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|Tech Sports News|
Top Running Back to Visit Hokies
by Chris Horne
Looking to continue the string of great running backs in the Virginia Tech program, the Hokies hope to impress one of the best running back prospects in the nation in Pompano Beach, Florida, native Tyrone Moss. The 5-10, 215-pound Ely High School standout will pay an official visit to the Hokies this weekend.
Last night, Moss broke Emmitt Smith’s consecutive 100-yard game streak in the state of Florida, rushing for over 100 yards in his 29th straight contest (and yes, "last night" isn't a misprint; Ely played a Thursday night game). Moss rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-0 victory over Cooper City. Moss is also Broward County’s All-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Ely Head Coach Steve Davis calls Moss "The best player I have ever coached…no doubt. He runs with power and tenacity. He breaks tackles and has excellent vision."
Moss' tough running style and production have earned him a five-star rating by Insiders.com, a four-star rating by Rivals.com, Superprep All-American status, and a spot in Tom Lemming’s preseason Top 100 list.
You don't need rankings to tell how good Moss is going to be. For a glimpse of how good Moss really is, one needed to witness a Moss 45-yard touchdown run in a Division 5A playoff game last year. It was there that he had what would be the greatest run Coach Steve Davis has ever seen.
"It was 4th and 1," said Davis. "We were on the opponent’s 45 yard line. He broke, literally, like eight tackles and scored from 45 yards out. That was the best play I have ever seen."
While Moss still has a ways to go to match the man whose record he broke last night, he does compare favorably with the Cowboy superstar, according to coach Davis.
"He’s a little bit faster than Emmitt was at this level," said Davis. "What Emmitt has accomplished since is unreal. I don’t want to compare, but I do see great things in Tyrone’s future."
Scary thought for whoever has to face this awesome prospect. Comforting thought for Hokie fans, as Virginia Tech has made his final six. Big East rival Miami (FL), Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee and North Carolina make up the rest of the list with North Carolina, Michigan State, and Miami (FL) almost certain to get three of Moss' four remaining official visits.
-- Chris Horne
Note from Will Stewart: sources tell TechSideline.com that among the plans for Moss is to have him participate in "The Walk," starting at 11:05 a.m. The Walk proceeds from the Southwest corner of the stadium up Spring Road (along the sidewalk behind the West stands), into the Merryman Center.The DE's Step Up
by Will Stewart
One of the big keys for success for the Hokie football team this year, at least defensively, was to have their junior defensive ends -- Cols Colas, Jim Davis, and Nathaniel Adibi, step up and pressure the quarterback. Sack production from the defensive end position has plummeted since Corey Moore departed after the 1999 season, and it was critical that it improve for Tech to have a good season defensively.
During the Beamer era at Tech, sacks from the DE position peaked in 1998 and 1999, the heyday of Corey Moore and John Engelberger. It dropped off dramatically after those two graduated following the 1999 season. Here's a look:
No VT defensive end registered more than 5 sacks in either 2000 or 2001. Nathaniel Adibi had 5 in 2000, and Jim Davis had 4.5 in 2001, and those figures were both tops on the team, a far cry from what Tech coaches like to see out of their top sackers.
So how are the DE's doing so far this year? The answer is, pretty darn good. Just six games into the season, the defensive ends have 16 sacks. At that rate, in a 13-game season, they'll pile up 34.5 sacks, topping the mark set in 1999. Of course, the Hokies only played 11 games in 1999; this year's DE sack pace, projected over 11 games, is still a commendable 29.
The charge has been led by Adibi, who has six sacks, equaling his career total heading into the season. Jim Davis and Cols Colas both have 4.5 sacks, and at this rate, all three of them may hit double-digit sacks this year. Lamar Cobb has the other sack.
If three players tallied double-digit sacks this season, that would be a truly special achievement, because under Frank Beamer, the Hokies have never had two players record double-digit sacks in a season, much less three. The closest the Hokies have gotten under Beamer is 1995, when Cornell Brown had 14 sacks and J.C. Price had 8. (For those who are wondering, Engelberger had 7.5 and 7 sacks in 1998 and 1999, when Corey Moore totaled 13.5 and 17, respectively.)
Again, this year's Hokies have 13 games to do it in, instead of just 11, but it would be impressive nonetheless.
In 2000, the Hokies only had 28 sacks as a team, and in 2001, they had just 30 (after averaging 44 per season from 1993-1999). This year's team already has 21, and is projected to total 38.5 over 11 games and 45.5 over 13 games.
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