French's VT All-Decade Team

The Athletic (paywall) published an article presenting an "All Decade" team for Virginia Tech football. After an amazing 2010 and exceeding expectations in 2011, the rest of the decade had a handful of great moments swallowed by mediocrity. I gave it a little bit of thought, and here is my All-Decade team.

QB: Tyrod Taylor
RB: Ryan Williams
FB: Sam Rogers
Y: Dalton Keene
LT: Christian Darrisaw (yes, he did a very solid job)
LG: Wyatt Teller
C: Andrew Miller
RG: Jaymes Brooks
RT: Blake DeChristopher
X: Isaiah Ford
Z: Danny Coale
S: Cam Phillips

DE: Ken Ekanem
DT: Tim Settle
DT: Derrick Hopkins (this is the toughest position, as Woody Baron and Ricky Walker are right there)
DE: James Gayle
Mike: Jack Tyler
Backer: Tremaine Edmunds
Whip: Kyle Fuller
Corner: Jayron Hosley
Free Safety: Divine Deablo
Strong Safety: Terrell Edmunds
Corner: Kendall Fuller

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Has the Free Safety spot been that bad or do you think Deablo is going to break out this year?

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

That was my eyebrow raise too.

It has been bad (Bonner, Edmunds at free, Whitley) plus Deablo was excellent at free safety in 2017. Last year, he took a step backwards.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I have respect for Bonner surviving the zero coverage and cover 1 days relatively unscathed. Jarrett and Clark survived those days too. I do admit I may not remember as well how strong/weak Bonner was in some of the other FS duties. I do remember him having some great plays in the alley covering ground quickly, but there's a good chance I'm not remembering the bad ones as well.

That's funny that you put Kyle Fuller at whip when he only played 1 game at the position. It was a heck of a game though.

He played one game where he spent the whole game inside the box (the GT high five game.) He spent a ton of time at nickel-whip in his first year as a starter.

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he spent the whole game inside the box

I like this team a lot, but I think I have to rock with Detrick Bonner or Chuck Clark at free.

I LOVE the pairing of Hosley at Field and Kendall at boundary, but if we are locking them to a side like we currently do, I'm comfortable with it as well.

Clark... yes, that is a miss on my part. He would be my free. Thank you for catching him.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Came here to say this. It has to be Chuck Clark with that run support.

HOWEVER. The decade is not over, and Deablo isn't hurt and by all indications he should be coached up a little better this year.

If he does have a great year, it would make a very, very significant impact on the defense.

Leonard. Duh.

Hard to argue with any of this. Great list

DE and Mike were tough calls. Tyler was just so damn smart- he beat guys by getting to the spot first.

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Would have loved to get more healthy Bruce Taylor at Mike. That's something of a big "what-if" for me. I'd like to hear your thoughts on him.

Bruce was a great guy. He volunteered with Special Olympics while has was at VT. Very engaging and great with people. Huge what-if in VT history.

What made you choose RW over DW?

Recruit Prosim

Ryan Williams- much better natural running back- terrific in short yardage.
David Wilson was a much better athlete. However, he didn't have great instincts for the position. He ran really hard, but he wasn't nearly as effective in doing the little things with the ball in his hands that Williams was. I would have actually taken Evans before Wilson. That is more of a compliment to Williams and Evans than an insult to Wilson. All three were terrific running backs.

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Totally agree. All 3 great players, but Williams was the real deal when healthy. Hard for me to forget Wilson taking a 22 yard loss from the 5 yard line on the first drive of the sugar bowl against Michigan and possibly costing us 6 (believe it was on 1st down).

Ryan Williams is probably my favorite RB. Suggs and Jones were great, but Williams was so much fun to watch. Great speed, awesome vision, was good in the open field, and was tough.

I agree that Ryan William's was the best back. Wilson was just an athlete that could out athlete people, but I dont understand the love for Evan's. He was good but not great. Sure he broke 1000 yards but 1/4th his yards were against a terrible Maryland team that I believe had negative rushing yards themselves that game. I just never saw him in the same league as William's, Suggs, Ore, Jones, Wilson. I would probably put Humes and Imoh as better backs but that could be rose colored glasses.

Go back and watch 2010 Evans. His grind turned a couple of games around and regained momentum when Bud's defense was getting shredded up front. Specifically, the NC State and Miami games comes to mind. He wasn't flashy. But, reliable wins games.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Is Darren Evans kid old enough to recruit yet?

Only by Lane Kiffin.

Darren Evans=BALLER

Hit the hole, accelerate, lower the shoulder and punish......then repeat until other team was broke.

I LOVED watching him play and miss that style.

Agree. R.I.P...

Umm...did I miss something?

No one runs I-form playbooks anymore. RIP playing style.

So I went back, watched his higlight reel, and game tape from Miami and FSU. I feel like he is exactly as I remember, a good down hill runner that most times got as far as his oline took him. Yes he could take a hit so arm tackles didn't really work on him, and he could carry the load, but any run over 8 yards looked like a massive defensive break down. He was good, but he rarely tried to make anyone miss, he just runs into defenders a lot. Which lots of people like that.

