ACC: Chris Hazley

Virginia Tech spring wrap

May, 5, 2011
2010 overall record: 11-3

2010 conference record: 8-0

Returning starters

Offense: 6, defense: 6, kicker/punter: 0

Top returners

SE Danny Coale, FL Jarrett Boykin, RT Blake DeChristopher, DT Antoine Hopkins, LB Bruce Taylor, CB Jayron Hosley, FS Eddie Whitley

Key losses

QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Darren Evans, RB Ryan Williams, C Beau Warren, TE Andre Smith, DT John Graves, CB Rashad Carmichael, ROV Davon Morgan, PK Chris Hazley

2010 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Evans (854 yards)

Passing: Tyrod Taylor (2,743 yds)

Receiving: Boykin* (847 yds)

Tackles: Bruce Taylor (91)

Sacks: Steven Friday (8.5)

Interceptions: Hosley* (9)

Spring answers

1. A new Fab Four: Virginia Tech’s defensive line is oozing with talent and potential -- the kind that can resurrect the Hokies’ defense to the standard Bud Foster and fans are used to. All four projected starters are underclassmen, and redshirt sophomores J.R. Collins and James Gayle had a phenomenal spring. Derrick Hopkins couldn’t be blocked, and he, Collins and Gayle took their games to another level this spring.

2. Logan Thomas is ready. The first-year starting quarterback erased any lingering doubts about his ability to take over the offense and replace the winningest quarterback in school history. He’ll have some growing pains, but he’s got veteran receivers, four senior offensive linemen in front of him and an exceptional running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield in David Wilson.

3. Linebacker Tariq Edwards has replaced Lyndell Gibson. Edwards could have a breakout season, thanks in part to Gibson’s decision to transfer prior to spring practices. Foster has compared Edwards to Xavier Adibi as far as his size and speed. The redshirt sophomore is about 6-foot-2, runs well and is athletic.

Fall questions

1. Who’s the No. 2 QB? It’s still unsettled, as coach Frank Beamer praised redshirt freshman Mark Leal this spring, and Ricardo Young will increase the competition this summer when he returns from a foot injury he suffered during one of the scrimmages that caused him to miss the rest of the spring. Ju-Ju Clayton was the front-runner for the job entering the spring, but it could turn into a three-player battle this summer.

2. Defensive depth. The staff is excited about its starting lineup, but the lack of experience behind it remains a concern, particularly at linebacker where injuries depleted the group, and in the secondary, where Detrick Bonner and Theron Norman haven’t played a collegiate snap yet.

3. Kicking game. Will Danny Coale really be the Hokies’ starting receiver AND punter? He will if none of the other candidates beat him out for the job this summer. If Coale wins the job -- and it’s a very real possibility -- the logistics also remain a question. Will he warm up with the punters or run routes as a receiver? Will he run routes in his punting shoe? Beamer would prefer if Scott Demler and Ethan Keyserling win the job so it’s not an issue, but Beamer will go with the senior who has game experience if he’s the best choice. Cody Journell enters the summer as the No. 1 place-kicker, but it’s not a lock.

ACC's most-improved players in 2010

January, 31, 2011
There were numerous players throughout the ACC who made quantum leaps in their careers this past season, transitioning from the supporting cast to a starring role. Some came off the bench, others finally realized their potential. In no particular order, here’s a look at the league’s 10 most-improved players in 2010:

Dontrelle Inman, WR, Virginia: He went from eight receptions in 2009 to 51 in 2010. Inman ranked No. 6 in the ACC in yards per game (67.9) and No. 10 in receptions per game (4.2). He led the team with 815 receiving yards and had the 13th-best receiving output in ACC history with 239 receiving yards at Duke.

Antwine Perez, S, Maryland: The career backup and former USC transfer finally had the breakout season many had been waiting for. He had a team-high 11 passes defended (three interceptions/eight pass breakups). He was fifth on the team with 74 tackles, including seven TFLs, and he had three fumble recoveries.

Julian Burnett, LB, GT: He began the season on the bench, undersized for a typical 3-4 defense, but ended up leading Tech in tackles (89). He had 42 solo tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Quinton Coples, DE, UNC: He went from backup defensive end to first-team All-ACC defensive tackle. He had 15.5 TFLs, 10 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and was fourth on the team in tackles with 59.

Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: He wasn’t even an honorable mention all-conference selection a year ago, let alone on anyone’s NFL draft board. After a breakout season in 2010, he was a first-team unanimous All-American, the Bronko Nagurski Award winner and the No. 1 projected NFL draft pick by several experts. He improved from three sacks to 15.5 and 11 TFLs to 26.

Earl Wolff, S, NC State: After starting just four games in 2009 as a redshirt freshman, Wolff was one of the team’s top defenders, leading the Pack in tackles with 95, including two sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He also had one interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Brandon Jenkins, DE, FSU: Following a 2009 season in which he played as a true freshman, Jenkins was named the team’s most-improved defensive lineman following spring drills last year and he continued it into the fall. He had 21.5 TFLs, 13.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. He also had two pass breakups and four quarterback hurries.

Jim Noel, S, Boston College: The true sophomore earned his first start against Florida State and finished with four interceptions and one pass breakup. He had 10 tackles in his starting debut against the Noles and had two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.

Virginia Tech kicker Chris Hazley: He joined the program as a walk-on in 2007 and his patience and practice finally paid off. He earned a scholarship this past preseason and all-conference honors this postseason. He set a school record for consecutive field goals made in a season with 21. He made 21 of 22 field goals.

Cooper Helfet, TE, Duke: The junior college transfer enrolled at Duke last January and was a backup on the depth chart entering the fall. He caught 34 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns. He started for the first time against Georgia Tech and had six receptions for 92 yards. He also caught seven passes for 122 yards against Virginia.

ACC's lunchtime links

December, 28, 2010
Air Force? C'mon, man ...

ACC's lunchtime links

November, 30, 2010
Around the ACC we go ...

ACSMA All-conference team announced

November, 29, 2010
The 2010 All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team as voted on by 61 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association was announced today. A first-team vote was worth two points and second team vote one.



QB Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (77)
RB Montel Harris, Boston College (122)
RB Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech (108)
WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami (118)
WR Torrey Smith, Maryland (96)
TE George Bryan, NC State (92)
OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College (79)
OT Chris Hairston, Clemson (69)
OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State (116)
OG Brandon Washington, Miami (50)
C Sean Bedford, Georgia Tech (91)
K Chris Hazley, Virginia Tech (100)
Spc. Tony Logan, Maryland (69)

DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson (120)
DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (101)
DT Quinton Coples, North Carolina (101)
DT Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson (63)
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College (112)
LB Nate Irving, N.C. State (105)
LB Alex Wujciak, Maryland (78)
CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (112)
CB Chase Minnifield, Virginia (57)
S DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson (99)
S Kenny Tate, Maryland (78)
P Matt Bosher, Miami


QB Russell Wilson, NC State (75)
RB Damien Berry, Miami (37)
RB Keith Payne, Virginia (30)
WR Conner Vernon, Duke (70)
WR Owen Spencer, NC State (41)
TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson (31)
OT Orlando Franklin, Miami (65)
OT Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech (39)
OG Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech (41)
OG Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (35)
OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (35)
C Ryan McMahon, Florida State (47)
K Will Snyderwine, Duke (38)
Spc. David Wilson, Virginia Tech (61)

DE Allen Bailey, Miami (51)
DE Steven Friday, Virginia Tech (42)
DT John Graves, Virginia Tech (46)
DT Joe Vellano, Maryland (33)
LB Bruce Carter, North Carolina (43)
LB Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech (41)
LB Sean Spence, Miami (37)
CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (49)
CB Brandon Harris, Miami (45)
S Davon Morgan, Virginia Tech (48)
S Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami (25)
P Brian Saunders, Virginia Tech (48)

Week 12: Did you know?

