Note from Will: the Virginia High School Coaches Association held its annual East-West All Star game last week. I asked for reports and received two via email, plus I grabbed five more from the message board. So if you're into reading about the All-Star game, here's your chance!
I'll do the two email submissions first, and then the five that I copied from the message board. Thanks to everyone who submitted input. Please note that I did not edit the material for content, so grammar may be rough in some cases.
I just returned from the ALL-Star FB game in Hampton, and though it's late, I'll send some observations while hey are still somewhat fresh in my mind. I went there with VBHOO (very knowledgeable recruiting buff, even if he is a Hoo), and hooked up with Atlee Hokie at half-time, those two might have some observations as well. I tend to be a little on the critical side on players, so if some of this seems harsh, maybe it's just me.
It was a low scoring, ugly affair with a wet field and offenses that really had some poor QB's - no Curry or Vick this year, and this detracted from the receivers for sure. The good news - no one for Tech was hurt!! We had Harrison and Willis out there for the East team (who won 7-3), and I can't tell you how many times they were horribly underthrown, several times for interceptions.
The top two players in the RTWN Top 25 were totally ineffective, that is Daniel Davis and Julius Jones. I'd be amazed if they rushed for over 30 yards each despite getting the lion's share of the hand-offs, it was just that kind of game and field conditions. Last two years there were big, crowd pleasing stars including Curry one year, Womack the next, but not so this year.
Tech had 8 players out there (including Marques Hampton), almost all on the East team (except Gibson & Simington on the West). The names called over the loudspeaker most often for making plays (and maybe were the Willie Pyles' of this group) were Woodley and Lewis by far, those two were studs and all over the sloppy field. It's too bad Woodley hasn't qualified and Lewis will be a Jan '00 enrollee. Andrae Harrison was a non-factor period. He had only one catch for 18 yards, the rest of the night he was underthrown or double teamed. He did drop a long bomb, though we was heavily covered, it was catchable, and the crowd (heavily pro-Andrae) groaned.
I was impressed by Willis - he looked very big but was fast and was a serious threat each play cause no one matched up with him. He caught at least 4 passes and was underthrown countless others, or he would have had a monster night for sure. He was so pissed on one underthrown play he tore off his helmet and kicked it down the sidelines...needs some maturity, but he is a competitor and a winner, and I like him! He needs to bulk up to be a TE at the next level, but he has talent and I predict big things from him. He even punted a few times later in the game, the regular punter was really bad.
Not much was heard from Simington or Gibson, though Jacob played offensive line, and was off-sides once. Marques Hampton made some plays and was mentioned a few times. Adibi was really fast and always around the ball, but his name was rarely called. But I noticed he disrupted quite a few plays, and was even a fullback on a play or two (gained 5 yards). He needs to bulk up and get stronger, but I think he will be a force with his speed and aggressiveness. I know Atlee Hokie was watching him and was impressed.
So to recap (it's late) the stars were Willis, Lewis, Woodley and Adibi in that order. With a half way decent QB, who knows maybe Harrison could have been a factor, and Willis would be MVP.
I sat almost next to Anthony Poindexter, and some other Hoo past and presents, including Robert Hunt, Antoine Womack, Adrian Burnim, Butch Hostetter and some others, VBHOO knew them all and seemed to find all the Hoo's in attendance, including the Website master for the Hoo version of HC, the Sabre or something like that. His name escapes me but seemed like a good guy who talked a lot about all the Hoo defects this summer to injury, grades, the law etc etc, they are taking a big hit!! Anyway, from the comments of that august group, the consensus was the talent level this year was way down, but sometimes a sloppy field and atrocious QB play can bring everyone down a notch.
Hope this helps, it is late but I wrote down most of these observations during the game, so they should be pretty accurate, at least they are one man's observations.
Although the skies had cleared and it was a beautiful low humidity evening for football, the grass was very wet in Darling Stadium (walked on field after game) and the overall play was significantly hampered. Final score: East 7 West 3. Had rained all week and practice was undoubtedly limited also.
