ACC: Mike Goforth

VT CB Antone Exum cleared to play

October, 1, 2013

Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum has been cleared to play after an eight-month rehab on his injured right knee.

In a statement released Tuesday, head athletic trainer Mike Goforth said Dr. James Andrews cleared Exum to return to practice without any restrictions. Exum, who tore his ACL in a pickup basketball game last January, is expected to continue rehabilitation for the remainder of the season.

"His playing time for North Carolina and all future games will be determined by how well the right knee tolerates practices this week and how quickly he re-establishes pre-injury cardiovascular endurance and pre-injury skill levels," Goforth said.

Without Exum, Virginia Tech has relied on two freshmen: Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller. Both have had outstanding starts to the season. Facyson is tied for first in the ACC with seven passes defended and leads the league with four interceptions. Fuller has two interceptions and five passes defended. It will be interesting to see how the Hokies incorporate Exum back into the lineup given how well Facyson has played in that spot.

Exum was a second-team All-ACC selection last season, starting all 13 games at cornerback. He does have starting experience at safety, but it appears that Virginia Tech plans on keeping Exum at cornerback. On Monday night, Exum expressed his happiness on Twitter:

Virginia Tech injury update

September, 18, 2011
Dyrell Roberts suffered a broken left arm in Saturday's game on the opening kickoff, according to head athletic trainer Mike Goforth, and he is likely out for the year. Roberts would be eligible for a redshirt if he does not return this season.

Offensive tackle Andrew Lanier suffered a sprained left MCL and will be re-evaluated later Sunday afternoon, but as of now, he is listed as probable for Marshall.

Hokies' helmets help in concussion study

July, 19, 2011
There's some pretty cool science going on at Virginia Tech, and it's caused the Hokies to trade in their helmets for a new model.

Researchers at Virginia Tech have produced the first specific model star ranking for the likely concussion resistance of helmets, similar to crash-test ratings for automobiles. The results? Frank Beamer and his staff found their model to be unacceptable:

LAST SEASON, THE VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES wore the Riddell VSR4 -- the very helmet Stefan Duma's research found unsafe. For the 2011 season, Virginia Tech will wear the top-rated Riddell Revo or Speed models, with each player choosing whichever better fits the quirks of his head shape. Considering the Hokies have four helmet color combinations and dress 72 for games, that's a truckload of new helmets. "My equipment manager has wanted to get rid of the VSR4 for years," says Mike Goforth, the Virginia Tech trainer. "He has long believed the new designs are safer. Finally, he has research to back him up."

VT's Lyndell Gibson out 6-8 months

December, 8, 2010
Virginia Tech starting linebacker Lyndell Gibson, who suffered a left scapular fracture during the second quarter of the ACC championship game against Florida State, will have season-ending surgery on his shoulder next week at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg and miss the Discover Orange Bowl against Stanford.

Gibson had a CT scan and met with the doctors on Tuesday. A full recovery is expected in six to eight months, according to head athletic trainer Mike Goforth. Gibson was fourth on the team in tackles with 66, had six tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries, two sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

The Hokies will now turn to redshirt freshman Tariq Edwards, who replaced Gibson in the title game. He has played in all 13 games but will likely make his first start. Edwards has 21 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Virginia Tech's Rivers has successful surgery

March, 4, 2010
Virginia Tech starting linebacker Barquell Rivers had successful surgery Thursday to repair his left quadriceps tendon, and is expected to miss five to six months, the school announced.

“Knowing Barquell Rivers, with his toughness and raw strength, we are confident he will have a successful rehab over the summer and will be back to help us in the 2010 season,” head athletic trainer Mike Goforth said in a prepared statement.

Goforth said Rivers will miss spring practices, and is questionable for the start of fall practice in August, but is expected to make a full recovery. Rivers had 96 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss, and a fumble recovery in his first year as a starter this past season.

VT's Evans out for bowl game

December, 15, 2009
Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans, who tore his left ACL this past summer and missed the entire season, won't play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl despite returning to practice on a limited basis, athletic trainer Mike Goforth said today.

