Part Seven of "Who Wore It Best? The Virginia Tech Football All-Numbers Team" (#60-69)

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 7 of our list of the best Hokie Football Players to wear each jersey number. Sorry for the delay between parts 6 and 7; my job is really getting in the way of my TKP time.

Today, we'll take a look at jerseys #60 – 69. All of these guys played on either the offensive or defensive line for the Hokies. I'm really excited about this week's list. It features three First Team All-Americans along with several other Honorable Mention All-Americans. One of the guys on today's list has his jersey hanging in the North End Zone. This list also includes a defensive tackle that recorded 177 tackles in a single season!

So here's the list. (Note: The Honorable Mentions are listed in alphabetical order.)

#60 – Woody Baron

How could you not love Woody Baron? His smile, strong work ethic and toughness along the defensive line made him one of our favorite Hokies in 2016. Baron's father uncle, Jim, was a defensive lineman for the Hokies during the mid-1990s; he returned a fumble for a TD in the 1995 Sugar Bowl against Texas. Woody followed in his footsteps and became a stellar defensive tackle for the Hokies. He was the only Hokie named to the 2016 All-ACC first team. During a Thursday night game against Miami, Woody made a name for himself on national TV; he recorded 2.5 sacks to go along with 4.5 tackles for a loss in that game.

He later recorded a key sack against Arkansas in the Belk Bowl. For the season, Woody made 5.5 sacks and an impressive 18.5 tackles for a loss. The Roanoke Times named Woody Baron the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year for the State of Virginia. We'll miss ya, big fella.

(Honorable Mention: Tom Mehr, Beau Warren, George "Buckeye" Warriner)

#61 – Billy Conaty

To say that Billy Conaty had some big shoes to fill when he became the starting Center at Tech would be a huge understatement; he had to take over for the greatest offensive lineman in school history at that time: Jim Pyne. But Conaty was up to the challenge; he was a dominant force on the 1995 Big East Championship team that beat Texas in the Sugar Bowl. He was named a first team All-American in 1996, becoming only the third Tech O-lineman in history to receive that honor. For his career, Conaty started a then school record 48 straight games.

(Honorable Mention: Steve DeMasi, Billy Kerfoot)

#62 – Blake DeChristopher

Offensive tackle Blake DeChristoper started 50 consecutive games for the Hokies from 2008 – 2011. He helped open up holes for some of the best tailbacks in school history, including Darren Evans, Ryan Williams and David Wilson. He also helped protect record-breaking QBs Tyrod Taylor and Logan Thomas. He was named second team All-ACC in 2010 and first team All-ACC in 2011. In 2011, DeChristopher became the first Hokie to win the Jacobs Trophy as the top blocker in the ACC. He also shattered the record for wildest beard in conference history.

#63 – Harold Grizzard

Harold Grizzard was an offensive guard for the Hokies during the early 1950s. That's a pretty awesome name for an offensive lineman. I'm sure that Jon Laaser would have a field day with that name on his radio broadcast: "And it's Grrrrrrrizzard with a monster block!" or "Harold's the GRIZZled veteran of the offensive line." Grizzard was part of a dominant o-line that featured future NFL champions Buzz Nutter and George Preas. Following his senior season in 1953, Grizzard joined fellow o-lineman George Preas as a member of the All-State and All-Southern Conference teams.

(Honorable Mention: Laurence Gibson)

#64 – Jake Grove

Virginia Tech has had a pretty rich history of great centers on the O-Line. Jim Pyne was a Unanimous All-American in 1993 and Billy Conaty was a first team All-American in 1996. Jake Grove kept up that tradition when he dominated opposing linemen during the early 2000s. Grove won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center in 2003. He became just the third Hokie in school history to be named a Unanimous All-American. His #64 jersey was retired in 2006, and he remains the most recent Tech football player to receive that honor.

(Honorable Mention: Gennaro DiNapoli, Jim Hickam)

#65 – Newt Green

Newt Green was an offensive guard for the Hokies during the early 1960s. He was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1962 and 1963. Green was an impact player during Tech's 1963 Southern Conference Championship season. During the game against Florida State that season, Green blocked a punt that was returned by Jake Adams for a touchdown; the Hokies defeated the Seminoles by a score of 31-23. Newt Green was also key in maintaining Tech's dominance over UVA. In 1963, Tech defeated UVA for the sixth consecutive season; that was the longest winning streak against the Wahoos at that time.

#66 – Scott Hill

Scott Hill made a ridiculous 177 tackles in 1987; that tied Rick Razzano's school record for most tackles in a single season. And Scott Hill wasn't a linebacker; he was a defensive tackle! Think about that for a second...he made 177 tackles in one season as a defensive tackle! Geez...For his efforts, he was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1987.

