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   Welcome to TSLMail #281 - Friday, June 1, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

No Big Names Among ACC's Returning Receivers
by Chris Coleman,

The last two weeks we've looked at the top returning quarterbacks and running backs in the ACC. Now it's time to look at the most productive receivers who are returning for the 2007 season. The ACC lacks firepower on offense, and as far as big time receiving threats, they may be worse in 2007 than they were in 2008.

Here are the top 10 returning receivers, based on total receptions in 2006.

ACC's Top Returning Receivers
Name Team Year Recep. Yds TDs

Kevin Ogletree


Jr. 50 700 3

Kevin Challenger


Sr. 47 543 5

Darrius Heyward-Bey


So. 45 694 5

Anthony Hill

NC State

Sr. 45 478 0

Jomar Wright


Sr. 40 561 2

Hakeem Nicks


So. 39 660 4

James Johnson


Jr. 39 608 7

Raphael Chestnut


Jr. 39 375 2

Brooks Foster


Jr. 38 468 2

De'Cody Fagg


Sr. 37 439 1

That's a pretty big group of no-names, although there is some talent there. Leading returning receiver Kevin Ogletree tore his ACL in spring practice and could miss the entire 2007 season. At the very least, he won't be nearly as effective as he was in 2006. The fourth-leading returning receiver, Anthony Hill, is a tight end.

It's conceivable that the average fan hasn't heard of any of the players listed above. Let's take a look at each player from top to bottom.

Kevin Ogletree is UVA's top receiver, and many Tech fans have probably heard of him because he starts for the rival team. But he's still not a household name to most ACC fans, and he won't be this year either after tearing his ACL in the spring. He played on a team that did not go to a bowl game last season, and that will have an effect on name recognition.

Kevin Challenger is a very good receiver for Boston College. However, how many past Boston College receivers do you remember? Not many. The Eagles have been primarily a running team in the past, so running backs L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender are more well-known than Challenger, even though they aren't as impressive statistically.

Darrius Heyward-Bey had a great year for Maryland as a freshman. However, he still won't be recognized by many fans because he was just a freshman last season. The Terps had a good year, as did Heywary-Bey, and if he matches those numbers in 2007 then he'll start to get some recognition.

Anthony Hill caught a lot of passes last year, but he's a tight end. Not only is he a tight end, but he played for one of the worst teams in the ACC last year. He's not going to get a lot of attention, even though he's 6-6, 265 and a legit NFL prospect.

Jomar Wright and Raphael Chestnut play for Duke. Most fans of ACC schools probably couldn't name more than one or two players on Duke's team, so Wright and Chestnut aren't going to get a lot of attention. Same for Hakeem Nicks and Brooks Foster of UNC. UNC isn't exactly a football powerhouse, so they don't get a lot of recognition, even though Nicks has good potential..

James Johnson of Georgia Tech was overshadowed by Calvin Johnson last year, despite JJ's seven touchdown receptions. Johnson has a chance to have a breakout year this season as the main receiver in the Yellow Jackets' passing attack.

De'Cody Fagg is probably the most recognizable receiver on the list above because he plays for Florida State and is on television every week. However, he might be overshadowed by one of his own teammates who did not make the list of top returning receivers. Greg Carr of Florida State had 12 touchdown receptions last year. He's the big play guy on SportsCenter that people recognize, but he is not among the top returning receivers in the ACC when it comes to receptions.

Notice that there aren't any Virginia Tech players on that list. The Hokies' leading receiver last season was David Clowney, who caught 34 passes. He is now with the Green Bay Packers. Other passes were spread amongst other Tech receivers: Josh Morgan (33 catches), Eddie Royal (31), Justin Harper (21), Branden Ore (18), Josh Hyman (16) and Sam Wheeler (13).

Don't expect any Tech receivers to lead the ACC in any receiver categories next year either. Only twice since 1980 has a Tech receiver caught more than 40 passes in a season. Ernest Wilford had 51 in 2002 and 55 in 2004. Sidney Snell caught 43 passes in 1979, and again in 1980.

However, if Eddie Royal can accomplish that feat in 2007, he has a chance to break Ernest Wilford's career receiving record. Wilford caught 126 passes in his career. Royal has 86 receptions entering the 2007 season. If he catches 40 passes, he'll tie Wilford. If he matches his last season total of 31, he'll finish with 117 for his career, which would be third on Tech's all-time list. Antonio Freeman (1991-94) is currently second with 121 catches. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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

The Run for 32

May 31, 2007
My name is Joel Kelly and I am a Virginia Tech alumnus, Class of 1990. I am going to ask you for a donation. I will put that out on the table before you get too far into this letter. The cause, however, benefits those who lost something far more precious than the few dollars I am asking from you.