Here are my personal observations:
Andrae Harrison - size is legit, prototype wide receiver physique, fluid, good hands. Was open consistently but the two quarterbacks for the East had a rough night with the wet ball. Had one flutter ball thrown to him long and wide open, but the ball took so long to get there that a defender hit him just as the ball arrived. Could have made catch but had to turn back and wound up catching a shoulder pad instead. Alternated series with Keith Willis as "split-end/flanker." Teamed with Willis for consecutive catches on touchdown drive in second half. Held for extra points. Should play immediately.
Nathaniel Adibi - Played solid game at DE. Was slowed by wet grass and could not get a good pash rush due to lack of traction. Briefly spoke to Nathaniel and his father after the game. He was mobbed for autographs (not by me of course - I may be goofy but I'm not ultra-goofy). He is a legitimate 6-3+. Also had some carries at running back along with "Hokie DL to be" Kevin Lewis. The game ended with those two in at running back together.
Thomas Woodley (LB)- Program had his number mixed up, so at first I thought he wasn't at the game. Then his name started popping up again and again on the PA system. This guy can flat move. Watched him track down Julius Jones (RB to Notre Dame) from behind on dead run. Made plays from sideline to sideline. It was interesting that his height and physique were very similar to Andrae Harrison. While I was mulling around on the field after the game and speaking to Joe Simington, a hand tapped me on the shoulder and a fellow with his shoulder pads removed and a big smile asked me if I went to Virginia Tech (this was because of my frayed VT hat). I said yes and the fellow excitedly said "I'm going to Virginia Tech too, my name is Thomas Woodley." He struck me as a very nice young man and I appreciated the unsolicited gesture. I told him I thought he had a good game although the conditions were slick and I really liked his speed. I told him that if I had half his speed in high school, I could have beat somebody to the water bucket before all the ice was gone. I really hope he does well.
Kevin Lewis (DL) - Thick frame and can put on more weight. Legit 6-2. Played good game in the trenches and had some time at running back. Was one of the East captains along with Keith Willis. Should be good one in future, in mold of Carl Bradley.
Keith Willis (TE) - Really stood out on field because of his 6-6 height. Was one of East captains and also punted. Alternated series with Andrae Harrison. Has excellent hands - made some nice catches on fast low throws. Was constantly open but scrambling quarterbacks were usually unable to deliver the ball. He became very frustrated towards end of game after repeatedly not being seen while 15 yards behind everyone. Hope this doesn't happen at Tech. Spoke to him after game. Height is legit but looked very slender in upper body without pads on. Definitely more of a basketball physique than a tight end physique. Will be interesting to see how he is utilized in future.
Joe Simington - injured prior to game. Did not dress. Height is legit 6-4 with slender frame currently. Very personable.
Jacob Gibson (OL) - played right guard. Good foot work and agility for his size. Was used as pulling guard on many plays. Stood next to him after game and this is one big "kid." Many options for the future as a lineman.
Marques Hampton (walk-on DB) - played solid game at free safety. Made some very nice special teams plays on punt coverage. Kind of intrigued by this player. Will definitely look good in a VT uniform. Size is a tweener between LB and DB. Could be a whip or strong safety. Not sure if fast enough for Rover. At a minimum, he could contribute significantly on special teams.
The East MVP was linebacker Keith Mann from Hampton (go figger) and the West MVP was Elmer Holmes from Osbourn. Elmer really had a good first half, then towards the end of the second quarter he collided with Keith Willis and looked like an errant cue ball on a bad break. He sort of flew off of the pool table and didn't come back. I don't think I ever heard his name again, but hey, somebody had to win MVP and it wasn't gonna be anybody from the offense.
Was nice to see so many Hokies on the field. Many folks in the stands were discussing VT also. Was a nice diversion on a summer night. Can't wait until Labor Day. Was really impressed with the disposition of the recruits I spoke to. A great bunch of young men.
