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   Welcome to TSLMail #291 - Friday, August 10, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Tech's Four Senior Receivers
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech has four senior receivers this season, and they are all looking to make their mark on Virginia Tech football one last time. In fact, a couple of them should end their careers very high in the Tech record books.

Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Josh Hyman and Justin Harper have either started or been in the rotation at receiver since they were freshmen in 2004. Here's a look at their career receptions, year by year.

Virginia Tech Receivers Career Receptions
Receiver 2004 2005 2006 Total

Eddie Royal

28 27 31 86

Josh Morgan

15 28 33 76

Josh Hyman

27 13 16 56

Justin Harper

5 16 21 42

Eddie Royal has been in the starting lineup since he was a true freshman, and he has been the most consistent of these four receivers in his career. He has 86 career receptions, which ranks in a tie with Sydney Snell for 10th place on the all-time list.

If Royal catches 14 passes this coming season, and he should, he'll become just the seventh player in Tech history to catch 100 or more passes in his career. The other players on that list are Ernest Wilford (126), Antonio Freeman (121), Ricky Scales (113), Andre Davis (103), Mike Giacolone (103) and Myron Richardson (100).

If Royal catches 40 passes, he'll tie Ernest Wilford at the top of Tech's all-time reception list. He does have a chance to do that, if he stays healthy. David Clowney is gone, and he caught 34 passes last season. Those 34 receptions have to be redistributed somewhere, and Royal will get his share.

Josh Morgan has 76 career catches, which puts him 15th on Tech's all-time list. Morgan has increased his catch total each year he has been in Blacksburg. He went from 15 as a freshman to 28 as a sophomore before topping out at 33 last season. Still, most would agree that his sophomore season (2005) was his best.

Morgan needs 24 catches to end up with 100 for his career. He should be able to accomplish that. 24 catches would be the second-lowest output of his career, and that shouldn't happen in his senior season, barring injury, of course.

Josh Hyman and Justin Harper haven't caught as many as Royal and Morgan, but they'll get their chance this year. Harper is currently tied with Morgan atop the depth chart at split end, and if Hyman can finally stay healthy for the first time since 2004, he could increase his catch total as well.

Ernest Wilford has the most receptions in Virginia Tech history for a couple of reasons. First of all, he's talented. He's not in the NFL today for no reason. But perhaps more important, he was the only above average receiver in the team. The Hokies really didn't have anybody else to throw the ball to in 2002 and 2003, so Wilford caught 51 passes in 2002 and followed that up with 55 in 2003. That's 106 of his 126 career catches in just two seasons.

Now let's play a game called "If so-and-so didn't exist." How many receptions would Eddie Royal and Josh Morgan have if their primary backups, Justin Harper and Josh Hyman, went to school somewhere else? Sounds like a silly premise, but for the most part, Virginia Tech has rarely had more than two wide receivers receive significant playing time (and receptions) under Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech has typically had two key wide receivers (think Andre Davis and Ricky Hall, for example) in any season.

For this exercise, we'll throw out the 2004 season, because Hyman started at split end that year and was not Royal's backup. Only 2005 and 2006 are included.

In 2005, if Eddie Royal had caught Hyman's 13 receptions that year, he would have finished with 40 receptions. Give him Hyman's 16 catches from a year ago, and his total receptions shoots up to 47, the third-most in a single season in Tech history. That would mean he would be entering the 2007 season just 11 receptions shy of Ernest Wilford's record, rather than 40.

If Justin Harper didn't play for Tech, and Josh Morgan got his catches instead, that would add 37 career receptions to Morgan's career total. (Harper caught 16 in 2005 and 21 in 2006.) That would give Morgan 113 career receptions, just 13 catches behind Wilford's career record. That would be a serious race in 2007 between Royal and Morgan to see which player ends up as Tech's all-time leading receiver.

That doesn't even count the numbers David Clowney put up. He caught 88 passes during the three years he played with Royal and Morgan (2004-2006) and took a lot of catches away from them.

Of course, this is a totally unscientific experiment. The Hokies have used a lot of three and four wide receiver formations in recent years, they throw the ball a little more than they used to, and there are always different quarterbacks. It's just for fun.

