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Tech Talk Tuesday (football season only)
When: every Tuesday from 7:05-8:30
Station:  AM 910 in Richmond

Monday, August 13, 2001
by GalaxHokie


Coach Frank Beamer implied that Grant Noel has been the most consistent QB through the first five practices. He said he’d been most impressed with Noel’s throwing, although he’s thrown "a couple bad ones," as well. Said Noel is very much in control of himself and the situation at the line of scrimmage. His knee injury is not an issue, and FB said it’s probably just well that it happened when it did so that he could get the surgery and recovery out of the way.

Of the three freshman QB's, Clifton probably has the best arm overall – Bill Roth said Clifton just flicks the ball and it really carries. Bryan Randall’s arm is bothering him a little right now. FB said Hunt will "be OK in time," and hasn’t thrown as well as the other two freshmen. He indicated that Davis hasn’t thrown very well. Clifton has impressed the staff early-on with his performance in group work, rather than in passing drills, etc., leaving Beamer with the impression that Clifton is one who reacts well to the competition.

One of Beamer's first comments on the show was that the throwing wasn’t "what it has to be." He said some of the QB's didn’t appear focused/prepared based on their performance in Monday’s morning practice. Coach Bustle told the QB's they have to be making the most of every snap, every opportunity.


Jim Weaver and Coach Beamer commented about how great the new practice field is, how quickly it drains after a downpour, and how it will be the first lighted practice field for VT – all of which mean more efficient use of practice time, rather than having to move at the end of practice when weather or darkness sets in.

Beamer looked ahead to what the complex will be like once a new football field house is built near the practice field-coliseum-Jamerson-Merryman area, and how the compactness of it all, with the woods on one side as well, will block the wind.

The official groundbreaking for the end zone stadium addition will be on the Friday before the UConn game. $8 million has been raised toward the $36 million project during the "silent" phase, with a goal of $10 million by start of the season. The end zone project will add 11,100 seats by the 2002 season. In response to a question, Weaver said the courting continues of a major sponsor whose name/corporation could be associated with the naming of the stadium expansion.

Weaver explained his position on banning any painting of the end zones this season. After spending $1.5 million on the playing surface, he said, it’s important that the root structure be allowed to develop properly. He also worries in general about players slipping on a painted surface. The end zone paint ban isn’t forever, he said, and will be reconsidered after this season. All this led Bill Roth to quip: "We are gonna paint the lines and numbers on the field, right Jim?"


It sounds as if the possibility of legal action or restraining order by Temple is causing the Big East members to tread lightly in demanding Temple’s exit from the conference after this season. Bill Roth brought the matter up and asked Weaver how he’s approaching it schedule-wise, since the situation is up in the air. Weaver said the likelihood is that Temple will be on the Big East schedule in 2002 in view of the fact that all involved want to settle without going to court, even if it means the Owls play in the conference for one or two more years. Weaver said that leaves him informally holding a spot for Temple and not committing to any games as replacement unless it’s something he could get out of.

The Big East presidents made the right decision in ousting Temple, he said, because its football program simply doesn’t meet the conference’s criteria. He said it was embarrassing to Temple back in 1999 when VT went to Philadelphia with the second ranked team in the country and Michael Vick at QB and the "announced crowd" of 25,000 included 15,000 to 18,000 VT fans.


Running backs: Coach Beamer said playing time will sort itself out on the field. Lee Suggs is a better back than ever – he’s got a burst and he’s strong. The coach was proud of the strong spring effort by Keith Burnell. Great competition is going on. Wayne Ward is back and "we think a lot of him." Kevin Jones "is certainly a legit player," as are the other two RB recruits – Hamilton and Humes. Beamer projects Hamilton with the potential to become an Eddie George type of back after a year in the strength program.

Kickers: Carter Warley kicked Monday and his back is feeling good. His back is a big question mark, but so far it is responding. Beamer is considering using Mollerup to do the kickoffs to take pressure off of Warley kicking too much. "That’s a possibility." Otherwise, Beamer is working daily with punter Vinnie Burns toward him getting the ball off sooner. Beamer wants to get the motion faster – backup punter Peaslee is better at getting the ball off. Burns is faster when he’s being timed and they are really focusing on this facet. He has kicked well so far and Beamer has already named him the starting punter.

Man size: Whose size has impressed Beamer as far as development since last spring? Off the top of his head, he mentioned tight ends Mazetta and Jackson, lineman James Miller, T.J. Jackson, Adibi, then Cobb. Whereas the OL used to laugh at Cobb’s size at DE, Roth said, he’s up to 235 now. Beamer added that Beasley is big as a house, and Ben Taylor has filled out.

Back from the knife: Twenty-two surgeries have been done on VT players since last fall, but everybody seems recovered. Houseright feels good about his knee. Beamer said Mike Gentry "goes on and on" about how Larry Austin has come back from ACL surgery and the physical preparation he’s made in the off-season.

Other: Coach Ward is high on Vincent Fuller and says he’s pushing Pile at safety, according to Roth. Deon Provitt hopes to return to practice in several days after suffering a hip flexor injury the first day out. Beamer talked about the depth at corner/safety/whip/rover: 10 very talented athletes back there. In response to a question, Beamer said it is not likely that McCadam could gain another year of eligibility due to time he missed with an injury back at Colorado State. Andre Davis and Ronyell Whitaker may split time as punt returners. WR Richard Johnson may get a look at kickoff returner as backup to Suggs (conversation was a little unclear about this). On the OL, center Steve DeMasi came back in great shape, and Jake Grove’s back is holding up.

DeAngelo: Someone in the audience said they’d just been at a Rotary Club meeting where Coach Hite had allegedly stated that DeAngelo Hall is the best freshman player he’s ever seen, period. Beamer agreed that he’s very talented, but said it’s all according to how you develop. He went on to say that the 2001 recruiting class is probably the best VT has ever had.

Work ethic: Beamer said Coach Gentry was very pleased with the off-season effort of the team in the strength and conditioning program. "You can get ahead of people (other programs) in the summer," Beamer said.


  • Jim Weaver spent some time explaining scheduling decisions and the tradeoffs involved. Basically a rehash.
  • Hokie Pride Day is Friday Aug. 31, per the Roanoke Valley Hokie Club. Hokies everywhere are urged to wear maroon and fly their VT flags and banners.
  • More than 100 women have registered already for next year’s second annual VT ladies football clinic with Coach Beamer. The date is July 20, 2002. (Bill Roth said his buddy Mike Burnop was disappointed at not getting into this year’s session, and may buy a wig and sneak in next time.)
  • Retired VT President Bill Lavery was in the audience at Gobblertown, where the Hokie Hotline show originates each Monday evening. Roth noted that it was Lavery (and AD Dutch Baughman) who hired VT alum Beamer from Murray State. "Best day I ever had," Lavery called out. "Me too," said Beamer, who thanked Lavery for giving him the chance.
  • Wednesday will be the first practice in pads. First scrimmage is this Saturday afternoon. (Closed to public, open to news media). The staff is spacing out two-a-days: the team went twice Monday, goes once Tuesday (plus weights and meetings), once Thursday, twice Friday, afternoon scrimmage Saturday after special teams work in the morning, once Sunday, etc.
  • VT enters the 2002 season ranked ninth in the AP and coaches’ polls – its highest preseason ranking ever. Coach Beamer said he’d like to think that’s a sign of the times, that when you are up there consistently that people just associate your name with that level and it shows up in the voting.
  • Ain’t it grand: Monday was Day 681 of Virginia Tech's possession of the Commonwealth Cup!

-- GalaxHokie


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