From Hokie Abroad:
I just returned from a two year stint in Israel and got a chance to go to the all-star game. It's great to be back in time for football season (I already have tickets for all 11 games). I'll break down my report by position and include a little more on some of the non-Tech players.
WR - Harrison was definitely the most talented of an overall mediocre group. He has size and speed, but the lack of quality QB's makes a good evaluation difficult. Tremayne Hill (listed as unsigned but I have seen previously he was committed to Virginia Union)looked like a Division I talent but doesn't have the grades. Ed Simms (signed with Maryland) has size and speed but dropped a couple of passes - looks raw. The others didn't impress me - most were too slow.
TE - Willis is a real talent. Tall and fast with some toughness. On one play he caught a ball on one knee and began to head down field; Elmer Holmes came up to hit him and Willis knocked him on his rear (luckily the penalty was waved off). Willis played wide receiver in the East's Wing T offense, so we didn't get to see his blocking ability. The West's TE's, Rhea Preston and Josh Warren (Wake Forest)were purely blockers with little receiving ability (appeared to lack speed).
OL - I watched the line play a great deal since the field was sloppy and the skill players didn't really have a chance to show their stuff. Jacob Gibson played numerous positions for the West - mostly RT and RG, but also moved to LT some. The West would substitute linemen and move Gibson to the open spot which showed a great deal of intelligence (> 3.9 GPA) and versatility on his part. He had some trouble with Jarritt Green and power rushers in general, but once he hits the weights and puts on 20-30 more pounds, he could be a force on the OL. Uses his hands real well, but was relatively ineffective as a drive blocker. I would project him as a future guard two years down the line. The other impressive West OL was David Stevenson (North Carolina). He is huge but seriously needs a conditioning program (probably 20 pounds overweight). He moves well and has natural size and good balance. Look for him to be starting for UNC in a couple of years. The other West OL seemed heavy and slow, particularly Curtis Price (East Tennessee State) at 6-7 325 and Jim Mayberry (Concord) at 6-6 300. Temple's signee, Jose Portillo (listed at 6-5 275 but looked shorter) didn't distinguish himself, but another player, Keith Pruit (6-3 295) showed some promise at Center though he needs to lose a few pounds. Pruitt is unsigned from Lebanon High. The best East lineman was probably Kevin Johnson (Hampton)who would have been a Division I prospect if he had the grades. Josh Jones from Nottoway has size (6-4 285) and can snap for punts (though most were high including one over the punters head)and is unsigned. Bryan Lutton (Delaware) was scrappy but too small for Division I. Antoine Worrell has some potential and at 6-5 270, some school should take a look at him (he is unsigned). The others were lower division prospects.
QB - Jamil Anderson (Delaware State) was easily the best on a nondescript bunch. He has mobility and could be an effective option QB. His balls hang (as did all of the QBs)and he needs to set himself better (almost all of his throws were on the move even if not pursued, which wasn't often). The others were lower division signees.
RB - Daniel Davis wasn't able to show too much, but looked smaller and slower than listed in most recruiting reports (6-2 220, 4.4). I would say he was closer to 6-0 210, 4.6, but the field conditions may be the cause. However, he failed to bowl over smaller defenders and was not that elusive. Julius Jones showed some speed (definitely faster than Davis), but he has the HS tendency to try to outrun everyone instead of turning up field. The talent is unmistakable though. The East backs were not able to show much behind an ineffective line, but Rian Thompson (JC), George Johnson (unsigned), and Reggie Gordon (unsigned) showed some decent speed and potential. Stanley Christopher (Pittsburgh) didn't see much action.