(Honorable Mention: Will Montgomery)

#67 – Don Thacker

Don Thacker was a defensive tackle for the Hokies from 1965 – 1967. Thacker's strong play on the defensive side of the ball helped the Hokies earn a trip to the 1966 Liberty Bowl, which was only their second bowl game in school history. Thacker came up big during a 23-21 victory over FSU in 1966; he and the Tech defense stopped the Seminoles on a fourth down play on Tech's six-inch line in the fourth quarter of that game. From 1966 – 1967, the Hokies won an impressive 14 consecutive regular season games; that was the longest active streak in the nation at that time. Thacker was part of the 1967 squad that featured arguably the best defense in school history at that time; it included All-Americans George Foussekis, Frank Loria and Mike Widger along with other standouts like Ron Davidson and Frank Beamer. Thacker was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1967.

#68 – Mike Zeno

Mike Zeno was an offensive guard at Tech from 1958 – 1960. The Roanoke Times selected Zeno as their Lineman of the Week after a 40-14 beatdown of UVA in 1959. Zeno was key to the Hokies' 13-12 upset of VMI in 1960; he was the dominant force on the o-line during that victory over the defending Southern Conference champions. A 1960 Chicago Tribune article called Zeno "one of the most powerfully built men" in college football; and judging from the picture above, I can't disagree with that statement. He looks like a young Lincoln Burrows from Prison Break. Zeno was selected to the All-Southern Conference first team in 1959 and 1960. He was also named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1959 and 1960.

(Honorable Mention: Jaymes Brooks, George "Butch" Hall, Jim Locke)

#69 – Eugene Chung

One of my favorite things about this project was searching for images and stumbling upon gems like these. I had to include two pictures because of the sheer awesomeness. Eugene Chung was one of the best offensive tackles in Hokie history. During the 1991 season, he only allowed one sack in 730 plays. Following the 1991 season, he became the first Tech offensive lineman to win first team All-American and All-Big East honors. The New England Patriots selected Chung with the 13th overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, making him the first Asian American to ever be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Chung was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

(Honorable Mention: Jack Gallagher, Matt Lehr)

Here's our list after seven 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
#30 – Dave Smigelsky
#31 – Curtis Taliaferro
#32 – Darren Evans
#33 – Ken Edwards
#34 – Ryan Williams
#35 – Mike Johnson
#36 – Carter Wiley
#37 – Phil Rogers
#38 – Rick Razzano
#39 – Lyndell Gibson
#40 – Ben Taylor
#41 – George Del Ricco
#42 – James Anderson
#43 – Jimmy Richards
#44 – Terry Smoot
#45 – Cyrus Lawrence
#46 – Jamel Smith
#47 – Nekos Brown
#48 – Nick Cullen
#49 – Chris Ellis
#50 – Ki Luczak
#51 – Jack Prater
#52 – Buzz Nutter
#53 – Kyle Albright
#54 – Kent Thomas
#55 – Darryl Tapp
#56 – Corey Moore*
#57 – Wyatt Teller
#58 – Cornell Brown*
#59 – JC Price
#60 – Woody Baron
#61 – Billy Conaty
#62 – Blake DeChristopher
#63 – Harold Grizzard
#64 – Jake Grove*
#65 – Newt Green
#66 – Scott Hill
#67 – Don Thacker
#68 – Mike Zeno
#69 – Eugene Chung

*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

Nice installment. Capping it off with those Eugene Chung pictures was a nice touch.

Jake Grove was a Dude.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

...a dude you didn't want to be in a dog pile with.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Agreed...if you get a head coach at Miami to call you dirty without a hint of hypocrisy, yet not getting flagged to support said argument, that's an OLineman I'll take anytime...as hard as it is to admit this must be somewhat like how GT OLinemen are perceived.

Love these threads. I also really, really love those Eugene Chung pics.

Great job once again. I really enjoy these.
One small thing.. Jim Baron is Woody's uncle, not his Father.

Good catch! I just made the correction above

#69

Nice.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Solid shin gash in that pic of Scott Hill.

Love these write-ups, thanks for taking the time to do them.

177 tackles in a season at DT! That is insane.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Jake Grove in those all-maroon uniforms against Miami is definitely one of the best images of a VT football player I can think of.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Thanks for the installment.
I was beginning to wonder if there would be more. I am happy to see there are.

Does anyone remember Don Thacker's son Bud being kind of a douche in his playing days at FSU? I vaguely remember him talking smack on Tech or some such.

"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

One time VT commit, as I recall. Decommitted when he got a FSU offer. Seems like he did talk some trash.

Yeah, I just remember someone on TSL pointing out that Bud Thacker rhymed with Pud Whacker.

"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

He also shattered the record for wildest beard in conference history.

MY MAN

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

That spin move by Baron was sick.

via GIPHY

Do NOT challenge this man to a game of frogger

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

puts cat down.

cat walks right back to where it was sitting, meows for help.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

cat's not happy unless someone is getting hurt.

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)..

hurt, or inconvenienced

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller