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   Welcome to TSLMail #95 - Friday, September 5, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

New Hokie Plate, New "Crazy for the Hokies" Contest
by Will Stewart,

The VT Licensing Department has kicked off their annual "Crazy for the Hokies" contest, and this one is a little easier, simpler, and more rewarding than past "Crazy for the Hokies" contests.

This year's contest is to promote a new VT license plate now available from the Virginia DMV. In the past, Hokie fans have been able to choose from plates that had the round school seal in the middle, or the stylized War Memorial logo on the left.

Now, there's a new plate, one that features (at last!) the VT "square-root-of-one" sports logo.

Official seal plate School shield plate Sport logo plate

The plate on the right is so new that it's not even shown on the DMV's web site yet, so I had to steal the image from VT Licensing's web site.

To date, the first two Virginia Tech plates are by far the number one sellers of all the college and university plates. Virginia Tech is in first place with 10,523 sold each year, while the University of Virginia is in second place with 4,679. Last year Virginia Tech made over $137,490 from the sales of these plates, and has totaled $637,320 over the past 11 years.

This year's "Crazy for the Hokiesí New Plate" sweepstakes also sports a car theme, with four winners who are drawn at random receiving a total of $10,000 in cash. VT Licensing is sponsoring the contest with the cooperation of Duncan Automotive Networks.

"We are excited about the new plate as well as teaming with the Duncan Automotive Network to kick off this yearís sweepstakes," said Locke White, director of Licensing and Trademarks. "The new plate should bring in a substantial amount of additional revenue to the university."

To enter the contest, any Hokie fan can make their entry form on a postcard or use the official entry form found in every Duncan Automotive Network dealership. Entries can be sent in on any standard postcard by writing in your name, home address, daytime phone number, and the phrase "I am crazy for the new plate."

The postcard entries can either be individually mailed to Virginia Tech Licensing (Visitorís Center, Blacksburg, VA 24061), or to save postage, they can be dropped off in bulk at any Duncan dealership (Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Pulaski, Roanoke, Salem, Rocky Mount).

Official entry forms can also be found at the dealerships. Entries will be taken from August 15 to November 17. There is no limit to the number of entries someone may submit and the sweepstakes is open to all ages.

First prize for the sweepstakes is $5,000 in cash, with the second prizewinner receiving $3,000, and two third-prize winners getting $1,000 each. The winners will be chosen by a random drawing and will be announced at halftime during the Virginia Tech-Boston College football game on November 22. The winners will be announced on the JumboTron.

For more information, see Crazy for the Hokies on VT's web site.

Licensing and Trademarks has also announced a special licensing partnership with the Duncan Automotive Network that will let all their customers "Hokie-ize" their purchase of any new or used car from any of their dealerships. They will be able to choose from an assortment of accessories to turn their car into a Hokie shrine. For more details, contact the Duncan Automotive dealership near you.

Another Warm-Fuzzy about ACC Membership
by Will Stewart,

I made a radio appearance this week on WXGI AM 950 (Richmond) during Mike Harris' Tech Beat radio show, and one of the many things we talked about was media coverage of the Hokies when they enter the ACC next year.

One of the uphill climbs the Hokies had to make during the 1990's was getting coverage in the state of Virginia from media that traditionally covered the Virginia Cavaliers, ACC sports, and not much else. By going to BCS bowls in 1995 and 1996, then playing in the national championship game in 1999, the Hokies managed to pull themselves up on equal footing with UVa in the state of Virginia with regards to media coverage -- at least, of their football team.

But outside the state, in neighboring Maryland and North Carolina, the Hokies were still pretty much persona non grata, with the coverage being of the ACC teams and sports.

With Tech's entry into the ACC (in just 9 months and 26 days), you'll see a big change in media coverage of the Hokies, and as a matter of fact, it's already happening. Major media outlets like the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer have been giving the Hokie football team some ink, and with their own writers, not just AP wire reports.

