News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Friday, March 8, 2002
by Will Stewart,

Football Notes

This week is Spring Break on the Tech campus, and when the football team gets back next week, they'll start their dreaded 6 a.m. winter workouts, in preparation for Spring Football.

Spring Football starts on March 23rd. Under NCAA rules, teams can have 15 spring practice sessions, including scrimmages and a spring game. The Hokies will practice on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday for a three-week stretch, and then will have a light week in week four, practicing on Wednesday before holding their Spring Game on Saturday, April 20th in Lane Stadium.

At this point in time, it is unknown when scrimmages will be held, but here's how the schedule shakes out:

Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
            March 23
Practice #1
March 24 March 25
Practice #2
March 26 March 27
Practice #3
March 28 March 29
Practice #4
March 30
Practice #5
March 31 April 1
Practice #6
April 2 April 3
Practice #7
April 4 April 5
Practice #8
April 6
Practice #9
April 7 April 8
Practice #10
April 9 April 10
Practice #11
April 11 April 12
Practice #12
April 13
Practice #13
April 14 April 15 April 16 April 17
Practice #14
April 18 April 19 April 20
Spring Game
2:00 p.m.
Lane Stadium

Typically, the team holds about one scrimmage a week, and the scrimmages are mostly situational scrimmages: goal line situations, short-yardage situations, etc.

Player Losses Since Season's End

LB T.J. Jackson -- transferred
QB Jason Davis -- transferred
OL Tim Selmon -- leaving team due to medical concerns
OL Thenus Franklin -- leaving team to concentrate on academics

Note: Jackson and Franklin already have their Tech degrees, and Selmon is expected to earn his this summer. Selmon never quite fully recovered from a knee injury.

Player Movement Since Season's End

Josh Spence, who has bounced back and forth between tailback, linebacker, and fullback, has been permanently placed at fullback. Spence has excelled in winter workouts, earning the coveted Elite Athlete honor. He is up to 232 pounds and runs a 4.51 forty, easily fastest among Tech's fullbacks, and third-fastest among all running backs (behind Kevin Jones at 4.38 and Cedric Humes at 4.43 -- note that Lee Suggs was not timed this winter). Physically, Spence appears to be preparing himself well for the fullback position.

In a well-publicized move, Keith Burnell will be moving from tailback to Rover (the strong safety in Tech's defensive scheme). Burnell ran a Tech record 4.21 forty in winter testing. He will be a redshirt senior next year and is expected to get his degree this May. Burnell has embraced the position change with open arms and has pledged to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

Injury Update

As of mid-February, this was the status of Tech's various injured and sick players:

Full speed for Spring Football: DT Kevin Hilton (foot), OL Luke Owens (elbow), DE Jim Davis (torn pec), DT Andrew Fleck.

Limited for Spring Football: TE Mike Jackson (knee), LB Deon Provitt (knee).

Status uncertain: RB Lee Suggs (knee). Lee is doing very well and will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Recovering: LB Chad Cooper (illness).

Schedule Finalized

And of course, with the addition of the 13th game against Arkansas State, here's how Tech's 2002 football schedule shapes up (the Spring Game is included for convenience).

2002 Virginia Tech Football Schedule
(Home games in bold)
Date Opponent/Score Time TV
Sat, 4/20 Spring Game 2:00 None
Sun, 8/25 Arkansas State
(Hispanic College Fund
Football Classic)
Sun, 9/1 LSU 2:30 ABC
Sat, 9/7 Open
Thu, 9/12 Marshall TBD ESPN
Sat, 9/21 at Texas A&M TBD  
Sat, 9/28 at Western Michigan TBD  
Sat, 10/5 Open
Thu, 10/10 at Boston College TBD ESPN
Sat, 10/19 Rutgers TBD  
Sat, 10/26 Temple TBD  
Sat, 11/2 Pittsburgh TBD  
Sat, 11/9 at Syracuse TBD  
Sat. 11/16 Open
Wed, 11/20 West Virginia TBD ESPN2
Sat, 11/30 Virginia TBD  
Sat, 12/7 at Miami TBD ABC

Open Invitation to Special Event in Northern Virginia

Hokie fans, spend an evening with Coach Frank Beamer, the Tech coaching staff, and friends of Virginia Tech, along with NFL greats Carroll Dale, Robert Brown and Ray Crittenden. Here are the details of the event:

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2002
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Westfields Marriott, 14750 Conference Center Drive, Chantilly, VA
Cost: $15 pre-registered, $20 for walkup. Cash or check only, all payments at the door.

Casual attire, cash bar.

The gathering will feature a special presentation announcing a special golf and hospitality membership opportunity to join Friends of Virginia Tech with the Northern Virginia Corporate Community.

For more information, or to pre-register to attend the event, email  [email protected] or call 800-441-8068.


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