DL - The East DL was the story of the game. They totally dominated the line of scrimmage and contained the two talented running backs from the West. Jarritt Green (JC) was the most dominant linemen with excellent size and mobility at DE - he's the real deal. Kevin Lewis was almost equally impressive playing at left DT. He played virtually the entire game and showed a great deal of tenacity, aggressiveness, and toughness (typical Hokie lineman). He plays with a great deal of leverage, staying low and maintaining his feet. I didn't keep stats, but I would guess than he was in on 8-10 tackles with constant penetration. If he can put on 20 more pounds, look out. Nathaniel Adibi is another talent with good size, speed, and toughness. He also played special teams and should have had a blocked punt in one situation. He could see action next year and will definitely be a strong contender to take over from Corey Moore in 2000. BTW, Lewis and Adibi were both in the offensive backfield at one time and both look good as FBs, though defense is probably their future. The other East starting DL was Larry Simmons (UVA) who also looked tough, getting good penetration and making a number of plays. He needs to bulk up some (like Lewis), but Virginia has a diamond-in-the-rough in this guy. Darryl Grant (North Carolina) didn't start but showed some talent. At 6-4 260 he has the size and ability to contribute. The other DL, Rashad Gibbs (Virginia Union) also looked like he might have Division I potential at 6-5 245. The West DL was not nearly as impressive, and the loss of Joe Simington was evident. Seneca Sandidge (Ferrum) showed pass rushing ability making several big plays early (including two sacks), but his lack of size (6-3 195) kept him out of running situations. Greg Wells (N.C. State) played DE on running downs, but looks to be a blocking TE in college. The other DE, Mike Fleshman (Virginia Union) was aggressive, but at 6-3 225 he either needs to bulk up or, more likely, to move to LB. The DTs were tough with Quinn Smith from J.I. Burton (unsigned) showing the most talent. He has decent size (6-3 255) and fairly good speed chasing Anderson down a couple of times. Aaron Williams from Salem was tough clogging up the middle along with Shannon Wright (unsigned) from Halifax. Both lacked speed, but Williams (6-1 265) and Wright (6-4 280) had enough size to stop the inside running game.
LB - Elmer Holmes appeared to be the best player on the field. I can see why Tech wanted him badly. The other posts have already talked about his exploits and I have nothing new to add other than I concur that he is for real. Expect him to start at least three years at Marshall. The MLB for the West, Romero Morgan (Ohio), was almost as impressive. Combined with the DTs, the West shut down any inside running that the East tried. Morgan was probably in on 10 or more tackles with excellent pursuit and instincts. The other OLB was Reggie Sensabaugh (brother of Boo Sensabaugh at WVU I believe)who showed some speed and ability to pursue. Keith Davis (East Tennessee State) was tough and filled in at several positions. For the East, Keith Mann (unsigned) is as tough as they come playing MLB at 5-10 190. I would guess he is closer to 5-8, but if he had more size, everyone would want him. Personally, I though Jarritt Green deserved the MVP, but Mann was not a bad choice. Thomas Woodley was impressive at OLB running down a number of plays. On one play in particular he "horse-collared" Daniel Davis preventing him from making a first down. The one negative I see in Woodley's play is that he relies on his speed to pursue plays rather than getting initial position to turn plays in. On the play that he ran Davis down, he should have been outside turning the run in rather than letting Davis turn the corner. This may be the result of playing ILB in HS and relying on speed and instincts. He should contribute on special teams early and I would see him at the Backer spot in a couple of years. Mark Costen, on the other hand, seems to have good instincts and on several occasions did an excellent job turning runs in. He looked bigger than 6-2 215 and might get a look at DE or TE at Tech. He doesn't have the physical tools of Woodley, but is a strong walk-on who could contribute after a couple of years in the weight program. Another player I liked for the East was Aaron Sylvain (unsigned) who was undersized at OLB (5-9 170), but will really stick you. On one key third down play he met Davis head on two yards shy of a first down and stopped him cold. He might have potential at SS as a walk-on. Paul Carpenter (William and Mary) showed versatility and toughness at LB as well.
