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TechSideline.com has come a long way since its inception in 1996. We are the #1 media source and community covering Virginia Tech athletics, producing an average of 123,000 unique viewers and over 8.5 million page views each month. We reach a coveted demographic (you know who you are) 24/7, 12 months out of the year.
Rooting for their team clearly represents one of the big passions in the life of our TechSideline.com community members. This site greatly enhances this never-ending passion through information, analysis and most importantly through communal dialog and networking.
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|Tech Sports News|
Virginia Tech has four senior receivers this season, and they are all looking to make their mark on Virginia Tech football one last time. In fact, a couple of them should end their careers very high in the Tech record books.
Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Josh Hyman and Justin Harper have either started or been in the rotation at receiver since they were freshmen in 2004. Here's a look at their career receptions, year by year.
If Royal catches 14 passes this coming season, and he should, he'll become just the seventh player in Tech history to catch 100 or more passes in his career. The other players on that list are Ernest Wilford (126), Antonio Freeman (121), Ricky Scales (113), Andre Davis (103), Mike Giacolone (103) and Myron Richardson (100).
If Royal catches 40 passes, he'll tie Ernest Wilford at the top of Tech's all-time reception list. He does have a chance to do that, if he stays healthy. David Clowney is gone, and he caught 34 passes last season. Those 34 receptions have to be redistributed somewhere, and Royal will get his share.
Josh Morgan has 76 career catches, which puts him 15th on Tech's all-time list. Morgan has increased his catch total each year he has been in Blacksburg. He went from 15 as a freshman to 28 as a sophomore before topping out at 33 last season. Still, most would agree that his sophomore season (2005) was his best.
Morgan needs 24 catches to end up with 100 for his career. He should be able to accomplish that. 24 catches would be the second-lowest output of his career, and that shouldn't happen in his senior season, barring injury, of course.
Josh Hyman and Justin Harper haven't caught as many as Royal and Morgan, but they'll get their chance this year. Harper is currently tied with Morgan atop the depth chart at split end, and if Hyman can finally stay healthy for the first time since 2004, he could increase his catch total as well.
Ernest Wilford has the most receptions in Virginia Tech history for a couple of reasons. First of all, he's talented. He's not in the NFL today for no reason. But perhaps more important, he was the only above average receiver in the team. The Hokies really didn't have anybody else to throw the ball to in 2002 and 2003, so Wilford caught 51 passes in 2002 and followed that up with 55 in 2003. That's 106 of his 126 career catches in just two seasons.
Now let's play a game called "If so-and-so didn't exist." How many receptions would Eddie Royal and Josh Morgan have if their primary backups, Justin Harper and Josh Hyman, went to school somewhere else? Sounds like a silly premise, but for the most part, Virginia Tech has rarely had more than two wide receivers receive significant playing time (and receptions) under Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech has typically had two key wide receivers (think Andre Davis and Ricky Hall, for example) in any season.
For this exercise, we'll throw out the 2004 season, because Hyman started at split end that year and was not Royal's backup. Only 2005 and 2006 are included.
In 2005, if Eddie Royal had caught Hyman's 13 receptions that year, he would have finished with 40 receptions. Give him Hyman's 16 catches from a year ago, and his total receptions shoots up to 47, the third-most in a single season in Tech history. That would mean he would be entering the 2007 season just 11 receptions shy of Ernest Wilford's record, rather than 40.
If Justin Harper didn't play for Tech, and Josh Morgan got his catches instead, that would add 37 career receptions to Morgan's career total. (Harper caught 16 in 2005 and 21 in 2006.) That would give Morgan 113 career receptions, just 13 catches behind Wilford's career record. That would be a serious race in 2007 between Royal and Morgan to see which player ends up as Tech's all-time leading receiver.
That doesn't even count the numbers David Clowney put up. He caught 88 passes during the three years he played with Royal and Morgan (2004-2006) and took a lot of catches away from them.
Of course, this is a totally unscientific experiment. The Hokies have used a lot of three and four wide receiver formations in recent years, they throw the ball a little more than they used to, and there are always different quarterbacks. It's just for fun.
Time will tell if either Royal or Morgan can put a run on Wilford's record. With a possible 14-game schedule (bowl games have counted in statistics for several years now), don't be surprised if Royal in particular gives him a scare. Royal has averaged 2.26 catches per game in his career, and he would have to average 2.85 catches per game this season to have 40 catches in 14 games.
This football season, Virginia Tech will travel to LSU and Clemson. Both schools have a well known tradition of nicknaming their stadium “Death Valley.” In that light, Tech fans can boldly declare their Hokie spirit with this special commemorative T-shirt, and proclaim that Hokies Are Fearless!!! This special T-shirt can be purchased through MaroonHelmet.com by clicking here or using the links to the right.
The Houston, New Orleans/Baton Rouge, and Palmetto Chapters of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association are offering this unique design, created by a Houston Hokie for Hokies. Proceeds will directly support these alumni chapters' scholarship funds, in support of future Hokies from their local areas. This shirt is a must-have for anyone with plans to go to the LSU or Clemson games, tailgate parties, or local gatherings, and who wants to show off their Tech pride. The shirts will also be available through MaroonHelmet at the official VTAA pre-game tailgates for the LSU and Clemson games.
This T-shirt is 100% cotton and light gray in color. The front left chest has the Virginia Tech VT logo with "HOKIES" underneath. The back of the shirt displays the Hokie Bird and the captions, "Yea though I walk into Death Valley, I am fearless" and Virginia Tech. The shirts can be ordered in sizes ranging from Youth Small to 3XL. Please consider purchasing one at MaroonHelmet.com in support of future Hokies or to show your Hokie Spirit as Virginia Tech takes on LSU and Clemson this football season.
It is important to note that this effort is in no way associated with the April 16th tragedy or the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The design and plan for this fundraiser were in place last year with the much anticipated LSU rematch in mind. After very careful consideration, and following proper procedures for approval from the Virginia Tech organization, the decision was made to proceed with this scholarship fund raising effort in the spirit of the words spoken in April, "We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech."
The New Orleans/Baton Rouge chapter of the VT Alumni Association is planning a tailgate for the LSU game, and the Palmetto Chapter of the VTAA is planning a tailgate for the Clemson game. To find out more, click the following two links:
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