls for Tech that is still active. Deshazo was inducted into the VT Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

(Honorable Mention: Michael Brewer, Billy Holsclaw, Loren Johnson)

#13 – Bruce Arians

One of the top "Hokies in the NFL" is not a player at all; it's Coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals. Yep, that photo is of Bruce Arians during his playing days at VT. His mid-1970's look of svelte hair and huge sideburns is absolutely hilarious. Arians was the starting QB at Tech during the 1974 season. Tech ran a wishbone offense back then, so his passing numbers weren't anything to write home about. But he did rush for 11 TDs that season, which was a school record for QBs. Fun fact: Bruce Arians was the first white football player to share a dorm room with a black football player in VT history. His roommate was none other than James Barber, who went on to father two Wahoos by the name of Ronde and Tiki.

(Honorable Mention: Billy Myers)

#14 – Torrian Gray

Torrian Gray is a proud alumnus of DBU. He helped lead the Hokies to four straight Bowl games for the first time in school history (1993 – 1996). Gray was the Rover on the '94 and '95 squads before switching over to Free Safety for the '96 season. He was named All-Big East three times and helped the Hokies to back-to-back Big East titles in 1995 and 1996. He recorded two interceptions during Tech's historic victory over Texas in the 1995 Sugar Bowl. After a few seasons in the NFL, Gray returned to Tech in 2006 to coach the defensive secondary; he coached some of the finest players to ever be part of DBU.

(Honorable Mention: Trey Edmunds, Nick Sorensen)

#15 – Don Strock

Don Strock set fire to the school record books during his time at Tech, and he owned virtually every school passing record when he graduated. He still owns a few school records to this day, including passing yards in a game (527) and passing YPG in a season (294.8 in 1972). Unfortunately, he also holds the record for most interceptions thrown in a game (5), in a season (27) and in a career (47). I'd like to imagine Don Strock in the huddle saying something like "To hell with the play call, I'm chucking it downfield!" Strock led the nation in total passing and total offense in 1972. Yep, you read that right...a Tech QB led the NATION in total passing and total offense! But for some crazy reason, Strock only finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting that year (perhaps it had something to do with his 27 interceptions). After college, Strock went on to play 15 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Miami Dolphins. He won a Super Bowl with Miami in 1973. Strock was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

(Honorable Mention: Roland Minor, Eddie Whitley)

#16 – Jim Druckenmiller

QB Jim Druckemiller was the driving force behind Tech's stellar 1995 season, which helped raise the school's national brand. After dropping the first two games of the season, Druck led the Hokies to ten consecutive victories and Tech's first Big East title. Druck beat Miami for the first time in school history and "engineered the greatest comeback I've ever seen" (according to Bill Roth) against UVA in the regular season finale. His go-ahead 32-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Holmes with 47 seconds left remains one of the most memorable plays in Tech history.

That victory secured Tech a spot in the Sugar Bowl, where they soundly defeated Texas 28-10. That was Tech's first "major bowl" victory and it marked the Hokies' first season-ending top 10 finish. The following season, Druck led the Hokies to another 10-2 season and a second straight Big East title. Druck made one thing clear...the Hokies were here to stay.

(Honorable Mention: Cory Bird)

#17 – Kam Chancellor

Another very tough choice for the #17 jersey. Here are the candidates: Arguably the greatest kicker in school history (Shayne Graham), arguably the greatest cornerback in school history (Kyle Fuller) and arguably the greatest safety in school history (Kam Chancellor). Ugh, what a choice. Kyle Fuller probably has the best resume of all three; he was a second team All-American in 2013 and was a first round draft pick by the Chicago Bears. However, Shayne Graham made every clutch kick you could ask for, including the "Miracle in Morgantown" in 1999 that kept our National Championship hopes alive. And then there's Kam Chancellor: the hard-hitting safety who is now the enforcer of the "Legion of BOOM" in Seattle. If we focus solely on what each player accomplished during their time at Tech, then Kyle Fuller probably gets the nod here. But I can't ignore what kind of impact Kam has had on this program based on his success in the NFL; he's even turned into a part-time recruiter for us. Whenever anyone tells me that the Hokies never do anything in the NFL, I always bring up Bruce Smith and Kam Chancellor. That shuts them up quickly, and that's why "Bam Bam Kam" is on this list.

