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   Welcome to TSLMail #238 - Friday, August 4, 2006    
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Hokie NFL Rookies Ready for a Taste of Action

by Chris Coleman,

NFL Training Camp recently opened up for all the NFL teams, and 12 rookies out of Virginia Tech are getting their first taste of professional football. They’ll get an even bigger taste next weekend when the first week of exhibition games begins.

Nine Virginia Tech players were drafted in April during the two days of the NFL Draft, and three more, Tim Sandidge, Jason Murphy and Marcus Vick, were signed as free agents. They have been practicing with their teams since late July in anticipation of making their NFL debuts next weekend. Here is a look at each Tech rookie in the NFL, and what date their first game falls on.

NFL Debut of VT Rookies
Player Team First Game Time
James Anderson Carolina Panthers Aug. 12 vs. Bills 7:30pm
Justin Hamilton Cleveland Browns Aug. 10 vs. Eagles 7:30pm
Cedric Humes Pittsburgh Steelers Aug. 12 vs. Cardinals 4pm
Jeff King Carolina Panthers Aug. 12 vs. Bills 7:30pm
Jonathan Lewis Arizona Cardinals Aug. 12 vs. Steelers 4pm
Jimmy Martin San Diego Chargers Aug. 12 vs. Packers 10pm
Will Montomery Carolina Panthers Aug. 12 vs. Bills 7:30pm
Jason Murphy San Diego Chargers Aug. 12 vs. Packers 10pm
Tim Sandidge St. Louis Rams Aug. 10 vs. Colts 8pm (FOX)
Darryl Tapp Seattle Seahawks Aug. 12 vs. Cowboys 10pm
Marcus Vick Miami Dolphins Aug. 12 vs. Jaguars 7:30pm
Jimmy Williams Atlanta Falcons Aug. 11 vs. Patriots 8pm (CBS)

Most of the Tech players will make their debut on August 12, but Tim Sandidge and Justin Hamilton will get the earliest action on August 10. Jimmy Williams and the Falcons will play a primetime CBS game against the New England Patriots on August 11. The only other Tech rookie to play in a televised game on opening weekend is Sandidge, when his Rams take on the Colts on FOX at 8pm.

None of the Virginia Tech rookies are guaranteed a roster spot, though it is expected that most will earn one. Darryl Tapp, Jimmy Williams and James Anderson are virtually guaranteed a spot because they went on the first day of the NFL Draft. The others are less certain, but Jeff King and Will Montgomery have drawn good reviews from the Carolina Panthers.

Jimmy Martin and Jason Murphy may find themselves competing for the last spot on the offensive line for the San Diego Chargers. Martin has been moved inside to guard after spending his career as a tackle at Virginia Tech. The two former teammates could have quite a competition in training camp.

Marcus Vick has also reportedly been playing well for the Miami Dolphins. He is practicing at wide receiver and quarterback, and has made some impressive throws and catches. He has thrown and caught long touchdown passes so far in training camp. It remains to be seen which position he sticks at, but right now it looks like he’ll be primarily used as a wide receiver.

In Cleveland, Justin Hamilton has a solid chance to make the Browns roster, especially because of his ability to play special teams. It’s unfair to expect him to step into the safety spot after spending only one season there in college, but with his athletic ability he can make a big impact on special teams.

Cedric Humes plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, which is the best team for his skillset. He is one of just four running backs on the team, which gives him a solid chance to make the active roster. He is competing for Pittsburgh short-yardage job with Verron Haynes and Duce Staley. Humes reportedly flashed better than expected speed when he blew by starting linebackers Larry Foote and James Farrior in a recent practice.

Jonathan Lewis, who plays for the Arizona Cardinals, is one of six defensive tackles on the roster. As a 6th round selection, he will have to fight for his spot on the roster. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Football Practice Opens Today; Hokies Ranked 16th by Coaches

August 4, 2006
After months of anticipation, Virginia Tech will begin preseason football practice this afternoon. The 16th-ranked Hokies have a lot of question marks going into the season, and they will begin to be answered today at 3:15.
Also: Welcome Back Picnic Scheduled for Sunday, August 13th.

TSL Video: VT TE/OT Commit Greg Nosal
August 4, 2006
TSL has added video clips of 6-7, 255-pound Kellam standout Greg Nosal to his TSL Pass recruiting card. While he played tight end and defensive end for Kellam last season, he is being recruited by Virginia Tech as a tight end/offensive tackle prospect.

2006 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Defensive Backs
August 3, 2006
The Hokies lost Jimmy Williams and Justin Hamilton to the NFL, but the secondary returns enough talent to give Athlon Magazine a reason to rank Virginia Tech’s secondary as the best in the ACC. That’s very high praise, but is it deserved? Judging by Tech’s reputation with defensive backs, it is very well deserved.

Tyrod Taylor's Elite 11 Experience
August 3, 2006
Virginia Tech’s 5-star quarterback commitment Tyrod Taylor participated in last week’s Elite 11 quarterback camp. Though the 6-1, 200-pound Hampton signal caller suffered a slight injury to his right hand before the camp began, he managed to finish out the experience in strong fashion and learned a lot as well.