I was reminded of VT's good fortune from a media standpoint when I received the latest issue of the ACC Area Sports Journal. It was their 2003 ACC football preview issue, and sure enough, in addition to previewing the nine current ACC members, they previewed Miami and Virginia Tech as well, with articles that were just as big and as comprehensive as the previews of the other nine schools.

Near the back, they have a single preseason quote from every football coach in the ACC, including -- you guessed it -- Miami's Larry Coker and Tech's Frank Beamer. You would have thought the Hokies and Canes were already in the ACC, with the ink they got from the AASJ.

It may seem like a small thing, but it's not. The ACC Area Sports Journal is a high-quality publication covering ACC sports with an unbiased view, a publication the likes of which simply isn't produced for the Big East (because no one could sell enough subscriptions trying to pitch such a publication to what passes for "fans" of most of the Big East schools).

This is just one small example of the many, many benefits that ACC membership brings with it for Virginia Tech. There are advantages that we can't even dream of yet, and won't know about until the Hokies are actually in the league.

The WXGI Tech Beat with Mike Harris is on Wednesday, from 7-8:30 p.m., and Chris Horne and I will be regular guests, with Chris discussing VT recruiting and me spending 20 minutes trying not to make a fool of myself. You can catch it on am 950 in Richmond or on on the Internet. Numbers to call are 804/345-0950 or 1/877-994-4950. The show will air every Wednesday in this slot, including open weeks. The one exception is the West Virginia game, which is on a Wednesday. The show will air at noon that day.

You can check out the ACC Area Sports Journal at I highly recommend it.

And no, we didn't get paid for either one of those last two plugs. But to check out a plug for someone who did pay, see our ad for new sponsor Valley Basement Systems near the top of this TSLMail. If you've got a leaky basement, they're the people to see.

Speaking of a guy who knows a little about recruiting, let's move on to someone with some real information ...

This Week in Recruiting

by Chris Horne

Earlier this week, I released my Preseason Top 30 for the state of Virginia, and it was quite a change from last May's Pre-Summer Top 30. The new top 30 is headed by:

1. DE Olu Hall (Robinson HS, Fairfax)
2. S
Kent Hicks (Culpeper HS)
3. WR
Eddie Royal (Westfield HS, Chantilly)
4. LB
Andrew Bowman (Hermitage HS, Richmond)
5. LB
Jerod Mayo (Kecoughtan HS, Hampton)

For the complete list and commentary, click here (it's a free link).

The Hokies kept the commitments coming during the end of the summer, securing a verbal from local product Sam Wheeler. Wheeler, a 6-4, 235-pound jumbo athlete who is a dual-sport star, may head to Hargrave before going to Virginia Tech. Academics are not the issue Ė Wheeler, who won't turn 18 until after he graduates high school, simply wants to be ready to play D-1A football before arriving at Virginia Tech.

Mammoth Forest Hills OL/DT Marque Hall lists UNC, NCSU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee in his top five. He will spend many weekends checking out football games for his favorite schools. Virginia Tech likes Hall as a defensive tackle.

VT is in the top three along with Virginia and Ohio State for Gar-Field defensive end Clint Sintim. Sintim wants to visit Tech for a football game during the fall, but may not officially visit either in-state program. He wants to use his officials on schools he has not seen before, and he has already seen VT and UVa.

JP Stevens (Edison, NJ) offensive guard prospect Jeremy Zuttah says the Hokies are "near the top of my list." That is good news for Tech fans, as Zuttah will narrow his list to five by the end of October. He is one of the top prospects in the state of New Jersey and has offers from a long list of impressive schools.

In what has been the case for quite some time, Virginia Tech is still the leader for Northside (Roanoke, VA) defensive end Brandon Holland. Holland hopes to announce his decision sometime within the next two months. Needless to say, the Hokies are in good shape.

Virginia Tech was one of the first schools to call DeMatha Catholic (MD) wide receiver Derrick McPhearson. McPhearson likes the Hokies and may take an official visit later this fall. Maryland has to be considered a favorite here, although McPhearson stated he would not name a favorite in order to keep an open mind towards other programs.