(Honorable Mention: Kyle Fuller, Shayne Graham, Bryan Still)

#18 – Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers was a playmaking cornerback that added some highlight reel hits during his Tech career. In his three short years in Blacksburg, Flowers was named an All-American twice (2006 & 2007). He led the ACC in pass breakups with 18 in 2006 on his way to being named first team All-ACC and third team All-American. In 2007, he was named a first team All-American after recording 86 tackles and 5 interceptions. He's still doing great things in the NFL. We've had some amazing cornerbacks at this school, and I don't if any of them have been better than #18.

(Honorable Mention: DJ Coles)

#19 – Danny Coale

It was a catch!!! Sorry...old habits die hard. Danny Coale was a fan favorite both for his clutch receptions and his ability to be wide open on every single play. Seriously, how was he always THAT wide open? He led the team in receiving with 904 yards in 2011; he also served as the team's punter in four games that season. Coale currently sits in third place for Tech career receiving yards behind Isaiah Ford and Jarrett Boykin. He was part of one of the more memorable comebacks in Hokie history: the "Miracle in Blacksburg" against Nebraska in 2009. The picture shown above is one of my all-time favorites; it perfectly captures one simple look on everyone's faces...hope.

(Honorable Mention: Ernest Wilford)

I would like to personally apologize to Mama Fuller for snubbing not one, but two of her sons this week (Kendall and Kyle). But hey, I put Vinnie at the #8 spot last week; and there's a chance that Corey could still make the list at #83. So...we good?

This is how our list looks after two 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

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

Comments

Fantastic job! This was an excellent idea and you have clearly put in a lot of thought and effort for each number. Really appreciate the work you've done writing these up.

I think the biggest snub was #20. We got 10 numbers last week, why'd we only get 9 numbers this week? /s

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

I think the biggest snub was #20. We got 10 numbers last week, why'd we only get 9 numbers this week? /s

This is just outstanding stuff! Thank you so much for all the research and bringing back so many good memories.

It was a catch!!! Sorry...old habits die hard.

2021 Season Challenge: only comment with Batman memes.

Previous Challenges: Star Wars (2019), Marvel (2020)

As much as I love Kendall, I agree with Xavier Adibi getting the nod. It's really a shame he joined the NFL about 5 years before his size and style of play at linebacker became popular. He still played a few seasons and made some starts, but he wasn't meant to play at 250, which he got up to, and in today's NFL he wouldn't be expected to add all that extra weight.

As for 17, I guess it's based more on what Kam Chancellor has meant to VT in the big picture. His NFL success has been more significant than he had at VT. I think it's safe to say Kyle was better while at VT, but overall, Kam went on to become the premier strong safety in the NFL and that is a big time recruiting pitch for DBU and gets us mentioned more often.

X in the 11 may be one of my all-time fav "THAT'S a football player" looks.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

He pretty much couldn't have looked any cooler.

As I recall, X was a regular on Herbie's 'All-Uniform Team'. And they say Miami has Dudes....

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

He is and forever will be the scariest football player both in uniform and style of play I've ever seen

He said give to me Roscoe

1. You got to throw up the "X" every time he made a play.
2. He played with screws in his wrist after his injury. Dude was a boss.

@vtscottyb

No arguments here. Great job! Thanks.

TIL that Ronde and Tiki's dad played at VT.

Son, I am disappoint.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

From things that I read JB didn't have much of a relationship with the boys and was sort of a deadbeat.

I hope and pray that Tiki NEVER makes the NFL HoF (aside from not deserving it).

I hope and pray that Tiki NEVER makes the NFL HoF

I am a Giants fan, and I could not agree with you more. He is classless person and was an overrated running back (ran be hind one of the best OL in Giants history). Plus I lost all respect I had for him after he made those comments about Eli and the Giants organization right after he retired. Sucks for him though we won the Super Bowl that following year, proving we didn't need him.

damn, son. You torched him!

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)..

Well in that case:

Pops I am disappoint

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

I've been waiting for the next edition of this! Thanks for your hard work!

I'd have to give Shayne the nod with 17. I get the other Kam and Kyle perspectives, but Shayne's importance, consistency, and clutch were a hallmark of his time at VT and could be argued they aren't in the '99-'00 NC game without him. He left VT as the All-time leading scorer in Big East history and VT history (371).