Time will tell if either Royal or Morgan can put a run on Wilford's record. With a possible 14-game schedule (bowl games have counted in statistics for several years now), don't be surprised if Royal in particular gives him a scare. Royal has averaged 2.26 catches per game in his career, and he would have to average 2.85 catches per game this season to have 40 catches in 14 games.

LSU/Clemson "Death Valley" Football Commemorative T-Shirt

"Death Valley"


This football season, Virginia Tech will travel to LSU and Clemson. Both schools have a well known tradition of nicknaming their stadium “Death Valley.” In that light, Tech fans can boldly declare their Hokie spirit with this special commemorative T-shirt, and proclaim that Hokies Are Fearless!!! This special T-shirt can be purchased through by clicking here or using the links to the right.

The Houston, New Orleans/Baton Rouge, and Palmetto Chapters of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association are offering this unique design, created by a Houston Hokie for Hokies. Proceeds will directly support these alumni chapters' scholarship funds, in support of future Hokies from their local areas. This shirt is a must-have for anyone with plans to go to the LSU or Clemson games, tailgate parties, or local gatherings, and who wants to show off their Tech pride. The shirts will also be available through MaroonHelmet at the official VTAA pre-game tailgates for the LSU and Clemson games.

This T-shirt is 100% cotton and light gray in color. The front left chest has the Virginia Tech VT logo with "HOKIES" underneath. The back of the shirt displays the Hokie Bird and the captions, "Yea though I walk into Death Valley, I am fearless" and Virginia Tech. The shirts can be ordered in sizes ranging from Youth Small to 3XL. Please consider purchasing one at in support of future Hokies or to show your Hokie Spirit as Virginia Tech takes on LSU and Clemson this football season.

It is important to note that this effort is in no way associated with the April 16th tragedy or the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The design and plan for this fundraiser were in place last year with the much anticipated LSU rematch in mind. After very careful consideration, and following proper procedures for approval from the Virginia Tech organization, the decision was made to proceed with this scholarship fund raising effort in the spirit of the words spoken in April, "We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech."

LSU and Clemson Tailgate Plans

The New Orleans/Baton Rouge chapter of the VT Alumni Association is planning a tailgate for the LSU game, and the Palmetto Chapter of the VTAA is planning a tailgate for the Clemson game. To find out more, click the following two links: Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

TechSideline Pass - Only $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year!

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

2007 ACC Football Season Preview: Miami

August 10, 2007
Larry Coker is gone, and former defensive coordinator Randy Shannon is now the head coach. He was the popular choice from the players' standpoint, but so was Larry Coker back when he was hired, and we all know how that turned out. Miami still has a lot of talent as usual. How far they go will depend on quarterback and offensive line play. Sound familiar?

2007 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Offensive Line
August 9, 2007
This is probably going to be the most difficult preview I've ever had to write. If you've followed the depth chart for the past week, your head is probably spinning. I've never seen so many position changes and so many depth chart moves at one position in such a short period of time. Curt Newsome is trying a lot of different combos up front, and things won't begin to shake out until Scrimmage #1 is in the books this Saturday.

Offer Profile: Oviedo DL Dwight Tucker
August 9, 2007
Virginia Tech is one of the first major Division 1A programs to extend a scholarship offer to 6-3, 280-pound defensive line prospect Dwight Tucker. Oviedo (FL) head coach Greg Register will not be surprised if more top 1A programs join the Hokies, as he feels his star is the real deal.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 8/8/07
August 9, 2007
On this week's show, TSL's Chris Coleman and Len Martez talked about the offensive line situation, whether Brandon Flowers' gimpy ankle could affect his season and pro prospects, and whether or not Branden Ore is really third on the running back depth chart (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.7 MB, 11:38).

2007 ACC Football Season Preview: Georgia Tech
August 8, 2007
Georgia Tech returns plenty of talent and experience on both sides of the ball, and they feature Ray Guy Award finalist Durant Brooks at punter. Calvin Johnson is off to the NFL to play for the Detroit Lions, and he is easily Georgia Tech's biggest loss. Despite that loss, the Yellow Jackets should still be good this year, and could potentially challenge for the Coastal Division championship. Except for the loss of Johnson, this is the most talented and complete Georgia Tech team of the Chan Gailey era.