"He will not play," Goforth said. "It doesn't make sense to put him out there and risk it. We're looking more at spring ball, when he can come out there 100 percent."

Goforth said Evans will travel to Atlanta for the bowl game against Tennessee, but won't dress. Evans has still been limited in practices and has done some individual drill work, but hasn't participated in any team drills. Goforth said Evans is still what he would consider to be "ahead of schedule."

"Another month from now we probably could've swung it," Goforth said, "but I just didn't think it was right to him. ... As much as I'd love to push the envelope, I think it'd be too great a risk for him. He's had a great rehab; he's worked his tail off and I've very proud of him."

VT's Evans undergoes successful knee surgery

August, 14, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech tailback Darren Evans underwent successful knee surgery Friday afternoon at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, the school announced Friday. According to head athletic trainer Mike Goforth, Evans had the ACL in his left knee repaired and the lateral meniscus was trimmed. Dr. Marc Siegel performed the surgery.

Evans, a redshirt sophomore, will begin rehab immediately and is expected to be back for spring practice.

Virginia Tech's medical staff not to blame

August, 13, 2009

Posted by'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."

Virginia Tech practice notes

August, 7, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Here is a thorough compliation of news, notes and quotes from Virginia Tech's sports information department from Day 1 of practices. There are some good position battles to watch, some position changes, and one key lingering injury. (Again, each school's sports information director is at practice, they're the ones writing these releases, I'm just sharing what is e-mailed to me when they contain interesting or valuable information for fans):

• Tailback Kenny Lewis Jr., was not at practice and will be out indefinitely while trying to recover from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the Western Kentucky game last season. Lewis has undergone four surgeries for the injury -- two to repair the tendon (which he re-tore while slipping in the shower) and two to clean out an infected wound. According to Mike Goforth, Lewis still plans on trying to play this season.

"I think realistically you're not going to see him out there the first three or four games," Goforth said.

Lewis, a senior from Danville, Va., still could redshirt the season. He played as a true freshman in 2006.

• A lot of attention from the media was paid to David Wilson, one of Tech's highly touted recruits. Wilson, a tailback from Danville, Va., currently sits at No. 4 on the depth chart at tailback, and while he finds himself in a similar situation to Ryan Williams a year ago, he told the media that he desperately wants to play this year, even if it means as only a kick and punt returner (of course, he may have to beat Williams out for those roles).

"Even if things don't work out for me at running back, I still want to do that," Wilson said of the return roles. "I've been playing football ever since I was 8 years old. I can't imagine missing a season, so I'm doing everything I can to get on the field."

• Logan Thomas, arguably the top recruit in the 2009 class, will begin his career at quarterback and received a lot of reps as the third-team guy in Thursday's practice. Thomas threw for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns his senior season at Brookville High in Lynchburg, Va., but many projected him as a tight end. Tech's staff wants to see how he fares the next couple of weeks at quarterback first before determining a different position.

"I think he's got the ability to play quarterback," coach Frank Beamer said. "That's what we've got to figure out -- where he is on this team. Is he a second quarterback? He's got height, he's got a good throwing motion, and he's smart. He's got some things going for him. Right now, every period and every practice is important for evaluation. If he's going to be the second quarterback, then maybe we could use him in some H-back stuff and get him involved that way. You could think about him on a lot of special teams, too.

"If you're going to play him, we want to play him a lot."

• A lot of eyes will be on backup quarterback Ju-Ju Clayton in the early going to see if he can progress into a solid No. 2 guy behind starter Tyrod Taylor. As most know, Taylor has been injured each of his first two seasons at Tech, which makes it imperative that the Hokies find a quality backup now that Sean Glennon has departed. Clayton reshaped his body during the offseason, getting his weight down to 208 pounds, and threw the ball well in the first practice.

"I'm more comfortable with the playbook," Clayton said. "I have a better understanding of what we're trying to do. I understand the situation. It's always critical. You've always got to have someone be able to step in there if someone goes down just so the team doesn't lose a beat."

• There weren't many surprises on the opening-day depth chart, but there were a couple. Chris Drager and Nekos Brown were listed as co-No. 1's at defense end. Drager was moved from tight end to defensive end following spring practice.