I think the impact of his VT career is being far overshadowed here by Kam's NFL career and him being the 'NFL face of VT', rather than Kam's on-field VT career. The latter of which is the point of this...Kam & Kyle had great VT careers, but when I see 17, I immediately think Shayne before Kam or Kyle.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

Kam's current status for Tech is important but Shayne had a 14 year NFL career as well with a career 85.5% accuracy on field goals which currently places him 10th all time in NFL history. He scored 1260 points in his career, which is all the more incredible considering the last six seasons of his career he was only picked up for a full season twice. His career scoring average per game played is 7.08 PPG. He is 35th all time in the NFL in points scored. He is 8th in points per game in NFL history.

Xavier at #11 is a lock in my book. Anybody here have or remember seeing those Adibi's Army shirts around campus? I think they started when Nathaniel was still playing. There was also that guy who wore the Adibi's Army helmet to games.

Remeber when Herbie used to do awards and such each week. One week he chose Xavier as THE guy that wears a football uni best and did a short segment just on him. X was a stud and just looked like he was going to destroy whatever was near him.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Josh Morgan wore 17. Surely he deserves to be in the honorable mentions at least.

I put Josh Morgan under Honorable Mention for jersey #2. There were a lot of guys that switched jersey numbers during their Tech careers, so I tried to keep it to one number for each player. But now that I think about it, Josh Morgan was probably better wearing #17 than he was when he wore #2.

I still think of him as number 2 though.

Hall and Xav should always be on any list. This is my favorite tech highlight video. :17, :55, 1:37, 1:53, 2:45.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm9djLS_yzo

No coincidence it was Tech's strongest defensive years.

The biggest snubs so far are David Wilson over Deangleo Hall at number 4, and I also believe Still gets the nod at 17. This list seems to only be about the new school. Have we forgotten that Deangelo Hall was one of the best corners in college football at the time?!!! Have we forgotten about still tearing up the Texas defense in the 1995 Sugar Bowl? Come on man! NFL status means jack to me on this list, this is about who wore it best during their time at Virginia Tech.

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

David Wilson is our single season rushing yardage record holder and was ACCPOY. I don't think it's the biggest snub at all.

DeAngelo Hall played on offense and defense also housed two punts for TDs against Syracuse and perhaps has one of the biggest plays in Virginia Tech history with his strip fumble td return against Miami.

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

David Wilson had some pretty big plays in his career too. Remember his game-winning kickoff return touchdown against Georgia Tech in 2010? Or his kickoff return touchdown to open the second half against NC State in 2010 which started our epic comeback? Combine those with his 2011 ACC Player of the Year Award along with his school record for rushing yards in a season, and it was all just too much to ignore. The #4 jersey was by far the most difficult decision on this list, followed closely by #17.

This list seems to only be about the new school.

I've already included Frank Loria, Bruce Arians and Jim Druckenmiller. I've got a lot more old-school Hokies coming up in the next few weeks. In fact, next week's list will have a guy that played in the 1920s!

I do remember those plays but I just don't believe you can put him above deangelo hall. Just my opinion. We shall see how well the old school is represented on here...

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

We shall see how well the old school is represented on here...

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Here is the breakdown of all 99 players by decade based on each player's final season:

Decade (Count)
1920s (1)
1930s (0)
1940s (1)
1950s (7)
1960s (13)
1970s (6)
1980s (14)
1990s (16)
2000s (26)
2010s (15)

If you have the stats could you compare these numbers to Wins in each decade. I have the feeling they will follow a similar distribution.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Yep, here it is. I included the total wins for each decade in parenthesis. But since we play more games in a season than we used to, I also included the Winning % in a second parenthesis.

You can see that our best decade in terms of total wins and winning % were the 2000s (2000-2009). Not much of a surprise there, as our ten win streak took place during that decade. The 1940s were pretty rough; we didn't even have a football team in 1943 and 1944 due to WWII, and it took a while to get back to our winning ways after that. But look at how awesome we were for the first few decades of the 20th Century (1900-1929). Those teams definitely knew how to win!

Decade (Wins) (Winning %)

1900s (56 wins) (74%)
1910s (62 wins) (75%)
1920s (56 wins) (66%)
1930s (46 wins) (57%)
1940s (28 wins) (43%)
1950s (48 wins) (51%)
1960s (62 wins) (63%)
1970s (47 wins) (44%)
1980s (66 wins) (60%)
1990s (77 wins) (67%)
2000s (99 wins) (76%)
2010s (61 wins from 2010 – 2016) (65%)

Also has been a long time ambassador for CFB and Virginia Tech, plus a pretty long NFL career. My choice would have been different, but both were impact players for sure.