Glennon Doubles Offers in Evaluation Period
May 31, 2007
After more than doubling his scholarship offer total in the month of May, there is no doubt that 6-6, 195-pound quarterback Mike Glennon has had one impressive Evaluation period. I caught up with Westfield's (Chantilly, VA) star junior to discuss his recent offers, his summer plans and his decision-making process.

Amherst's Rose Lands In-State Offers
May 31, 2007
Amherst (VA) ATH Peter Rose is the latest in-state junior to land scholarship offers from both Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers offered last Friday, while Virginia Tech came in with an offer on Tuesday of this week. Marshall, Navy and Syracuse are among the other schools to offer the talented 6-1, 180-pound junior.

Stafford's Johnson to Stay In-State
May 30, 2007
Stafford (Falmouth, VA) linebacker Jake Johnson earned scholarship offers from Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech, but in the end Virginia Tech simply stood out above the others after unofficial visits. Last night, the 6-2, 230-pound standout pledged his commitment to the Hokies.

Thorns is a Hokie
May 30, 2007
The end of the spring signing period did not prevent Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg from adding to his 2007 class. Today, Coach Greenberg and company landed Valley High School (Las Vegas, NV) point guard Hank Thorns, who announced his decision to attend Virginia Tech at an afternoon press conference.

Virginia Tech Offers NC OL Star
May 30, 2007
6-6, 260-pound junior Michael Via received an important call last night from Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. Tech's head coach called to extend the Northeast Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) offensive tackle a scholarship offer, and the talented recruit was certainly pleased.

VT-LSU Game Time Announced
May 30, 2007
The Virginia Tech athletic department announced Wednesday afternoon that the Hokies' game at LSU September 8th will be played at 9:15 PM Eastern Time, 8:15 PM Central Time. The game will be televised on ESPN, giving Virginia Tech three ESPN games in 2007, with television for Tech's other nine regular season games still to be decided.

All-State Safety Pledges to VT
May 30, 2007
6-2, 184-pound Jeron Gouveia has been a productive performer each of the past two seasons at Stone Bridge High School (Ashburn, VA). An AP first-team all-state selection at safety his junior season, he finished the year with 76 "first hits", 19 assisted tackles, four interceptions and three fumbles. Yesterday, the talented star racked up something else - an offer from Virginia Tech, which he was quick to accept.

A Final Look at VT's 2007 Class
May 29, 2007
Rob Harrington, Editor of the Recruiter's Handbook and, provides a final perspective on Virginia Tech's 2007 men's basketball recruiting class. Despite the loss of Gus Gilchrist, PrepStars will still rate Tech's haul as "one of the four or five best classes" in the ACC, Harrington says, with three signees, including Jeff Allen, ranked in the final top 100 list.

Hokie Women's Track and Field Rising Fast
May 29, 2007
Virginia Tech's women's track and field team won the NCAA East Regional over the weekend, an accomplishment that is every bit as impressive as winning a regional final in basketball and going to the Final Four. Tech's victory follows two straight ACC championships -- indoor and outdoor -- for the women's track and field team, one of the best kept secrets in Virginia Tech athletics.

Senior PG Sets Press Conference
May 27, 2007
Valley High School (Las Vegas, NV) senior point guard Hank Thorns, fresh off an official visit to Virginia Tech, has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday, May 30th, at 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. At that time, he will announce his college intentions.

Editorial Ramblings
May 25, 2007
A long-time reader emailed us last night to give us a hard time about not running a news item on the Yankees' donation to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. Steinbrenner's boys donated a cool $1 million to VT, the largest single donation yet to the Fund. That's big news, but we didn't cover it here on TSL. It's an editorial decision we have struggled with: As a sports web site, how much hard news should we report, and how much coverage should we give to the April 16th tragedy and follow-up news?

Walker to Cut List to 25
May 25, 2007
Of the 42 Division 1A programs that have offered Christchurch (VA) wide receiver/defensive back Deion Walker, 25 will make the junior's first cut, which will happen within the next few weeks. The 6-3, 180-pound prospect has scholarship offers from top programs throughout the country.

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