DB - The East secondary was solid with Dexter Reid (UNC) and Almondo Curry (unsigned) at the corners. Both are quick and good coverage corners. Curry was really impressive on kick returns and should play somewhere in Division I. Marques Hampton looked good at SS. I would guess he was in on 7-8 tackles and looked good on special teams (I thought he had the big hit on the punt return instead of Woodley). Hampton appears to be a smart player who was generally in good position. He can come up and stick the run and seemed to be effective in pass coverage. I think Tech has another quality walk-on who will play at SS in the future. The FS for the East was Ricky Peace (unsigned) from Hopewell who has some speed (also returned kicks) but tended to over-pursue some plays and was out of position occasionally. The West had some hard-hitters but were not nearly as talented as the East. Tech walk-on Derald Bryant had two interceptions and generally played a solid game. He is small (5-10 170) but with some work in the weight room he could contribute down the line. The other CB was Mark Cole (unsigned) from North Stafford who would really stick any WR in his area. I believe he had the other interception and might be a prospect at SS. He is probably a step slow for CB, but at 6-0 187 he has the size for SS. The SS was Jamie Garst from Salem who will be attending Tech, though I don't believe he plans to play football. He is another hard hitter who could contribute at SS and special teams if he should decide to continue playing. The FS was Jerton Evans (Virginia) who has excellent range and will stick you (as evidenced by the hit on Andrae Harrison). I believe he will first get a look at WR at Virginia, but FS is probably his best position once he learns to read plays better. He appeared to be out of position on several deep passes. Kwasi Scott (UVA-Wise) split time at FS and looks to have some talent, though RB is probably is future in college.
Overall, I thought the talent looked fairly good (contrary to Poindexter's opinion posted previously), but the lack of solid QB play led to a defensive struggle. The field conditions certainly didn't help either. Tech has some excellent talent coming in with Harrison, Willis, and Adibi the most likely to see any action the first year. Woodley might see time due to his special teams play, but all of the players looked like they will contribute. I will particularly be interested in the progress of Kevin Lewis who I think could become a force on the DL (reminded me a lot of Nat Williams). Best of luck to Joe Simington recovering from the torn ACL.
From Almost Hokie:
First of all, I haven't read anyone else's report of the game yet so I'll probably repeat a lot of what's been reported so far. Thankfully, none of the players were injured during the game but unfortunately Joe Simington had his left leg in a brace before the game, after tearing his ACL in practice.
The East won 7-3 in a game that was dominated by the defenses. I had a hard time following all of the Hokies because there were just too many of them on the field at the same time. When the West team had the ball, Jacob Gibson was playing OT, Nathaniel Adibi was playing left DE, Kevin Lewis was playing left DT, Thomas Woodley was playing right OLB and Marques Hampton was playing DB on the left side. I didn't even realize that Mark Costen, who played defense for the East, or Rhea Preston, who played TE for the West, were Hokies until I looked at the player profiles in the program after the game. It's possible that on some plays there were as many as 7 Hokies on the field.
Nathaniel Adibi looked very good playing defensive end. He was constantly harassing the QB and had one knocked down pass that I remember. He's quick off the ball and plays the run really well. I could see him getting some playing time this fall. He also played a few downs at running back, picking up a couple of yards on one run and about 5 yards on another run. The defenses for both teams dominated the line of scrimmage so there wasn't much room for anyone to run.
Kevin Lewis looked good playing DT. He clogged up the middle on the running plays and made a good push into the backfield on the passing plays. He also got to play a few downs at fullback. He had one carry late in the game on third down and five where he was hit at the line of scrimmage but moved the entire pile of players six yards down the field for a first down. He's listed at 6' 3" 245 lbs. in the program but he looked bigger than that to me. I would love to see him lined up in the backfield on goal line offense in a couple of years. He's huge!
Andrae Harrison definitely looked like the real deal and absolutely will be playing in the fall. He caught one pass going across the middle for about 18 yards. He was open all night but the QB couldn't get him the ball. Most of the time the QB Jamil Anderson (Delaware State) was running for his life so I can't fault him too much. Andrae did have one long bomb pass that I thought he could have caught but didn't. The ball hung up in the air but instead of Andrae going up and getting the ball at its highest point, he waited for the ball to come down to him at chest level. That allowed the DB Jerton Evans (UVa) to get there in time and blast Andrae and knock the ball loose.