November, 19, 2010
Thanks as always to the sports information directors throughout the ACC for our dose of ACC nuggets:
  • Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, the youngest head coach in the ACC, will face Wake Forest on his 41st birthday. He is just the second Clemson coach to have a game on his birthday. The only other time it has taken place was Oct. 26, 1974, when Red Parker coached the Tigers in a road game against Tennessee. Swinney is the third ACC coach to have a game on his birthday this year. Mike London of Virginia and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State both had games on Oct. 9 earlier this year. London lost his game and Fisher won his.
  • Boston College has the most graduates in the country on its roster this season. The Eagles have 14 players who have already earned their degree. Auburn has the second most with 11 while Tennessee has nine.
  • Duke kicker Will Snyderwine broke his own school single-season record for field goals with three last week against Boston College, pushing his 2010 total to 18 (previous standard was 17 set last year). The former walk-on leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in field goals made per game (1.80) while leading the ACC and ranking second nationally in field goal percentage (.947). In addition, his 82 points this fall rank as the third-highest single-season total in school history.
  • The Seminoles are 6-0 this season when they hold a time of possession advantage and 1-3 when they do not. The Noles scored their first victory of the season without controlling the clock against Clemson, which held the ball for 33:33, denying FSU the ability run the ball effectively.
  • Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington was the first quarterback in school history to rush and pass for 100 yards in his first career start.
  • Maryland’s opponents have scored seven points off of eight Maryland turnovers this year. The Terps have scored 80 points off 21 opponent turnovers.
  • Miami is one of just nine schools nationally that ranks in the nation’s top 30 in both total offense and total defense. The Canes rank 19th in total defense (314.3) and 29th in total offense (425.4). Miami is joined by TCU, Ohio State, Boise State, Alabama, Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona and Southern Miss.
  • North Carolina’s success or failure is directly related to its success in the second half of games this year. In Carolina’s six wins, the Tar Heels are outscoring their opponents 92-26 in the second half. In the four losses, UNC is being outscored 50-21. The Tar Heels had second-half shutouts vs. LSU (14-0), Virginia (17-0) and William & Mary (14-0).
  • Fifteen different players have scored touchdowns for the Wolfpack this season, a mark that ties as the fourth-highest in the nation. Five players have scored four times each, while 10 have scored two or more touchdowns.
  • Kris Burd and Dontrelle Inman are the first wide receiver duo in school history to reach 40 receptions each in the same season. Burd leads the team with 47 receptions for 686 yards and five touchdowns. Inman is second on the team with 41 catches for 654 yards and three touchdowns. Virginia has never had a pair of receivers with 700 yards receiving each in the same season.
  • For the fourth year in a row, Virginia Tech is relying on a senior walk-on for the kicking duties. In 2007, it was Jud Dunlevy, who went 21-for-26 on the season. In 2008, Dustin Keys set a school record with 23 field goals. Last year, Matt Waldron scored 108 points and earned first-team All-ACC honors, and this year, Chris Hazley is 17-for-18. All four were one-year wonders, combining to make 81 of 96 field goal attempts (84 percent) and produce 407 points. Hazley has made his last 17 field goal attempts, tying the school record set by Chris Kinzer in 1986 and tied by Brandon Pace in 2006.
  • Wake Forest defensive end Kyle Wilber is one sack away from moving into the top 10 on the Wake Forest career sacks list and 1.5 tackles for loss from moving into a tie for eighth in single-season tackles for loss.

Typical start for Hokies -- slow

November, 13, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Virginia Tech has trailed in four games this year and won three of them. They're on a similar path today. For the most part, Virginia Tech's offensive line has been fending off the Tar Heels and giving Tyrod Taylor plenty of time to throw. But on a drive that went as far as UNC's 22-yard line, the Hokies went backwards with an eight-yard sack, a 10-yard holding penalty and a blatant drop by Jarrett Boykin around the five yard line. Fortunately for Virginia Tech, kicker Chris Hazley has a strong, accurate leg and was able to make a 52-yard field goal. Hokies trail 7-3.

Lou Groza Award semifinalists

October, 29, 2010
Three ACC players were named among the 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award -- Virginia Tech's Chris Hazley, Florida State's Dustin Hopkins, and Duke's Will Snyderwine.

Three finalists will be voted on by all FBS head coaches and sports information directors, along with national, regional and local football writers and others. These finalists will be honored at the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on December 7 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The winner will be announced live on the nationally televised Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9, 2010.

ACC's Players of the Week

September, 27, 2010
Here are the ACC's Players of the Week, as announced by the league offices in Greensboro, N.C.:

OFFENSIVE BACK -- Russell Wilson, NC State, QB, r-Jr., 5-11, 201, Richmond, Va. (Collegiate)

