News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Thursday, August 5, 2004
by Will Stewart,

Football Notes: Eddie Royal Puts Up Impressive Numbers

Going into fall practice, true freshman Eddie Royal has wowed fans with his 40 time and bench press, as he puts up numbers that rival those of experienced players in the program. Isaac Montgomery has changed position, and in recruiting news, the Hokies have lost troubled defensive back Rod Council to the Louisville Cardinals. We'll also highlight some depth chart info to bring you up to speed on what's going on with VT football.

Royal Puts Up Big (and Small) Testing Numbers

The buzz around freshman testing centered on wide receiver Eddie Royal, who ran the fastest 40 time (4.3) and put up an astounding bench press of 350 pounds. Royal's bench press is tops among all wide receivers and is a very impressive number for a player who stands 5-10 and weighs just 172 pounds. The next highest bench press among receivers is Justin Hamilton with 340 pounds. Hamilton is a redshirt-junior who stands 6-3 and weighs 222 pounds (and is currently listed on the depth chart with the tailbacks, not the wide receivers).

Royal's bench press also beats or matches 46 players -- not including the true freshmen -- who recently finished winter max testing. Royal matched two offensive linemen, Jon Dunn and Jason Murphy, and two defensive tackles, Tim Sandidge and Kevin Lewis. His lift exceeded that of five linebackers, two defensive ends, and two defensive tackles.

Only four players at comparable skill positions (defined as tailbacks, wide receivers, and defensive backs) benched more than Royal -- TB Mike Imoh (355), TB Jon Candelas (360), FS Corey Gordon (360), and TB George Bell (380).

Royal's 4.3 forty time was the best among the freshmen.

Isaac Montgomery Switched to Defensive End

Redshirt-senior Isaac Montgomery has switched from backup defensive tackle, where he received little playing time last season, to defensive end. Montgomery, a transfer from UNC, is #3 at the End spot, behind Darryl Tapp and Jim Davis (currently co-#1s).

The move of Montgomery was made in response to a herniated disk suffered by Jordan Trott, the former inside linebacker who was moved to DE in the spring. Trott recently underwent surgery and is out for 6-8 weeks, and the Hokies needed a third option at the End spot.

In other injury news, FS Corey Gordon has hurt his hamstring and will take 2-3 weeks to heal, per Mike Goforth on

Rod Council to Louisville

In recruiting news that comes as a surprise to Hokie fans, highly recruited defensive back Rod Council out of Charlotte has surfaced at Louisville, where he is enrolled and will play for the Cardinals. Council, an honor student and SGA president in high school, committed to VT but was arrested in January for attempting to steal $16,000 of computer equipment from his school's media center.

Council received a deferred sentence, which means that if he completed counseling and community service, the charge would be wiped from his record. All indications were that Council was still planning to enroll at Virginia Tech, most likely in January, but other schools, including Louisville, offered Council the opportunity to enroll in the fall and participate with the team. He took the option.

TSL recruiting analyst Chris Horne is attempting to contact Council's high school coach for more information.

Depth Chart Notes

Notable in the depth chart released by at the start of fall practice:

  • Justin Hamilton is listed as the co-#3 tailback with George Bell. Cedric Humes is listed #1, with the suspended (three games) Mike Imoh listed #2. This indicates that if Bell progresses, he may be installed as the #3 tailback -- the de facto #2 with Imoh out for three games -- freeing Hamilton up to play wide receiver.

  • While Chris Clifton has the #1 split end position to himself, there is no #1 listed at the flanker position (Hamilton's position). Richard Johnson, Josh Hyman, David Clowney, and Eddie Royal are listed as co-#2s at flanker.

  • Will Montgomery is listed as the starting center, ahead of a trio of Danny McGrath, Mike Parham, and Tripp Carroll.

  • Brandon Gore and Reggie Butler are listed as co-#1s at left offensive guard.

  • Jason Murphy had mounted a serious threat to Jimmy Miller at right offensive guard during the spring, but as fall practice opens, Miller is listed ahead of Murphy.

  • At Nose tackle, Kevin Lewis is #1, of course, with redshirt freshman Carlton Powell as #2 ahead of redshirt junior Tim Sandidge. The Hokie coaches have spoken highly of Powell, who schooled Brandon Gore in the spring game in an impressive performance.

  • For linebacker watchers: Mikal Baaqee (Mike) and Blake Warren (Backer) are both #1 going into the fall at their respective positions, ahead of Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi.


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