News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Wednesday, August 7, 2002
Depth Chart and Injury Notes
In Hokie football practices, players are battling for position and nagging injuries are taking their toll. Here's a summation of the football news coming out of Blacksburg recently (all news is current at the conclusion of Tuesday's practice).
Quarterback competition aside, the positions that are seeing the most action as far as competition and depth chart moves are wide receiver and defensive line.
At the wide receiver position, as of today's depth chart on BeamerBall.com, the top four receivers are Ernest Wilford, Richard Johnson, Shawn Witten and Justin Hamilton. Wilford and Johnson are listed as co-number ones at split end, and Witten and Hamilton are listed as co-number ones at flanker.
That may not last, because practice observers are saying that senior split end Terrell Parham, number two on the depth chart behind Wilford and Johnson, has never looked better. Parham has always had talent, but he reportedly has been in and out of Frank Beamer's doghouse his entire career. He is having a good fall thus far and is making a push for playing time in this, his last season.
Also listed at number two on the receiver depth chart are Chris Clifton (split end) and true freshman Fred Lee (flanker). That's a total of seven players listed for the top four receiver positions, so you can see that there will be a significant shakeout in the receiving corps as practice progresses.
On the defensive line, the end positions are set. The only question there is who the fifth defensive end will be behind Jim Davis, Nathaniel Adibi, Lamar Cobb, and Cols Colas. That figured to be a battle between true freshmen Noland Burchette and Darryl Tapp, and Burchette is in danger of falling behind because of a slight hamstring pull.
At defensive tackle, Mark Costen and Jason Lallis are listed 1-2 at the tackle position, with Kevin Lewis and Chris Pannell/Tim Sandidge 1-2 at the nose guard position. True freshman Jonathan Lewis is listed at number three at the tackle position, and he shook off a Sunday hamstring strain to return to full speed Monday and Tuesday.
Practice observers report that J. Lewis is every bit as strong as a sophomore or junior, which bodes well for him seeing significant playing time this season. As a true freshman, he will have to work on technique and defensive schemes, but with his strength and size (6-2, 290), it's not likely that he'll get pushed around, and not getting pushed around is job one for a D-tackle. If they can hold their ground, that's half the battle.
Of the nagging hamstring injuries among the players, the most serious is that suffered by whip linebacker Mike Daniels Tuesday. Daniels will probably be out until Monday, whereas other players suffering from hamstring strains (Burchette, Jason Murphy, and Blake Warren) are expected to return sooner.
But to this point, the only injury that has caused a permanent change on the depth chart, leading to players changing positions, is the season-ending knee injury suffered by cornerback Eric Green about ten days ago. DeAngelo Hall and Ronyell Whitaker still hold the starting positions, with Garnell Wilds backing up Hall, and former backup safety Vince Fuller has been moved over to back up Whitaker. Defensive backs coach Lorenzo "Whammy" Ward is happy with Fuller's performance thus far, as well as that of true freshman Cary Wade, known for having good coverage techniques coming out of Robinson High School.
At the quarterback position, Grant Noel remains the starter, but practice observers are impressed with Bryan Randall's arm strength, and the battle is on. Marcus Vick appears to be the most accurate passer of all three, but as a true freshman weighing just 180 pounds, he does not, at this point, represent a serious threat to the #1 QB job.
Over the coming weeks, the team will alternate two-a-day practices with one-a-days and scrimmages. The players won't get a single day off as game 1 against Arkansas State on Sunday, August 25th approaches.
Wednesday, 8/7 (today) - Practices 5 and 6
Season Ticket and Parking Info
Yesterday's comedy column aside (which some of you didn't see as comedy), here is the important information with regards to season tickets.
Tickets are on their way via UPS (most of you have them already), and a signature is required for the package.
You will receive season tickets and a parking pass in your mailing. Any individual game tickets that you may have ordered will be shipped later, approximately two weeks before the game in question.
Your first question, naturally, will be where your seats are and where your parking lot is. TechSideline.com has a new stadium seating diagram (finally, after all these years!), and we also have a link to the hokietickets.com parking map, which is very good.
Please note that the parking map on the "Fan Guide" enclosed with your tickets is incorrect, most notably with regards to Lots 6, 7, 8, and 10. The hokietickets.com parking map linked to the right is accurate, so check it for your location.
As always, the TSL Ticket Exchange Board is open for buying, selling, and trading tickets, and you can also use it to buy, sell, and exchange parking passes.
Another popular feature, our TSL "Where the Posters Sit/Park" database, is currently not in operation. More precisely, it is seeded with old data from last year. Once we get it reset and get a new stadium diagram incorporated into it, we'll let you know, so you can start using it.