Keith Willis also looked like the real deal but I'll use the Frank Beamer phrase that pays and say that "He needs to be a little more consistent." He had a well thrown 15 yard pass where he was wide open and he flat out dropped it. Then he came back two plays later and made a great diving catch for 17 yards. He had no problem getting open all night long but the QB either didn't see him or threw a bad pass most of the times. I think that he definitely has the potential to be one of the best tight ends ever for the Hokies. He was also the punter for the east a few times and I will say, that as a punter, I think he has the potential to be one of the best tight ends ever for the Hokies. Translation: I don't think Jimmy Kibble has to worry about losing his job to Willis in this lifetime or the next. :-)
Thomas Woodley looked liked a hitting machine to me. I love the way this guy plays full speed on every down. The West team had the ball in scoring position inside the 15 yard line and he made a huge hit on the RB that caused a fumble, recovered by Larry Simmons (UVa) for the East. He also made a big hit on a punt coverage. I think we're too deep on defense for him to see much playing time in the fall but if he does play, I could see him making a big impact on special teams.
Marques Hampton didn't really make any plays (bad or good) that stood out in my mind while he was playing DB for the East. The thing that did stand out in my mind though was that he always seemed to be around the football. I always like the players that have a nose for the football.
Jacob Gibson played OT for the West and struggled in the first quarter. He had the unfortunate task of trying to block Adibi and Jarrit Green (DE going to Butler Junior College in Kansas, then to either UVa, UNC or Georgia according to his profile in the program). Gibson adjusted well after that quarter and looked very good for the rest of the game, except for a procedure penalty in the third quarter.
The non-Hokie players that stood out to me were Jarrit Green and Elmer Holmes (Marshall). Green definitely was one of the best defensive players out there. He was always one of the first ones to the QB and also came very close to blocking a couple of punts. Elmer Holmes looked like the best player out there tonight. I wish this guy was going to be a Hokie. Two plays that he made completely amazed me. The first play, he was lined up at outside LB on the right side of the field. The play was a reverse to the opposite side of the field and he made the tackle on the opposite side in the backfield for a loss. The second play, he was again lined up at outside LB on the right side. The play was a screen pass to the opposite side and again he came all the way across the field and made the tackle in the backfield for a 5 yard loss. Elmer was named the MVP for the West. Keith Mann (Undecided as to college choice according to the program) was named the MVP for the East. Mann had some big hits that pleased the Hampton High crowd but I really thought that Jarrit Green should have gotten the award.
There were three UVa players in the game that I noticed. Larry Simmons looked really good in the first quarter on the defensive line. He was quick off the ball and got into the backfield just about as quick as the QB got back there a few times. He wasn't as effective later in the game but I think he's going to be a really good player. Jerton Evans looked like he has the potential to be very good but he needs to be more consistent. Some plays he was there making the big hit, and others he was 10 yards away from the receiver he was supposed to be covering. Their walk-on kicker Bryce Coffee looked bad, missing a 37 yard field goal that was ugly, and didn't get the ball inside the 10 yard line on the kickoffs. The field was soggy and the grass was tall but I'll be surprised if he's ever the starting kicker for the Hoo's. All of the kickers in the game looked bad except for Joseph Hildbold (Notre Dame). Hildbold has a strong leg and a lot of potential.
Player Profiles from the game program:
Nathaniel Adibi - Nathaniel plans to become an engineer. He enjoys collecting cards and playing tennis. His greatest moment in athletics was winning the state in the shot put.
Mark Costen - Mark plans to own a pawn shop after college. He enjoys water skiing and lifting weights. His greatest moments in athletics were just getting to play the game of football in general.
Marques Hampton - Slash plans a career in engineering. He enjoys working out and movies. His greatest moment in athletics was when he took over quarterback in the last game of the season and led the team to the regional championship.
