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   Welcome to TSLMail #240 - Friday, August 18, 2006    
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All-Time Virginia Tech NFL Defense

by Chris Coleman,

Last week in TSLMail we took a look at the Virginia Tech All-NFL offensive team (and yes, we missed George Preas as an offensive lineman), and this week we’ll take a look at the defensive side of the ball. Like the offense, there were some easy picks, and a lot of players to choose from. But at other positions, such as defensive tackle, it was much harder to find candidates.

Virginia Tech All-Time NFL Defensive Team
Position Player
DE Bruce Smith
DE Robert Brown
DT Tom Beasley
DT Waddey Harvey
LB Mike Johnson
LB Ben Taylor
LB Victor Jones
CB DeAngelo Hall
CB Tyronne Drakeford
S Keion Carpenter
S Pierson Prioleau

Naturally, Bruce Smith is the first man on the list at defensive end. Smith played 19 seasons in the NFL, retiring following the 2003 season. He accumulated 200 career sacks, which is the all-time NFL record. Some would consider him the top defensive end to ever play the game of football. His best season came in 1990 when he recorded 19 sacks. Smith spent most of his career with the Buffalo Bills and has the dubious honor of losing four straight Super Bowls.

Robert Brown is the other starting defensive end. Brown had an 11 year career with the Green Bay Packers. He played in 164 games for the Pack. Always more of a run stopper than a pass rusher, he accumulated 25.5 career sacks and recovered 14 fumbles. Brown and Smith make a very nasty defensive end combination for the NFL Hokie squad.

The first defensive tackle is Tom Beasley. Beasley played in the NFL for nine years with the Steelers and Redskins. He was capable of playing every position on the defensive line. He played in 104 games during his career and finished with 11.5 career sacks. He is the father of former Tech defensive tackle Chad Beasley, who currently plays on the offensive line for the Carolina Panthers.

The other defensive tackle is Waddey Harvey, who played two seasons with the Buffalo Bills in 1969 and 1970. He was a teammate of Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, and Beamer has always spoken very highly of him.

At linebacker, Mike Johnson tops the list. He played in the NFL from 1984 through 1995. The former All-Pro played for the Houston Oilers in his first season and the Detroit Lions during his last two seasons, but he played the bulk of his career, 1987-1993, with the Cleveland Browns. Johnson is without a doubt the best linebacker the Hokies have ever put into the NFL.

Ben Taylor should also be included on the list of linebackers. He spent his first four years with the Cleveland Browns, and he made 113 tackles for them during the 2005 season. In the offseason he signed with the Green Bay Packers, where he is expected to start at strong side linebacker in 2006.

The other linebacker on the VT All-NFL defensive team is Victor Jones. Jones played in the NFL from 1988 through 1994. Jones played 93 career games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos.

Virginia Tech is mostly known for putting defensive backs in the NFL, and there are four very good ones that made the list for the Tech All-NFL team.

The first is DeAngelo Hall, cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons. After being picked in the first round in 2004, Hall missed most of his rookie season with a hip injury. He came back at the end of the year and was very impressive, and he went on to earn a starting job last season and was voted into the Pro Bowl. He has eight career interceptions, despite having only played in 17 games.

The other starting cornerback would be Tyronne Drakeford. Drakeford played in the NFL from 1994 through 2001. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins. Drakeford played in 98 career games and recorded 16 career interceptions, all of which came in the first five seasons of his career.

At safety, Keion Carpenter is the obvious selection. Carpenter was an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, but he was a starter by his second season with the Buffalo Bills. He played in the NFL from 1999 through 2005, where he played in 83 games and had 14 career interceptions. He spent his career with the Bills and the Atlanta Falcons. Injuries have recently ended Carpenter’s career, but he was a very solid player when healthy.

The final member of the team is Pierson Prioleau, who is currently a member of the Washington Redskins. A very durable and dependable player, Prioleau has played in 97 career games, many of them as a starter. He has 5.5 career sacks, but interestingly enough, only one interception. 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

Recruit Video: 3-Star TE/DE Chris Drager
August 18, 2006
Five video clips have been added to the recruiting card of 6-4, 230-pound Chris Drager. Drager, a tight end and defensive end for Thomas Jefferson High School (Jefferson City, PA), is rated a 3-star prospect by both and

The Road to Signing Day 2007: Questions About the Class of 2007
August 18, 2006
The Hokies had a record-setting recruiting month in July. Between the July 5th commitment of OL Blake DeChristopher and the August 1st commitment of LB Barquell Rivers, 18 additional players committed to the Hokies, giving Tech an amazing 20 verbals in 27 days. With the Hokie recruiting list swelled to an unprecedented 22 commitments on the first day of August, that brought up a lot of questions. We'll answer some of them in our latest "Road to Signing Day 2007."