A Week Into Fall Practice, Story Lines Abound
August 8, 2007
Virginia Tech opened football practice last Friday, and there are already plenty of stories coming out of Blacksburg. Some are good, and some are bad. The bad news is that the Hokies seem to have caught the dreaded injury bug. Several very important players are currently out nursing injuries. Nearly a week into practice, it's time to take a quick look at what has happened so far at each position.

TSL Audio: The Final Round, 8/7/07
August 8, 2007
Tuesday afternoon on The Final Round with Wes McElroy on ESPN 840AM in Charlottesville, TSL's Chris Coleman reviewed "what's hot and what's not" with Wes. Chris and Wes talked about Tech's injury situation, the O-line, Sean Glennon, and how Hokie fans are ready for some football (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 1.6 MB, 6:48).

Massie Plans on Making Official Visits
August 8, 2007
Mammoth OL/DL Bobby Massie, a 6-7, 330-pound prospect out of Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA), continues to stick with his plan to make official visits before making verbal commitment. Virginia Tech will receive one of Massie's five official visits, and he does plan to take all five.

Allan Chaney Explodes on Recruiting Scene
August 7, 2007
One of the hottest rising seniors in the country in the 2008 basketball recruiting class is Allan Chaney, a 6-8, 220-pound power forward out of New London (CT). Chaney has enjoyed an outstanding last few months in AAU competition and now boasts 13 high-major Division 1 scholarship offers including one from national champion Florida.

2007 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
August 7, 2007
For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech's strength on offense will be a plethora of wide receivers. And this year, there will be a few good tight ends thrown into the mix as well. Sean Glennon will certainly have options when he drops back to pass. The Hokies will have four talented and experienced senior wide receivers to lean on this year, a luxury any team would like to enjoy.

3-Star DE Eyeing Visit to Tech
August 7, 2007
Beaufort (S.C.) defensive end Devin Taylor, one of the top uncommitted defensive end prospects on Virginia Tech's target list, has never visited Blacksburg before but hopes to do so next month. The 6-6, 215-pound prospect has already visited his other major offers, so his first visit to Tech will surely be very important.

Hokie Defense, Part 2: The Scheme
August 6, 2007
In this installment of the series, we will cover the general concepts of Bud Foster's defensive scheme, including how offensive personnel and formation impact defensive alignments and responsibilities. We will review the scheme adjustments that were made following the 2003 season and the impact they have had. And finally, we will take a look at how all of the calls and adjustments for each play are communicated from the coaches to the players.

2007 ACC Football Season Preview: Duke
August 6, 2007
Duke returns all 11 starters on offense. They showed a lot of promise throwing the football last year, with Thad Lewis passing for 2,134 yards as a true freshman, but the offensive line was terrible and held the offense back quite a bit.

Central Virginia OL Taking his Time
August 6, 2007
Monacan (Midlothian, VA) star Justin Gilbert first started at offensive tackle on the varsity level his sophomore season. That year, he stood at 6-3 and weighed only 215 pounds. Three inches and 65 pounds later, he continues to be a starting offensive tackle and has become a Division 1A recruit. In fact, he has received a handful of 1A offers.

Wang Breaks Fibula, Will Miss Significant Time
August 5, 2007
Virginia Tech's offensive line suffered a huge blow on Sunday when starting right tackle Ed Wang broke his left fibula. He also suffered ligament damage. Various reports have indicated that Wang will miss anywhere from 6-12 weeks of action.

2007 ACC Football Season Preview: Wake Forest
August 3, 2007
The defending ACC Champions have a lot coming back on offense, but they lost some major contributors on defense. Linebacker Jon Abbate, in an ill-advised move, declared early for the NFL Draft and was not selected. Josh Gattis and Patrick Ghee vacate both starting safety positions and will need to be replaced.

Varina's Thorpe Drawing 1A Interest
August 3, 2007
Varina's 2007 class was exceptional, as five Blue Devils signed letters of intent with Division 1A programs. The 2008 class will not be as fruitful, but there is one player who could end up signing with a 1A program. He is Justin Thorpe, a 6-0, 195-pound athlete who already has two 1A offers to go along with a number of 1-AA offers.

Manning Chooses N.C. State
August 3, 2007
According to multiple reports, Scotland County (Laurinburg, N.C.) linebacker Terrell Manning announced this afternoon that he has committed to N.C. State. The 4-star recruit selected the Wolfpack over Clemson and Virginia Tech.
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