Andrae Harrison - Athletic Honors: 3 consecutive years: 1st Team All-Peninsula District-WR, 2 consecutive years: 1st Team Group AAA All-State WR, 1st Team All-American WR Super Prep Magazine, Top 4 Players on Roanoke Times/Top Senior State Players, Selected Top 7 best in Nation by Super Prep Magazine, 3 consecutive years: 1st Team Daily Press All-Star Team-WR.
Kevin Lewis - Kevin plans to become a principal. His greatest moment in athletics was being named the Richmond Times All-Metro Player of the Year.
Keith Willis - Keith plans to become a professional athlete and a dentist. He enjoys shopping, working on the computer and going to clubs. His greatest moments in athletics were hitting 1000 points in basketball and his team making it to the regional for the first time in the school's history.
Thomas Woodley - "Maul Man" plans to have a good college career and play the best he can at Virginia Tech. He enjoys basketball, watching movies and watching sports. His greatest moment in athletics was the first play-off win in the school's history in 1997 against Bruton. His team won 42-12 and he blocked a punt for a TD and picked off a pass for a TD and knocked down three passes.
Jacob Gibson - Jacob enjoys fishing. His greatest moment in athletics was signing with Virginia Tech.
Rhea Preston - "Big Jim" enjoys fishing, playing football and restoring old cars. His greatest moment in athletics was when he caught a 96 yard touchdown pass to seal the game against Patrick Henry.
Joseph E. Simington - Joe plans a career dentistry. He enjoys weight lifting, playing computer games, listening to music, joking and laughing and making new friends. His greatest moment in athletics were making 15 sacks his senior season; the undefeated season his senior year, and his 3 sacks against Salem in the State semi-final game.
Final Note: The announcer at the game said that the statistics for the game would be available online at www.sportscombine.com but I looked and didn't find anything there. They might be posted somewhere on that site sometime later if anyone is interested in seeing them.
From The Wop:
I couldn't tell watching the game but the field was very wet and mushy as I found out after the game. The game as well was played very sloppily with poor punting, fumbles and interceptions galore. In all I counted 11 Hokies , 7 on the East and 4 on the West.
Here is my analysis: If everyone is concerned about our receivers for the future I can honestly tell you to stop worrying. Keith Willis and Andre Harrison are for real. Both receivers continually beat the coverage and were wide open but the QB's couldn't get them the ball. I don't know if it was the wet conditions or what, but it went on all game long. I only remember Harrison catching one pass, a nice route over the middle on the East scoring drive, but he was open all night. On one deep pass in the first half he had beaten the defender long but the pass was a balloon and by the time it came down three defenders had caught up with him and they all arrived at the same time. Would have been a nice catch but he couldn't hang on. He lined up as a wide out and as a flanker and rotated most of the night with Keith Willis.
Willis was by far the most impressive player on the field offensively I thought. He made a real nice 17 yard shoestring catch on the play following Harrison's 20 yard catch on the East touchdown drive. (I called that the Hokie drive). Given the previously mentioned field conditions the catch was nothing short of sensational. He was open as well all night long and after the game I talked with him on the field and I mentioned that he will have a QB that can get him the ball and he said "so you noticed that too" and that "he and Andre were talking about that on the sidelines" I get chills just thinking what it will be like with Michael delivering the ball to these two guys for four years. Both Andre and Keith were very pleasant, signed my kids programs and hats and Keith even took my son's hat into the locker room to get all the Hokies to sign it. WOW, super nice guy, proud to have him and all of them as Hokies!
On defense, I thought Woodley was the most impressive however Adibi, Costen, Lewis and Hampton were all very active and played well. Adibi played running back on a few plays but was mostly on "D". Early in the first half he hit the West back and caused a fumble which the East recovered. He seemed to beat his man with regularity. Lewis was a man inside. He seemed to be in the backfield often. To be honest with you it was difficult to follow because of all the players I was trying to watch. Costen was steady and around the ball a lot. Hampton (DB) played well and had a nose for the ball.