Hokies Release 2006-07 Men's Basketball Schedule
August 17, 2006
Virginia Tech released the 2006-07 men's basketball schedule on Thursday afternoon. As the Hokies attempt to make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996, they face arguably the most challenging schedule in school history. In addition, TV appearances abound for this coming year's Tech squad.

2006 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Quarterbacks
August 17, 2006
The biggest question of the offseason was: Who would earn the right to replace Marcus Vick at quarterback? After spring practice, Sean Glennon was on top, with the competition slated to continue through August before a starter for the 2006 season was named. As it turned out, it wasn't much of a competition, with Glennon extending his lead over the first few days of practice before being named the starter last Sunday.

4-Star DE Cuts List to 10
August 17, 2006
Tony Tucker, a 4-star LB/DE prospect out of St. John's College School in Washington, D.C., has narrowed his list of suitors to 10. The 6-2, 225-pound standout lists the remaining schools in contention and discusses which programs he would like to visit. Did Virginia Tech make the cut?

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: Virginia
August 16, 2006
In what appears to be a self-described "rebuilding year", UVA head coach Al Groh has his work cut out for him. He lost his starting quarterback, tailback, three offensive linemen, and his inside linebacker corps has been gutted. He also lost four assistant coaches, and his program took some hits for some off the field issues.

3-Star SG/SF Joins 2007 Class
August 16, 2006
Stone Mountain (GA) shooting guard/small forward Terrell Bell made his first ever visit to Blacksburg last Wednesday and, just two days later, revealed that he had made a verbal commitment to head coach Seth Greenberg. Bell, rated a 3-star prospect by and, is another quality addition for Tech’s 2007 men’s basketball recruiting class.

In-State Speedster Commits for 2008 Class
August 15, 2006
Virginia Tech has landed its first verbal commitment for the 2008 class. The commitment comes from an in-state standout RB/DB who is currently classified for the 2007 class, but who will attend prep school before enrolling at Virginia Tech.

2006 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Running Backs
August 15, 2006
Virginia Tech goes into the 2006 season without Cedric Humes and Mike Imoh in the backfield. Humes is off to the NFL, and Imoh was a solid back when healthy, but the 2006 group of running backs has a chance to be better if they can stay free of the injury bug. Unfortunately, that hasn't been easy. The good news is that the Hokies still have a couple of weeks to get healthy. Here's what the backfield will look like this fall.

Young Energized for 2006 Season
August 15, 2006
Star defensive lineman Justin Young certainly remembers Northwest’s (Germantown, MD) state championship run in 2004. After a disappointing 5-5 season in 2005, Young is looking to lead the Jaguars on another run to glory in what will be his senior season.

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: North Carolina
August 14, 2006
North Carolina has hovered around the .500 mark the last two seasons because of a very difficult out-of-conference schedule. This year looks to be more of the same. The defense should be improved, but the offense looks like it could really struggle.

Varina DT Visits Tech
August 14, 2006
Bud Tribbey, a 6-1, 288-pound defensive tackle recruit out of Varina High School, made an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend. Tribbey, who is trying to make a decision between Tech and Syracuse, enjoyed the experience in Blacksburg but may still not be close to making a final decision.

Glennon Named the Starter for 2006
August 14, 2006
As expected, Frank Beamer announced that r-sophomore Sean Glennon will start the Hokies' season opener against Northeastern on September 2. After reviewing the tape of Saturday's scrimmage, and factoring in Glennon's progress since camp opened, the coaching staff made the decision on Sunday. In Frank Beamer's tenure as VT coach, the performance of first-year starting quarterbacks has gradually improved, and Glennon's mandate will be to continue that trend.

Practice Report: Scrimmage Standouts
August 13, 2006
The Virginia Tech football team held its first scrimmage of the season on Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium, and we checked in with one of our insiders for a report. Don’t miss what he had to say about Sean Glennon, Ike Whitaker and Xavier Adibi, as well as other standouts of Saturday’s scrimmage.

4-Star WR Jay Smith Visits Tech
August 11, 2006
4-star prospect Jay Smith was in Blacksburg yesterday making his first ever visit to Virginia Tech. caught up with Jay’s father, Mordecai, who discussed the experience and which schools, if any, may be standing out above the rest.

2006 ACC Football Season Preview: Miami
August 11, 2006
The Miami Hurricanes are the popular pick to win the ACC Coastal Division this year. After a disappointing ending to the 2005 season, Larry Coker cleaned house, firing or reassigning six of the nine coaches that were part of the 2005 team. Miami is talented, as usual, but will they be able to get back on the right track in just one season?

A Commitment Coming from Patrick Henry Star?
August 11, 2006
Patrick Henry (Ashland, VA) star D.J. Thomas could well make a decision very soon, or he could wait several weeks. The 5-9, 170-pound RB/DB is just not sure at this point, but he is sure about which program is his heavy favorite and the likely future destination.
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