Virginia Tech spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:05
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech Hokies
2008 overall record: 10-4

2008 conference record: 5-3

Returning starters: Offense: 8, defense: 7, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners: QB Tyrod Taylor, TB Darren Evans, TE Greg Boone, OG Sergio Render, OT Ed Wang, WR Danny Coale, WR Jarrett Boykin, P Brent Bowden, FS Kam Chancellor, OLB Cam Martin, DE Jason Worilds, CB Stephan Virgil, ROV Dorian Porch, OLB Cody Grimm

Key losses: DE Orion Martin, ILB Brett Warren, ILB Purnell Sturdivant, CB Victor Harris, PK Dustin Keys, C Ryan Shuman, OG Nick Marshman

2007 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Darren Evans* (1,265 yards)
Passing: Tyrod Taylor* (1,036 yards)
Receiving:
Jarrett Boykin* (441 yards)
Tackles:
Purnell Sturdivant (99)
Sacks:
Cody Grimm* and Orion Martin (7.5)
Interceptions:
Victor Harris (6)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Alabama (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
Sept. 12 Marshall
Sept. 19 Nebraska
Sept. 26 Miami
Oct. 3 at Duke
Oct. 10 Boston College
Oct. 17 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 29 North Carolina
Nov. 5 at East Carolina
Nov. 14 at Maryland
Nov. 21 NC State
Nov. 28 at Virginia

1. It's Ju-Ju, not Joseph. And it's a name you'll learn, as Frank Beamer named Joseph "Ju-Ju" Clayton his No. 2 quarterback this spring. Marcus Davis moved to split end and had a good spring game, despite being at his original position for one week, but the door won't be closed on him at quarterback. He needs to work on his arm strength, and until that improves, the staff wanted to find a spot for him on the field.

2. Liking the linebackers. Barquell Rivers and Jake Johnson both had good springs. They've got a few players behind them who still need some grooming in Bruce Taylor and Quillie Odom, but overall confidence grew in the group this spring.

3. Overall improvement on the offensive line. The coaches have eight players they're confident can play. They'd still like to find one or two more, but it's better depth and athleticism than in the past. Ed Wang, Sergio Render, Beau Warren and Jaymes Brooks are the starters, and at right tackle, Andrew Lanier is listed as the co-starter with Blake DeChristopher. That's a good sign for how well Lanier played this spring.

Fall questions

1. Searching for a kicker. Matt Waldron, who was in a battle for the job last year and is probably the most consistent candidate, is the leader going into fall, but he doesn't have the job locked up. Cody Journell, a highly touted incoming freshman, will be given a chance to win the job. Justin Myer, who handled kickoffs last year as a true freshman, is still in the mix.

2. Disguised defensive ends. There just aren't a lot of bodies to choose from here, as evidenced by the fact the staff moved tight end Chris Drager there to help the depth. Jason Worilds, who missed the spring after shoulder surgery, and Nekos Brown are the only two natural ends. John Graves was moved to tackle to help while Worilds was out.

3. Musical chairs in the secondary. Stephan Virgil is moving from boundary corner to field corner to replace Macho Harris, and Rashad Carmichael is now taking over Virgil's spot with Cris Hill behind him. It's a rotation that's become a tradition for the Hokies, and while the staff is confident in Virgil, Carmichael still has a few things to prove in his new position.

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