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   Welcome to TSLMail #318 - Friday, February 22, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

Hokies at the NFL Combine
by Chris Coleman,

The 2008 NFL Combine starts today in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, and a number of former Virginia Tech players will be looking to stand out. They've got a chance to help, or hurt, their positioning for April's NFL Draft. The NFL Combine isn't the only tool used to help measure performance and potential, but it can make a difference for many potential prospects.

11 Virginia Tech players are participating in the NFL Combine. They are: Xavier Adibi, Barry Booker, Duane Brown, Chris Ellis, Brandon Flowers, Vince Hall, Justin Harper, Josh Morgan, D.J. Parker, Carlton Powell and Eddie Royal.

The Hokies have the second-most players of any school at the NFL Combine. Only Southern Cal, with 12 prospects, has more players present in the RCA Dome.

Of course, Tech has the most players present of any ACC school, and it's not even close.

ACC Players by School
Team Num. of Players
Virginia Tech 11
Georgia Tech 6
Miami 6
Boston College 5
Clemson 4
Florida State 4
Maryland 4
Virginia 3
Wake Forest 3
North Carolina 2
NC State 2
Duke 0

There is no doubt that Virginia Tech was the most talented team in the ACC this past season.

Ten Virginia Tech players are projected to be drafted by, which has been very accurate in the past with their projections of Tech players. All of these projections will change following the NFL Combine, but here is how they look as of now. Note that only projects 10 of the 11 Hokies at the Combine to be drafted (Justin Harper is left out).
Current Projections
Name Position Round
Xavier Adibi LB 2
Eddie Royal WR 3
Chris Ellis DE 3
Brandon Flowers CB 3
Duane Brown OT 4
D.J. Parker FS 4
Vince Hall LB 4-5
Carlton Powell DT 5
Josh Morgan WR 6
Barry Booker DT 6-7

Xavier Adibi is clearly one of the top five outside linebackers in the draft. He has excellent speed and coverage ability, and can probably get sideline to sideline faster than any other linebacker on the draft board. The only thing keeping him from being a first round selection is his slight frame. He's listed at 6-2, 220. Scouts at the Combine will be extremely impressed with how he tests in the running and agility drills.

Eddie Royal looks to be a first day selection, and could possibly slide up into the late second round with an impressive performance at the Combine. He has excellent speed and a knack for making plays. His ability to return kicks and punts helps his stock quite a bit. Royal was also very impressive at the Senior Bowl, and that shot him up the board in the eyes of many scouts. Size and durability questions hold him back from going higher.

Chris Ellis was once listed as a possible late first round pick. However, his stock has been dropping. At the Senior Bowl, he failed to show much power and upfield burst as a defensive end, and he doesn't have the coverage ability to play linebacker. He probably lacks the upper body strength to be an every down defensive end in the NFL, and it's possible his stock could slip a little more.

Brandon Flowers is currently listed as a third round pick by, but most projections have him going in the second round. He is the most advanced cornerback in the draft from a technique standpoint. The straight ahead speed is keeping him from being picked in the first round. If he can run a 40-yard dash faster than expected, he could potentially sneak into the late first round.

Duane Brown is thought to be an early second day pick at this point. Brown will impress NFL teams at the Combine with his outstanding athleticism. He helped his stock with a very good senior season. He is a solid all-around player. Showing better than expected strength at the Combine could improve his stock.

D.J. Parker is currently projected as a fourth round pick. He had an excellent week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl. Although he lacks ideal size, he will impress the scouts at the Combine with his speed.

Vince Hall is projected to go in the fourth or fifth round. Although everyone recognizes him as a great collegiate linebacker, there are questions about his height and speed. He will probably only run around a 4.8 in the 40 yard dash at the Combine. A good performance in his runs can jump him up a bit, but Hall looks destined to be a second day pick no matter what he does at the Combine.

Carlton Powell has solid size and excellent strength. He was the bell cow of Tech's defensive line this past season. He won't blow anyone away with athleticism, but he's a solid football player. He's projected in the fifth round, and likely won't go any higher than that, even with a good Combine.

Josh Morgan is expected to go off the board in the sixth round. Morgan is a very good athlete that will test solidly in most events, but he doesn't have ideal hands for an NFL wide receiver.

Barry Booker has a chance to be taken in the sixth or seventh round. Booker was a very good defensive tackle for Tech, and has good athleticism. Overall strength is what holds him back from being selected higher.

Justin Harper is also at the NFL Combine, and he will impress scouts with his speed and agility tests. He still has a solid chance to be drafted. 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

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech

February 22, 2008
Virginia Tech will begin a three-game home stand on Saturday with momentum from a big win at Maryland on Wednesday night. The Hokies will take on Georgia Tech, a team that doesn't look like much in the win-loss column. Don't be fooled by looking at their record. They have a good team that has lost a number of very close games, and they also defeated the Hokies earlier in the season.

Columbia's (S.C.) Dynamic Duo
February 22, 2008
Columbia High School (S.C.) boasts two definite Division 1A prospects in the 2009 class, head coach Kemper Amick told In fact, 6-3 1/2, 211-pound safety/linebacker Damario Jeffery and 5-10 1/2, 192-pound safety/running back Chris Payne each have received Division 1A scholarship offers.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 2/20/08
February 21, 2008
Smack dab in the middle of basketball season, Len and Chris Coleman talked football yesterday. They reviewed the list of Tech players going to the NFL Combine and discussed which Hokies could help themselves out and improve their NFL stock (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.1 MB, 13:09).

The Opposite of Quit
February 21, 2008
Facing a test of their manhood and resiliency, the Hokies went up to College Park, Maryland last night and pulled off a victory that few expected. There seems to be no end to the twists and turns an ACC season can take, and just when you thought they were down, the Hokies bounced right back up.

"Baby D" Coming Off Huge Junior Season
February 21, 2008
Phoebus (Hampton, VA) junior Dominik "Baby D" Davenport is, quite simply, a football player. Possessing a great knowledge and feel for the game, he is affectionately referred to as "Coach Davenport" by his fellow teammates. The 6-1, 240-pound prospect has earned the respect of opposing coaches as well, as he was recently named second-team offensive guard and first-team defensive lineman by the Virginia High School Coach Association.

Hokies Upset Terps 69-65
February 21, 2008
Trailing by a double-digit deficit in both halves, