Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
If any of you caught College Football Live today, you saw we talked a bit about the Hokies, and I did speak with running backs coach Billy Hite, who said he was just sick about this when he heard the news that Darren Evans would be lost for the season with a torn ACL.
One thing I wanted to make clear was that there shouldn't be any blame placed on the doctors or athletic trainers at Virginia Tech. To think that they'd do anything to jeopardize the health of their leading rusher -- let alone any of their players -- is ridiculous. Hite had nothing but praise for head athletic trainer Mike Goforth and the team of doctors that worked on Evans. It doesn't sound like there was much more they could have done, given the symptoms they were dealing with.
According to Hite, Evans' knee was so strong that when the orthopedic doctors first looked at him last Friday, the knee wasn't loose at all. Hite went back and watched the film from Friday's practice.
"He planted and cut, and stepped on somebody's foot and went down," Hite said. "That's where he hurt the knee. His knee is so strong that when the orthopedic doctors looked at him ... his knee was not loose one bit. They just figured he sprained it at that point in time."
Evans was held out of practice on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but he was running sprints at the end of practice and looked fine, according to Hite. On Tuesday, Evans was back at practice, and going one-on-one against linebackers, running man routes, and he came out of his stance and got about five yards past the line of scrimmage and didn't even plant or cut, he "just fell like somebody shot him," Hite said.
"It's finally hit him now that he understands he's going to miss this season, but obviously he was a basketcase the other night, and of course so was I," Hite said. "He worked so hard this summer, he was in great shape, he's weighing 218 and he looks like he's about 200 pounds, that's how chiseled he is. It's a shame that it happened to a kid, especially one like him."
Hite said Josh Oglesby has moved to the top of the depth chart, Ryan Williams had a great spring and was good enough to play last year but wasn't up to speed in the passing game, and David Wilson has been impressive enough that Hite planned to play him even before Evans went down.
"Obviously we've a lost a great player, but at the same time, everybody on the team has to kick it up a notch. We lost a heck of a football player, but everybody that's been involved in it understands it's part of the game. Now it's up to each one of these individuals - especially my backs - to play like he played. There's no reason why you can't, that's what I told them all. What it did is give somebody else an opportunity."