Wilson had a record-setting day in the Wolfpack’s victory over the Yellow Jackets. Wilson completed 28 of 41 passes for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns. His 28 completions went to 10 different receivers. Wilson also ran the ball nine times for 16 yards and a 6-yard touchdown. Wilson’s 368-yard passing game ranks 18th in school history. His previous career high for passing yards was 349 versus Florida State a year ago. The Georgia Tech game marks the seventh time in his career that he has passed for 300 yards or more and the 10th time he has thrown at least three touchdown passes in a game. Each of Wilson’s touchdown passes came at the end of long nine-play drives that immediately followed touchdowns by the Yellow Jackets. Those three drives went for 69, 78 and 74 yards, and culminated with touchdown passes of 21 yards to Steven Howard, 5 yards to Jarvis Williams and 23 yards to T.J. Graham. Wilson did throw an interception in the game, snapping a streak of 168 pass attempts without an interception. He holds the NCAA record of 379 consecutive throws without being picked off.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN -- Orlando Franklin, Miami, OL, Sr., 6-7, 312, Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)

Franklin graded out at 96 percent in helping Miami win at Pittsburgh by a 31-3 score Thursday night. He finished the game with eight pancake blocks and two lumberjacks in helping Miami’s offense rack up 348 yards (248 passing, 100 rushing) yards of total offense. On the season, Franklin has also graded out at 95 percent against FAMU and 96 percent against Ohio State. He has a total of 12 pancake blocks in three games.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN -- Nate Irving, NC State, MLB, r-Sr., 6-1, 231, Wallace, N.C. (Wallace-Rose Hill)

Irving had a career-high 16 tackles vs. the Yellow Jackets. He had nine solo hits, two sacks for 11 yards in losses, and 4.5 tackles for losses totaling 15 yards. On Sunday, the Walter Camp Foundation named Irving its National Defensive Player of the Week. He led a defense which limited Georgia Tech, previously the nation’s third-best rushing offense, to 96 yards below its previous average.

DEFENSIVE BACK -- Bruce Carter, North Carolina, LB, Sr., 6-3, 235, Havelock, N.C. (Havelock)

Carter blocked a punt, returned an interception 55 yards and had seven tackles in Carolina’s 17-13 win at Rutgers. With Rutgers driving in Carolina territory, Carter made a leaping grab of Tom Savage’s second-quarter pass and returned it to the Rutgers 28-yard line. Carolina went on to score a touchdown and cut the lead to 10-7. In the fourth quarter, with Carolina holding a 14-13 lead, Carter blocked a punt, his sixth career blocked kick, and the Tar Heels took over at the Rutgers 35. Carolina kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive. Carter also added a 4-yard tackle for loss.

SPECIALIST -- Chris Hazley, Virginia Tech, PK, r-Sr., 6-1, 196, West Chester, Pa. (Henderson)

Hazley was a big factor in Tech's 19-0 win at Boston College as the senior hit a career-high four field goals. He had a career-best long of 45 yards and also made two kicks of 29 and 32 yards.

ROOKIE -- Danny O’Brien, Maryland, QB, Fr., 6-3, 215, Kernersville, N.C. (East Forsyth)

Starting the first game of his collegiate career, O’Brien completed 18 of 27 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. O’Brien, who was the first freshman quarterback to start for Maryland since Latrez Harrison (11/20/99), and just the fifth in school history, threw touchdown passes of 9 and 68 yards. O’Brien led the Terps on five scoring drives and had an efficiency rating of 168.89, seventh-highest mark by a freshman in the FBS this season.

Hokies start off ACC play with a win

September, 25, 2010
Somebody give kicker Chris Hazley the game ball. Hazley kicked four field goals to give the Hokies a 19-0 win over Boston College in Chestnut Hill. Virginia Tech snapped its two-game losing streak at BC, and for the first time since 2002 managed to score an offensive touchdown. BC's defense was good, but it wasn't enough as the Eagles had two interceptions and one lost fumble.

Virginia Tech didn't get off to the start it wanted to this season, and its national title hopes have long since disappeared, but the conference title is still up for grabs. The Hokies took the first step by winning on the road at a venue they've struggled in, and they did it without injured running back Ryan Williams.

Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, NC State looked better today, and that's where the Hokies are headed next. If Virginia Tech is going to stay in the conference race, it has to turn those field goals into touchdowns in order to keep up with Russell Wilson & Co. next week.

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 24, 2010
Did somebody say chat?

Weekend rewind: Scrimmages

August, 23, 2010
Here's a quick look back at the weekend scrimmages, thanks to reports from the schools' sports information offices:


Sophomore quarterback Mike Marscovetra was perfect, going 12-for-12 for 90 yards and a touchdown. Dave Shinskie went 14-for-19 for 116 yards, but threw an interception. True freshman Chase Rettig was 2-for-4 for 13 yards.