Also, David Wang, a true freshman, and Richard Graham, a redshirt senior, were listed as co-No. 2's at right guard. Wang, the brother of current offensive tackle Ed Wang, impressed in recent strength testing, bench pressing 400 pounds.

Finally, Prince Parker and Randall Dunn have both been moved from receiver to tight end.

And a few non-practice notes:

• Several players are garnering preseason attention from some major awards early on, with more surely to be recognized later. Sophomore Darren Evans was named to the "Watch List" for the Doak Walker Award, while tight end Greg Boone is a candidate for the John Mackey Award.

• The 105 players reporting for Thursday's opening practice checked in Wednesday and went through the gauntlet of paperwork, heights and weights, physicals, blood work, insurance, parking, etc. The team had an organizational meeting that night in preparation for the first day of practice. The day began bright and early with a wake-up at 7 a.m., breakfast, meetings at 8 a.m., followed by a lift for the varsity squad, lunch, academics for the freshmen, more meetings, practice, dinner, a team meeting and, you guessed it, more meetings. They'll do it all again Friday.

• Once again this year, Beamer will open the three preseason scrimmages to the public in Lane Stadium. The dates are: Saturday, Aug. 15 (3:15-5:30 pm); Saturday, Aug. 22 (2-4:15 pm); and Wednesday, Aug 26 (4:45-7 pm). As always, no video taping devices of any kind are allowed inside Lane Stadium during these scrimmages. All other Virginia Tech practices are closed to the public.

• Saturday's practice will be a little earlier than normal as Beamer will hustle off the field and catch a flight to Canton, Ohio for Saturday night's NFL Hall of Fame Ceremony, as former Hokie Bruce Smith will be inducted as part of the Class of 2009.

• The team will once again help with on-campus move-in this preseason as the players will work in groups to help haul luggage, fans, beds, TVs and whatever else the students bring up to their dorms on Friday, Aug. 21 in the morning. They'll have a team picnic for lunch and then practice that afternoon.

• The team will be in helmets and shorts again tomorrow (Friday), will go to helmets and shoulder pads on Saturday and will go live in full pads on Monday.

Now that's a practice report.

Hokies, Holt adapting to new quarterback situation

October, 29, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

As a fifth-year senior who already graduated, and a third-string quarterback and backup wide receiver who has watched more games than he had played in, Cory Holt could have understandably closed his career at Virginia Tech after last season.

 Doug Benc/Getty Images
 Virginia Tech's Cory Holt is preparing to start at quarterback against Maryland on Nov. 6.

He thought about it. Just not for too long.

"I'm not going to give up on this team, I'm not going to quit," he said. "And they're not going to give up on me. And they haven't for the last four years."

The Hokies certainly aren't going to give up on Holt now. Not when he could be their starting quarterback on Nov. 6 against Maryland.

On the first play of last weekend's game at Florida State, Virginia Tech starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a left high ankle sprain. In the third quarter, backup Sean Glennon dropped down and writhed in pain with a left ankle sprain. Both of them are wearing a protective boot until "at least Thursday or Friday," according to trainer Mike Goforth, and will be listed as questionable for the Maryland game.

While Holt was warming up at halftime at Florida State, receivers coach Kevin Sherman approached him and asked him if he was ready "just in case you have to go in." Holt was joking when he said, "yeah." He didn't really think he'd be playing.

After all, Holt hadn't taken a snap at quarterback in six weeks.

That changed within minutes, and Holt was suddenly searching for his helmet and running the Hokies' offense without even getting a chance to talk to quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain.

"He ran the offense just like you wanted him to," O'Cain said. "I'm very proud of him because he was in a very tough situation and did a great job."

(Read full post)

VT defensive back out for season

September, 28, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Just saw this on Virginia Tech's Web site this morning:

Starting rover Davon Morgan suffered a torn ACL of his right knee Saturday night against Nebraska and is out for the rest of the season. Morgan had started all five games. According to head athletic trainer Mike Goforth, surgery is pending.

Morgan, a sophomore who moved from free safety in the spring, had 18 tackles this season, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry.