Safety Kent Hicks (Culpeper, VA), my #2-rated player in the state, listed the Hokies as one of his top schools, along with BC, TN, MD, and FSU or Miami (FL). Hicks will take an official visit to BC on the weekend of September 20th. No other visits have been set up.

For updates and information on all these players and more, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.

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  • Feature Articles
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As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website,

For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Wide Right: Randoms
by Jeff Cockey, 9/5/03, 8:50 am
"Randoms" is a Wide Right column housing the whimsical tidbits that consume my day. Most are football related, but as with all my columns, a small dose of the arbitrary is thrown in.
in TSL Pass

JMU Preview
by Jeff Ouellet, 9/4/03, 1:30 pm
This Saturday a crowd of over 60,000 Virginia Tech fans will see what is effectively a refereed scrimmage between the ninth-rated Hokies and the James Madison Dukes. This weekendís game should make David versus Goliath look like a pick Ďem, as JMU simply doesnít have the horses to hang with the Hokies.
in Football

Heroes and Goats
by Matt McKinley, 9/4/03, 9:15 am
I acquired a new boss a few weeks ago. Why is this relevant? Well, I had to explain, yet again, why I wasnít able to speak on Tuesday. This is a condition that, gauging from the crowd noise on Sunday, must be a common one throughout the Hokie Nation. And I donít think itís going to change soon. So, a bit of advice to bosses everywhere: No early-week presentations for the Hokie faithful in your department.
in Voice of the Fan

Hokie Hotline Notes
by Wayne Clevenger, 9/3/03, 10:00 am
The opening segment began with Roth pointing out that VT had moved up to #9 in the Coaches poll to match their same ranking in the AP Poll. That marks the 72nd consecutive poll where VT has been ranked and that streak is second only to the University of Michigan. Roth went on to praise the game Bryan Randall played against UCF and announced that heíd been voted the Big Eastís offensive player of the week.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Save Our Tailgate
by Jim Alderson, 9/3/03, 9:30 am
It was a superb tailgate. Our festivities began with a Saturday afternoon [and night, as it turned out] Seasonís Eve keg party on my brother Tomís Roanoke deck and picked back up Sunday morning at our customary tailgating camp in the Commuter Lot. It was a wonder of Hokie fellowship.
in TSL Columnists

TSL's Preseason Top 30 In-State Recruits
by Chris Horne, 9/2/03, 11:20 pm
The Pre-Season Top 30 looks significantly different from its predecessor, the Pre-Summer Top 30. The main reason for these changes is that I was able to thoroughly view and study more videos and talk to more coaches over the course of the summer. After studying these videos, here is my opinion on how the Virginia State Top 30 should be ranked.
in Football Recruiting

UCF 2003 Game Analysis
by Will Stewart,, 9/2/03, 3:50 pm
Central Florida came into Blacksburg, along with 65,000 Hokie fans, expecting to get a healthy dose of the Virginia Tech running game, featuring Heisman hopeful Kevin Jones. What they got instead was a completely unexpected barrage via the air from Hokie QBs Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick.
in TSL Pass

UCF: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
by Gary Cope, 9/1/03, 11:30 pm
So which do you want first: the good news or the bad news? Taking into consideration that Tech won by 21 points, I think we have to start with the good news and then tackle the tape-rewinding, hindsight-being-twenty-twenty, knit-picking, Monday-morning quarterbacking breakdown of the game.
in TSL Pass

Marcus Vick, Brandon Manning Suspended
by Will Stewart,, 9/1/03, 10:05 pm
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer announced Monday night that backup quarterback Marcus Vick and starting whip linebacker Brandon Manning would be suspended for this Saturday's James Madison game for unspecified violations of team policies.
in News and Notes

#10 Virginia Tech 49, UCF 28
by Will Stewart,, 9/1/03, 2:00 am
Virginia Tech quarterbacks Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick combined for 380 yards passing to lead the tenth-ranked Hokies over Central Florida, 49-28, in the season opener for both teams.
in Football

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