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: NC State
August 2, 2006
NC State lost a lot of talented players off their 2005 team, including defensive end Mario Williams, the #1 pick in the draft. Defensive end Manny Lawson and defensive tackle John McCargo were also taken in the first round. Other than that, the Wolfpack are in pretty good shape.

Ellison a Receiving Threat at Tight End
August 2, 2006
Virginia Tech was looking to add a receiving threat at the tight end position in this year’s class, and Rhett Ellison seems to have been one of the staff’s top targets for the job. And after catching 26 passes for 301 yards and five touchdowns last season as a junior, Ellison, who is rated a 3-star recruit by and, has proven he can fill the role.

Star Athlete Hill Reflects on Visits
August 2, 2006
5-11, 175-pound Highland Springs (VA) star CB/WR Cris Hill made three unofficial visits recently, with these trips hopefully being a help in narrowing down his list of schools -- he claims around 15 official scholarship offers at this point. Hill discussed his recent experiences as well as his future plans.

Barquell Rivers Selects Virginia Tech
August 1, 2006
Anson County (N.C.) standout linebacker Barquell Rivers followed through and made a verbal commitment late this afternoon, just as Anson head coach Jody Grooms predicted to TSL earlier today. The decision? Rivers has chosen Virginia Tech over offers from Clemson, North Carolina and N.C. State, among others.

2006 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Linebackers
August 1, 2006
The Virginia Tech linebacking corps has garnered high praise from nearly every media outlet in the country heading into the 2006 season. Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall return, and both are expected to have big seasons. But will they have help from the whip linebacker position, and what will happen if either Hall or Adibi goes down to injury?

Athletic LB Commits to Tech
August 1, 2006
Virginia Tech dipped into the state of Florida for its 22nd commitment of the 2007 recruiting class. Hunter Ovens, a 6-2, 220-pound linebacker recruit out of Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota, Florida, committed to head coach Frank Beamer this morning. Ovens is rated a 3-star prospect by and

Top NC LB Expected to Commit Tonight
August 1, 2006
Barquell Rivers, a 6-0, 200-pound linebacker prospect out of Anson County High School (N.C.), is expected to make a verbal commitment this evening according to head coach Jody Grooms. Virginia Tech is among the finalists.

Hokies End July in Princely Fashion
July 31, 2006
Four. That's right, make it four commitments for Virginia Tech today, 19 in total for the month of July. Courtney Prince, a 6-2, 260-pound defensive end prospect out of Gwynn Park High School (Brandywine, MD), is the latest verbal commitment to be revealed today.

Hermitage DB/LB Chooses Hokies
July 31, 2006
Khalil Latif isn't the only Central Virginia standout to commit to Virginia Tech today. Hermitage (Richmond, VA) standout defensive back recruit Alonzo Tweedy joined the Hokies today as well, becoming the 20th verbal commitment of the 2007 recruiting class.

Ellison Makes it 19!
July 31, 2006
St. Francis (Mountain View, CA) tight end recruit Rhett Ellison has committed to Virginia Tech according to his father, Riki. Ellison becomes the 19th player to commit to the Hokies in the 2007 recruiting class.

Manchester Star OL Makes Decision
July 31, 2006
The commitments just don't stop for the Virginia Tech Hokies - especially along the offensive line. Manchester (Midlothian, VA) OL Khalil Latif, who is rated the #13 player in the state by, decided to join the party today when he committed to Tech. The 6-3, 290-pound Latif is the fifth offensive line recruit to commit to Virginia Tech in the 2007 recruiting class.

4-Star WR Smith Sets Two Official Visits
July 31, 2006
Jay Smith, a wide receiver recruit rated a 4-star prospect and the #3 prospect in the state of Virginia by, has set two official visits. And he plans to take all five officials in hopes of making a verbal commitment on his birthday in October. caught up with Jay’s father, Mordecai Smith, Sr., who discussed Jay’s future plans.

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: Maryland
July 31, 2006
After proving he could win with somebody else's players in 2001 - 2003, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has failed to enjoy the same success with teams stocked full of his own recruits. The Fridge made a big splash by winning the ACC in his first year as head coach at Maryland, and then getting blowout victories over Tennessee and West Virginia in the Peach Bowl and Gator Bowl. But the last two seasons have seen Maryland finish 5-6 with no bowl game. Can the Terps rebound in 2006?

Latif Decision Expected Today
July 31, 2006
6-3, 285-pound Manchester (Midlothian, VA) recruit Khalil Latif, who is rated a 3-star prospect and the #13 overall recruit in the state by, is expected to make a verbal commitment today.

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: Florida State
July 28, 2006
Florida State lost some big-time players off last season’s ACC Championship squad, but as usual will have former High School All-Americans waiting in the wings. Drew Weatherford will be a more experienced quarterback, and the defense should be very good.

Nunn Affirms VT Commitment
July 28, 2006
It has been an up-and-down two weeks for Sumter (SC) offensive lineman Kyle Nunn, who was reportedly a VT commitment, but who then denied it in published reports a few days later. Nunn was quoted yesterday as saying that he has verbaled to the Hokies, making him the latest in a strong group of offensive linemen who have committed to Tech.
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