Sophomore Clyde Lee and true freshman Bobby Swigert led the receivers with five catches each. Lee had a game-high 43 yards, and Swigert went for 29 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman kicker Nate Freese made a 51-yard attempt that hit the crossbar and went through, and he made another from 39 yards. He missed a 47-yarder that hit high off the left upright.

Sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly led the defense with six tackles, and junior safety Dominick LeGrande recorded five tackles and an interception.


The Seminoles went through what amounted to a full-scale dress rehearsal, as they did their pre-game routine, returned to the locker room, then returned to the field for a three-hour scrimmage. Offensive coordinator James Coley and quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig were in the press box, along with defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot and a graduate assistant. They helped call the plays on headphones, and there weren't any personnel or clock-management issues.

Junior college transfer Mike Harris earned some high praise from coach Jimbo Fisher:

“Mike’s a good player; he’s a real good player,” said Fisher. “He breaks on the ball. He’s almost like a quiet assassin. You never hear him out there, but he’s always in the right place."

Statistics weren't included in the team's scrimmage report, but sophomore Willie Haulstead played well, and Fisher used a tailback-by-committee approach with Jermaine Thomas, Ty Jones and Chris Thompson. Defensively, former cornerback Ochuko Jenije started at safety.


First, the injury report: Backup receiver Xavier Boyce sprained his left MCL and will have an MRI, backup linebacker Lorenzo Williams sprained his right foot and will have an MRI, and punter Brian Saunders bruised his right ankle. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, linebacker Barquell Rivers will not play against Boise State, and Bruce Taylor will start in his place. Starting field corner Jayron Hosley is still out with a hamstring injury.

Offensively, Tyrod Taylor completed 7 of 9 passes for 95 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Ryan Williams was the leading rusher with 46 yards on nine carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run. David Wilson added 38 yards on six carries and scored on a 12-yard run. Defensively, Eddie Whitley led the way with seven tackles and a pass break-up. Kicker Chris Hazley made field goals of 43 and 47 yards, but missed his first field goal in a preseason scrimmage when he was wide left on a 48-yard attempt. Cris Hill blocked two punts.

You can find more on the Hokies' scrimmage here.

Weekend rewind: Scrimmage highlights

August, 16, 2010
Ahh, scrimmages. They're almost like real games, right? Nope. Still, something to hold us over.

Here's a look back at the weekend scrimmages for schools that provided scrimmage reports:


There's a running back other than Montel Harris capable of making some plays. True freshman Andre Williams led the running game with seven carries for 59 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Dave Shinskie completed 9 of 14 pass attempts for 81 yards and a touchdown. Senior tight end Jordon McMichael led all receivers with four catches for 23 yards.

Defensively, true freshman linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis led the Eagles with five tackles. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Dillon Quinn made three sacks, which should be an encouraging sign to a line in need of some help.

Redshirt freshman kicker Nate Freese went 2-for-3, making from 24 and 44, but missing a 46-yarder off the left upright. Junior Ryan Quigley made from 33 and missed from 34.


Quarterback Kyle Parker threw three touchdowns passes -- two to running back Andre Ellington -- in Clemson’s two-hour scrimmage in Death Valley on Saturday morning. It was the second scrimmage for the Tigers.

Parker completed 10-of-14 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns. He led the first-team offense to four touchdowns overall. Roderick McDowell led the rushers with 12 carries for 127 yards on the ground, including a 12-yard touchdown run and a 53-yard run early in the scrimmage.

Terrance Ashe led the receivers with five catches for 76 yards, including a 44-yard completion from Parker.

The defense was led by Brandon Maye, who had six tackles, including a tackle for loss and a diving backwards interception from his linebacker position.


Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt was the highlight of the Jackets' scrimmage. He opened the scrimmage with a 70-yard scoring drive and had a two-yard touchdown run and a six-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Hill. Defensively, true freshman Louis Young and sophomore linebacker Julian Burnett had interceptions.


The kickers were the highlight of the second scrimmage, as the offense didn't score a touchdown. Part of that was because the coaching staff stopped drives inside the 20, because the staff hasn't installed its entire red-zone package. The staff is expected to make a decision on its backup quarterback situation soon.

Here are the Hokies' stats leaders from Saturday:

Darren Evans 12-60
David Wilson 6-33
Ryan Williams 4-18

Logan Thomas 9-17-0-82
Tyrod Taylor 5-7-0-42
Ju-Ju Clayton 3-8-0-36

Marcus Davis 2-15
Austin Fuller 2-20

Chris Hazley made four: 29 yards, 43, 48 and 31

Derek DiNardo, 6


The Deacs scrimmaged for 90 minutes on Saturday in the first of three scrimmages, and the quarterback race continues.