I didn't really pay much attention to the players we had on the West and there were no glaring errors or spectacular plays. Other observations: Julius Jones: Very fast but no star type plays The most electrifying plays of the game were turned in by Armondo Curry on a kickoff return (52 yds.) and a punt return (24 yds.). He also played well in the defensive backfield. I met Ronald Curry and talked briefly with coach Mike Smith( Hampton).
OK, I'm starting to get a brain cramp so I'll quit this rambling and read what everyone else has to say. In summary I was pleased with what I saw by all the future Hokies and I do believe we will all be very pleased with this group in the years to come.
East was leading 7-3 with a few seconds left and had the ball. First half was scoreless with Coffee missing a 37-yard FG, line-drive, slightly off to the left. The West second half FG was not kicked by Coffee. The East had one good offensive drive and got the TD on a plunge. The field was very slow and slick with deep grass and lots of wetness. Everybody had trouble with cuts, so we did not get a very good read on the talent on the field, but here goes:
1. Harrison and Willis looked like very fine athletes, but neither showed a lot tonight, maybe because there were no first-rate QBs to get the ball to them, and at times little time to do it. Harrison should have made a catch of a contested long pass, but it went incomplete with Evans guarding.
2. Adibi also looks like a fine athlete, and he made a couple of nice defensive plays. He also made a 5-yard gain as an RB.
3. UVA's Simmons had a fine night on the DL with a couple of stops for loss. He is very quick afoot and played as well as anyone out there.
4. Marshall's Elmer Holmes had an impressive game on D with several gee-wiz plays.
5. Almondo Curry was the only player who did not seem affected by the turf and made several gee-wiz punt returns. Looked to be slightly larger and more mature than I remembered him previously. I think he can play Div I at KR and PR and maybe even CB.
6. Julius Jones looked like a very talented player with one nice pass reception and one nice 20-yard breakaway. Davis seemed to be taken totally out of his game with the turf problems. I was more impressed with Jones than Davis.
7. Coffee seems to have a very strong leg but seemed affected by the turf as you would expect.
8. Kevin Lewis looked huge out there, but I did not follow his exploits if there were any. Same for UNC's David Stevenson.
9. Evans seemed smallish to me. He played a Deep Safety and usually started out about 15 yards downfield at the start of the plays. Hard to tell a lot about him from this game. He seemed to blend in with the rest of the players.
The anecdote for the game was when I mentioned to our #3 (Mr. Poindexter) that UVA only had 2 scholie recruits out there on the field. He replied that we did not seem to be missing much from what he saw of the Virginians on the field tonight. That sums it up pretty well, but the field and the alternation of players on each series may have contributed to a very sloppy game with special teams more slapstick than comedy at times. The D definitely dominated the O on this night. Generally a letdown from the play of the last 2 All-Star games and very difficult to read anything definite about the players from this game.
From Wild Turkey:
Its late so this will be brief.
Not as exciting as last year. The East won 7 - 3. Not many big plays.
Harrison only had one catch I believe. He sure looks good though. Tall and rangy. Didn't show any notable speed but then again, he didn't have much chance.
Adibi has excellent pursuit. He was around the ball all night. He will be a stud from day one.
Kevin Lewis was very active. He will grow and fit the mold of a typical Tech D lineman.
Lewis and Adibi both ran the ball a few times.
Woodley looked fast and aggressive. His number was wrong in the program so I ignored him the first half.
Jacob Gibson played only offense so nothing to report other than he definitely is large.
Marquis Hampton looked pretty good at D back
Willis- Wow. Great prospect. Caught several balls. A man among boys. Lets keep him off the basketball court.
Simington was in a knee brace on the sidelines. He looked mighty skinny but I'm sure Mr. Gentry has something for him.
Elmer Holmes (Marshall) is the real deal.
Daniel Davis and Julius Jones did not impress at all.
I sat in front of Jerton Evan's family. I hoped the whole game that Harrison would burn him for a TD.