I didnt see the NC State game yet and didnt remember he had 160 yards. His 2nd year stats looked a lot better than his 1st year. So I guess I really wish he'd stayed so I could have seen more, like I said he is a good back, and it sucks to judge a player on their first two years.

I'd absolutely take DW4 as my kick returner, though.

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Thanks for the list/content.
A tip of the hat to Woody Baron.....
I found myself focused on him during defensive series just to see the plays he would make.
That man was disruptive, and played above his pay grade....(absolutely no disrespect intended. )

Such a difficult spot. Derrick Hopkins played so far above his size and skill set. Baron did the same thing in a completely different way. And Ricky Walker was a pleasure to watch play. VT's struggles at DT now are magnified because they were so good at that position through most of the decade minus the struggles in 2014.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I think few people would argue that Tyrod Taylor had a better career than Logan Thomas, but Thomas is without question the all-decade QB for the 2010s.

Just a few numbers from the 2010s:

Passing Yards
Logan Thomas - 9,003 (VT all-time record in a career)
Tyrod Taylor - 2,743

Passing Touchdowns
Logan Thomas - 53
Tyrod Taylor - 24

Thomas owns basically every passing record in the VT record book, and he played his entire career in the 2010s. Putting Taylor as the all-2010s QB would be like putting Terrell Davis over Emmitt Smith on the all-90s team because he had a better year in 1998 than Smith ever had.

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I just went with the best player who played a position in the decade. Tyrod in 2010 was better than Logan (no disrespect to Logan) in his best season. I would argue for one season, Evans has a better argument than Logan.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Oh, the times I've wondered what it would've been like to have 2011 Tyrod...


I don't think we could have done without Tyrod in 2007. We probably drop another game or two without his wheels that year, especially the FSU game when Glennon went down, and Tyrod had a big game against Clemson as well. However, I think yanking his redshirt again in 2008 may have been premature. I think Glennon alone could have led us to a 10-4 record that year with Evans holding down the run game. Then we have Tyrod 09-11 which would have made those two Clemson games interesting for sure.

I think it would have been potentially better for its (possible) future ramifications. I think we win both Clemson games with Tyrod, 13-0, but we weren't complete enough to handle the essentially entirely future NFL player teams of 2011 LSU or Bama in a National Championship game.

That said, 2011 was Clemson's springboard season, hired Chad Morris, immediately had the huge offensive turnaround, won their first conference championship in my lifetime (born in 92), saved Dabo's job (SCORCHING hot seat after 2010), and led them to fire Kevin Steele and hire Venables after getting boatraced by WVU in the OB.

I think their trajectory would have still been trending up, but even a few dominoes not falling the same way (first ACC ship, hiring Venables), things could be very different right now.

Pretty much since Lefty arrived, every QB has almost been breaking records. We significantly retooled the offense to incorporate more passing. Since Fuente came a bunch of the single season records have been broken as well.

Tyrod wasn't just about what he could do with his arm.

Not even close for me. Tyrod in 2009 or 2010 was a better playmaker and was substantially more clutch. Logan has some great performances (2011 Miami and GT), but Tyrod was better in big games in 2009 and definitely 2010. Tyrod definitely had a better run game in 09 and 10, but Logan's best year had ACCPOY David Wilson so that's close to a wash for me. Logan left a lot to be desired in his biggest 2011 games (both Clemson games, Michigan). Tyrod wasn't enough a few times in those two seasons, but he made it count in some of the bigger ones like the comeback at NC State and the ACCCG where he was absolutely sublime.

I have nothing but love and respect for Logan, and I think he was heavily hampered in 2012 and 2013 offensively by his supporting cast, but he was still very prone to turn the ball over at poor times and would just miss easy throws too frequently for my taste. I always felt like we had a chance with Tyrod, and there were too many times with Logan I didn't feel that way at all.

Tyrod was also ACCPOY in 2010, and his 11 game win streak he was determined to never let us falter.

That said I understand your point about overlap players into the decade. I had a similar thought when on r/CFB when a post asked for every teams best starting 22 since 2000 on how to handle the players who overlapped from late 90's. Ultimately for me, Tyrod's 2010 was just too good.

To add to that, Tyrod was a great on-field leader


Oh I agree that TT was a better QB during his career. It's just that most of his career was not in this decade, and it's an all-decade team. Again to use an NFL example I'm not putting Barry Sanders on an all-80s team, even though he ran for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns as a rookie in 1989.

Also, to make one more (unpopular) contrarian point, Tyrod was great his senior year, but his career was pretty mediocre before that. He entered his senior season with a pedestrian 20-15 TD-Int ratio. His first two years, he was downright awful, with 7 TDs and 10 Ints, and only threw for 1,963 yards in 15 starts.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

I came here half expecting to see a WTF-inducing French Take for the unlearned football plebs among us that advocated for someone like Donaldven Manning because his special teams tape was so good.