Josh Harris 5-76 and 1 TD
Skylar Jones 10-44
Patrick Thompson 7-29

Tanner Price 8-13 for 82 yards
Patrick Thompson 3-10 for 61 yds and an INT
Ted Stachitas 5-of-8 for 95 yds and 1 TD
Skylar Jones 4-of-7 for 27 yds
Brendan Cross 2-of-3 for 16 yds

Devon Brown 4-67
Marshall Williams 3-79

Jimmy Newman made three, 27 yards, 38 and 25

Justin Jackson, 7

Freshman Joe LaBarbera intercepted Thompson late in the scrimmage and returned it 25 yards.

Virginia Tech spring wrap

May, 7, 2010
2009 overall record: 10-3

2009 conference record: 6-2

Returning starters

Offense: 8, defense: 5, punter/kicker 0

Top returners

QB Tyrod Taylor, TB Ryan Williams, TB Darren Evans, FL Danny Coale, SE Jarrett Boykin, DT John Graves, CB Rashad Carmichael, ROV Davon Morgan, LB Barquell Rivers

Key losses

TE Greg Boone, OT Ed Wang, OG Sergio Render, DE Jason Worilds, LB Cody Grimm, DT Cordarrow Thompson, DE Nekos Brown, CB Stephan Virgil, FS Kam Chancellor

2009 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Williams* (1,655 yards)

Passing: Taylor* (2,311 yds)

Receiving: Boykin* (835 yds)

Tackles: Grimm (106)

Sacks: Brown (6.5)

Interceptions: Carmichael* (6)

Spring answers

1. Thomas makes a statement. Backup quarterback Logan Thomas -- at least according to the statistics -- had a better spring than Joseph “Ju-Ju” Clayton. Based on his performances, it would seem Thomas is the front-runner to back up Taylor this season, but coach Frank Beamer wasn’t ready to solidify that after the spring game. In six spring scrimmages, Thomas had no interceptions and Clayton threw five.

2. Evans can run -- over defenders. If Evans is suffering any lingering effects from last year’s torn ACL, it wasn’t evident during his first carry of the spring game when he ran over teammate and safety Antone Exum. Evans told reporters he’s feeling the best he has since he was injured. Beamer said he has no concerns about Evans being 100 percent this fall.

3. Strong secondary. It was one of the highlights this spring on a defense tasked with replacing six starters, including two in the secondary. Exum was one of the players who stood out in the spring game, as he had three pass breakups.

Fall questions

1. How will Evans and Williams be used? The spring game was a time to evaluate younger players, and with Williams sidelined for a bruised knee, there were no answers as to how the Hokies’ backfield might look this fall with two 1,000-yard rushers.

2. Will David Wilson redshirt? Wilson is a talented athlete in a crowded backfield, but he didn’t want to redshirt last season and played sparingly as a true freshman. Beamer said after the spring game that the coaches will make a decision “at the proper time.” That wasn’t this spring.

3. Groundhog’s Day in the kicking game. For the third straight year, the Hokies need a new place-kicker. If the season started tomorrow, Chris Hazley would handle field goals, Justin Myer kickoffs and Brian Saunders would punt, but the competition will continue this fall when freshmen join the team.

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 22, 2010
It's time to talk NFL draft ...

  • For the second straight year, Maryland could have another first-round NFL draft pick, but opinions vary on offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
  • Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas could end up near my area code if he's chosen by the Baltimore Ravens. Welcome to B-more, Bay-Bay.
  • Thomas' big day will mean a lot to his entire community.
  • Here's a look at Georgia Tech's draft prospects.
  • Former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller has the chance to become only the second Tiger chosen in the top 10 of the draft since 1982.
  • Virginia is banking on former cornerback Chris Cook as its lone player with a chance of moving into the opening round.
  • Miami's former hoopster-turned-tight-end could be the Canes' top draft pick.
  • History implies that UNC's Cam Thomas and Wake's Brandon Ghee will spend about five years in the NFL.
  • Will Chris Hazley become the Hokies' next one-year wonder at kicker?
  • FSU's potential draft picks could give the program a boost in recruiting -- not that it needs it.
  • Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is expected to resume throwing in about two weeks.