Graham set to step in for Hokies' DeChristopher

September, 4, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech lost more than its game to East Carolina, it also lost its starting right tackle, Blake DeChristopher, for two to four weeks. Among his ailments are a bruised kidney, a pretty severely bruised right knee and right quad. The injuries were sustained on an interception play where head athletic trainer Mike Goforth said DeChristopher "was clipped by the East Carolina player."

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said DeChristopher is "feeling rough" and can't practice, but Richard Graham is ready to fill in. Graham started the first six games of 2007 at left guard.

"He doesn't feel well," Beamer said of DeChristopher. "We've got to get him feeling good again and the doctors will tell us when he can practice. It's kind of an unusual thing as far as I've been around, but he'll be back as quick as he can.

"Blake DeChristopher is such a tough kid and wants to play and wants to be good. I feel for him. An offensive line, that's where you need to work together and hang in there and know how that guy next to you is going to react. It's getting us out of smoothness there. I thought our offensive line made progress, and we have. We're getting better all the time, but it is what it is. Richard Graham is set to step in there. He's a fighter and a very smart guy."

Victor "Macho" Harris is doing more in practice and Goforth said he "looks promising for Saturday" but we'll know more after today's injury update.

Virginia Tech injury update

August, 11, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Just a quick injury update from Virginia Tech athletic trainer Mike Goforth:

Pending Surgeries (All three are out for the year).

  • Freshman wide receiver Marcus Davis (dislocated right shoulder)
  • Freshman defensive end Joe Jones (dislocated right shoulder)
  • Redshirt sophomore Ron Cooper (right ACL sprain)

With the loss of their four top wideouts from a year ago, Davis had a chance to play and had a good first week of practice, but both he and Jones were true freshmen and will redshirt now. Cooper was a backup at free safety. They haven't practiced in a couple of days so it's not a big surprise.

  • OL Aaron Brown, who has a history of shoulder problems, got the results of his MRI today and will discuss his options with his parents.

"He currently has three options that will all be on the table," Goforth said. "Predominately there are two that include surgery."

Hokie hotline: injury report

July, 31, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

There are some coaches (Ralph Friedgen) who think giving out injury information is a competitive advantage. In some cases, maybe it is.

Frank Beamer apparently isn't too hung up on that notion.

Remember the new injury release policy the coaches agreed to this season?

Well, Virginia Tech is taking it one step further.

I'm calling the Hokie hotline this season.

Head athletic trainer Mike Goforth couldn't be more accommodating. They've got a number to call (no, I'm not giving it to you) and Goforth will have an injury report -- if there needs to be one -- and a quote about it.

Goforth and his staff will also still be available to talk to during the open portions of practice and immediately following practice to discuss other issues, including rehabilitation methods or other general inquiries, and answer questions as long as they do not pertain to playing status.

Ask almost any reporter and they'll tell you that's just plain nice.

Goforth had the first hotline up at 4 p.m. Thursday in anticipation of Monday's first practice.

Of course I called it:

  • Aaron Brown currently has a shoulder injury and will not be able to participate in the first part of summer camp. He will be evaluated by Dr. Marc Siegel and we will release further information at a later date.
  • Sam Wheeler will be returning from a knee injury from last football season. He will start out in blue [jersey indicating limited contact] until he gets a re-evaluation by Dr. Marc Siegel. This should happen in the first day or two of practice and we anticipate him being cleared for the season.
  • Jahre Cheeseman is cleared following last year's fibula fracture that occurred during the spring.
  • Kenny Lewis is cleared following last year's offseason shoulder surgery.
  • Brandon Dillard is out for the year with an Achilles rupture and a repair by Dr. Siegel.
  • Kwamaine Battle is cleared following offseason shoulder surgery.
  • Clark Crum will be out the first couple days of practice and more will be released on that at a later date.

Now, see, when a program goes so far out of its way to help me get the news to you, there is absolutely no problem following this rule:

As always, injuries at practice can not be reported on in live chats, blogs or reported in any form until the end of practice when Goforth releases the information, either in person to the media, or on the hotline.




Friday, 11/28
Saturday, 11/29