News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Thursday, August 26, 2004
by Chris James, TechSideline.com
Chart Takes Shape as Hokies Prepare to Face USC
After spring practice, summer conditioning, and
three weeks of practice in the sweltering August heat, it appears that most of
Virginia Tech’s position battles have been settled. Let’s take a look,
position by position, as the Hokies prepare for their season-opening clash with
the USC Trojans.
At the starting wideout spots, the Hokies ended preseason practice exactly as
they started, with Chris Clifton at split end and Josh Hyman at flanker.
21-year old r-freshman Josh Hyman has yet to take
a college snap, but his maturity helped him land the starting spot. It’s
amazing that at 21 years of age Hyman has yet to take a college snap. Compare
that to Michael Vick, who was finished with his college career and was on his
way to becoming the #1 pick in the NFL draft at that age. Behind Hyman are
Richard Johnson and Eddie Royal. Royal, perhaps the most highly touted recruit
of the 2004 class, will see a lot of action in his first collegiate game. David
Clowney, slowed by injury this preseason, is listed as #3 (fourth flanker)
Behind Clifton at split end are true freshmen
Josh Morgan and Justin Harper. Morgan's progress has been slowed by a foot
injury, but he has a bright future and should be close to full-speed Saturday.
Harper will see significant playing time this year, as well.
At fullback, both Jesse Allen and John Kinzer are tied on the depth chart…at
2nd string. There is no player listed as the first string fullback, which means
that this job is wide open. Kinzer will get the start Saturday, but long term,
either Allen or Kinzer still has the opportunity to step up and be the main guy.
If neither player steps up, then the starter could vary from week to week.
Will Montgomery will remain as the starting center for now. After it appeared
that Tripp Carroll was making headway at the position, which would have allowed
Montgomery to move back to guard, Carroll was injured. Recently the staff has
been complimentary of Danny McGrath, so it’s possible that he could get a look
as the starter. As of now, Montgomery is the starter, with McGrath listed as 2nd
string, and Carroll listed as injured. In other offensive line news, Brandon
Gore has been moved to left tackle. Starting left guard Reggie Butler is listed
as the 2nd string backup to Jimmy Martin at LT, but Gore provides depth there
now, as well.
Along the DL, the biggest news is that Jim Davis will see a lot of time at
defensive tackle. Davis could move from tackle to end and back through the
course of the game, and he will probably see more snaps than any other defensive
lineman. Currently he is listed as co-starter with Kevin Lewis at nose tackle.
Also of interest is that Jason Lallis is now
listed as the backup defensive end to Darryl Tapp and is not listed at all at
R-freshmen Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi continue to put the pressure on Mikal
Baaqee and Blake Warren. Hall is currently listed 2nd at Mike linebacker, but
Baaqee is battling an injury, so Hall will certainly see a lot of playing time.
Adibi and Warren are listed as co-starters on the latest depth chart. Regardless
of who starts, Hall and Adibi will see the field early and often on Saturday
Brandon Pace has clearly won the job at place kicker. After an inconsistent
spring, Pace has really come on during the month of August and separated himself
from backup Nick Schmitt. True freshman Jared Develli will handle kickoffs. He
has reportedly been booming kickoffs deep into the end zone during practices.
As of now, it is unclear who will be handling
punt return and kickoff return duties. The name being throw around the most is
Eddie Royal. But when it comes down to it, will Beamer want a true freshman in
his first college game returning kicks against the defending national champs?
Other possibilities as punt returner are Jimmy Williams and Richard Johnson. The
Hokies will likely use two kickoff returners, and besides Royal the coaches can
choose Richard Johnson or Robert Parker. Mike Imoh is the obvious choice when he
returns from suspension.
According to this
article, “Enter Sandman” will be played when the Hokies take the field
against USC on Saturday night.
- Public parking lots open at 1 p.m. Saturday
afternoon at FedEx Field. For more information on parking, see our BCA
Classic FAQ page.
- At of 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, Virginia Tech
is listed as 17.5 point underdogs to USC.
- Be sure and print out our handy
BCA roster card (PDF format) and take it with you to the game. Print out
several copies and distribute them to friends, total strangers, or even USC
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