I was a little surprised to see Dalton Keene above Bucky Hodges at TE, though. Is it due to all the "other things" that the position entails? if the criteria is just one season, Bucky is hard to top

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Bucky was never really a TE. He was tall and lined up at WR.

Agree. Bucky's best season has him aligned as a WR almost exclusively.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I struggle to see Keene as an all around better TE than Andre Smith. Keene is definitely featured more and has a better opportunity to be a playmaker but as far as an all around guy.... i don't know about that, at least not yet. I think he definitely has a chance to be these next 2 years, but he was a liability run blocking his freshman year.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Dat secondary tho.

How about kicker and punter? I'm thinking Joey Slye and either A.J. Hughes or Oscar Bradburn.

You mention kicker and I just read an article in the Roanoke Times about Cody Journelle. He and a buddy are trying to open a music/BBQ venue in the now defunct Kal Bee restaurant in Pembroke.
OT, for sure, but it came to mind and I didn't know where else to stick it.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Bit of a shame, he had a legit shot in the NFL if he didn't have his head up his ass.

Can the BDubs owners set off pepper spray at his place?

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This guy. Hands down.

Not this decade but I loved Nic Schmitt the 276 pound punter from mid 2000s-the Georgia fans near us at the Chick Fil A bowl said "Damn that's the biggest punter I've ever seen!"

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

I had a friend that had a house with him, guy was jacked too.

Need NCAA Football 2020 with that roster pls.


Man I hope NCAA Football 2021 is on deck..for real...with Hunter Renfrow on the cover back for his 9th season after 5453434

The question is, would this team be able to beat a current Clemson or Alabama for a championship?

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

Who's coaching?

Me, of course. Straight T so Evans, Williams, and Wilson are on the field all the time.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Which one is your 2 back in the t?

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

I'd like to see that game


Damn. That makes me feel badly.

And everyone of them, made the boohoos suffer immensely!

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
Rockin the Bakken.
β€œRight turn, Clyde.”

but we have not yet played the 2019 season...hehehehe...But nice to see all these names

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

I look forward to Tyrod losing his spot after 2019. Wouldn't that be something?

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) || Kylo Ren (QP4) || Lando (Deablo)

I see you didn't list a punter

is that because listing Danny Coale twice would be overkill?

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Your man crush on Dalton Keene is adorable. :)

Especially since that means leaving Bucky off the list.

Bucky wasn't a tight end.
There, I said it.

At 6'11" he was whatever he wanted to be.

Except a QB, because anyone who could be a TE doesn't play where they did in high school when they get here. It's a rule.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) || Kylo Ren (QP4) || Lando (Deablo)

Well yeah, any one good enough to play TE is probably better than some one else at a more important High School position. Or they like basketball.

I'm pretty sure 75% of the NFL player QB in highschool

I thought bucky ended up being 8'2"..

No special teams?

Oof, this is the same decade where in one year, we beat Ohio State, lose to ECU the next week, then have an abominable game against Wake Forest. If that doesn't sum up this decade, 2018 would be a close 2nd.

There's that and beating UVA for another 10 wins.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Dadi over Ken.

Wilson over Williams.

Turner or Hazelton over Coale.

Bring on the hate.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Dadi was a great pass rusher, but not a run stuffer. Wilson was electric, but give me Williams on third and 2 every time. When Turner or Hazelton have half the total catches that Danny does, then we can talk.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, TKPC#490, One of us!

Hazelton has 101 if you count VT and Ball St. Coale had 165.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

The counterarguments on the 2nd one have already been made on this thread. Actually kind of agree with your 3rd one, especially re Big Play Tre.

But Ekanem improved every year he was here. I seem to remember Dadi spending most of his senior year on skates or otherwise out of the play. Plus, and I know how arbitrary this is but if I cared about that I wouldn't be saying it, I'm taking points off for his personal foul in Frank's final home game. I mean, we've all wanted to smack Ron Cherry, but you just can't do that there.

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

When Hazelton makes a catch going into the middle of the field with a safety close by, we can talk. Until then, nope.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Hazelton seems prone to alligator arms when he feels he is in the free hitter zone, I completely agree.

Apologize to this face beautiful face immediately.

Gobble Till You Wobble

No love for big Lu at DT? Not that he should be on the team, but I'd give him a mention. I loved me some Maddy.

Crazy to think about given our current DT struggles that in the past decade this was a very difficult position to choose because there were so many options: John Graves, Antoine Hopkins, Derrick Hopkins, Luther Maddy, Corey Marshall, Woody Baron, Nigel Williams, Tim Settle, Ricky Walker, and I probably left out one or two other good mentions. For example, in 2016 we had a 4 man DT rotation of Woody Baron and Nigel Williams being backed up by Ricky Walker and Tim Settle... we were bringing Ricky and Tim off the bench to spell the other two. Crazy.