Checking in with Frank Beamer

April, 15, 2009
4/15/09
4:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Frank Beamer's office is a wee bit bigger than Bud Foster's (there's enough room for pretty much a full living room ensemble in there on a section of hardwood floor with a big VT on it), but everything is in its place, and it's more classy than it is showy.

Beamer sat behind his desk with his depth chart in front of him and we talked a bit about how his team is looking halfway through spring practices. I'll have more tomorrow and next week (I'm stockpiling a few things while I'm here), but here are a few notes from our interview:

  • All of the running backs have had their moments. Don't sleep on Josh Oglesby. Ryan Williams and Darren Evans have been getting all the hype, but Oglesby is having a good spring. And Beamer knows Dave Wilson's name already. This competition will play out into summer camp, and "they'll determine their playing time."
  • Beamer's biggest concern, aside from finding a backup quarterback, is the fact it's the third year in a row they'll have a new field goal kicker. Matt Waldron, Justin Myer, Tim Pisano and Chris Hazley all have a shot.
  • Defensively, Beamer said they're a linebacker short and a defensive end short of where they'd like to be. I'll have more from Foster on the status of the defense tomorrow, but Beamer said he'll have three or four freshmen coming in at defensive end and he hopes one or two of them can contribute immediately.
  • The staff used the first eight practices to install a lot, and with a young team, that meant some mistakes and a few "do-overs." Beamer said he's hoping the last seven practices are filled with more precision, consistency and improvement. "This spring practice has been good, but from here on out is when you have to really be good. When you're young like that, you have a chance to really improve at spring practice. If you're a veteran team, you're just trying to get through spring practice. We've really got a chance to improve."
  • As for the receivers, a few have stood out to Beamer so far this spring. Among them are Xavier Boyce, a tall player who "looks like a wide receiver," and Tony Gregory, who was a running back at Fork Union Military Academy but has been playing well at wide receiver this spring, and has shown his speed. "I'm hoping our receiver position, which was so young last year, and probably a weakness for us to a degree because of the inexperience last year can become a strength for us this year."

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