Tuesday, March 2, 1999

If Speed Kills, the Hokies Ought to be Outlawed

I listened to the first half hour of the Hokie Hotline Monday night, and Bill Roth and Mike Burnop spent that time talking about football, namely, about the 40-yard dash times that were turned in recently by Hokie football players.  Tech has been conducting their annual 40 timing, and five of the top ten times ever were turned in.

Bill made it a point to mention that it isn't so much the times themselves that listeners should pay attention to, but rather, their relative speed to Hokie players of years past.  One good thing about having the same strength and conditioning coach for the last twelve years, as Tech has had in Mike Gentry, is that the times over the last twelve years have all been recorded using the same method.

Bill didn't say much about the methodology used, but he did say that the times are recorded with hand-held stop watches, and I think he also said that the times are computed from twelve different watches.  Whether they're averaged together, or the extremes are thrown out and then they're averaged, was not made clear.   But the point is, it's not just one guy hyped up on caffeine who's starting the watch late and stopping it early to make the Hokies look good.

But enough of that.  I'm sure you want to hear the goods.  Here they are - I wrote these down as Bill said them.  They are NOT all-inclusive, meaning that Bill didn't list every player, and they are not presented in any order.  Bill did not specifically say what the top 5 times were, so they may or may not be the top 5 times from this list.  Having said that, here's what I wrote down:

40-yard Dash Times Turned in by VT Football Players
Player Time Comments
Andre Davis 4.29  
Lee Suggs 4.32 Fastest running back
Michael Vick 4.33 Fastest QB ever, 8th fastest time ever
Corey Moore 4.38 Faster than every receiver but Davis!
Keith Burnell 4.42  
Shyrone Stith 4.49 Blazing fast and 209 pounds
John Engelberger 4.45  
Derrius Monroe 4.47  
Ben Taylor 4.54 Fastest time ever for an inside LB
Browning Wynn 4.65 Tight end record
Bob Slowikowski 4.66  
David Pugh 4.69 That's a defensive tackle, folks

For the record, I think the fastest time ever was recorded by DB Damien Russell, who turned in a 4.23.

Many of Tech's fastest players (Ike Charlton, Larry Austin, Anthony Midget, and Philip Summers) were not timed.  Bill didn't say why.

Again, the important thing here is not the times themselves, but the fact that overall, the players are getting faster. In addition to five of the top ten times ever, the Hokies now have about 23 or 24 players who run under a 4.5, up from just eight guys in 1997.

Another strength and conditioning highlight relayed by Bill:  two fullbacks squatted over 600 pounds.  Jarrett Ferguson did 605, and former tailback Wayne Ward hit 615.

Tuesday (today) is the beginning of max-out contests in the weight room.  I'm sure the details of the weightlifting exercises, including records broken, will be in the next Hokie Huddler.

Tech Notes

  • The A-10 women's tournament was won by St. Joseph's over Xavier, 85-73.  I don't get it, either. Not to knock St. Joe's, because they've got a good team, but something about Tech brings out the best in Xavier ... and then they return to normal against other teams.
  • Speaking of the Tech women, their RPI rating didn't suffer too much - through Sunday's games, they are still fifth!
  • Tech has not yet hired a replacement for departed DB Coach Lou West.  The Hokies thought they had a coach from Washington, but he received an offer for more money from Texas A&M and took that job, instead.


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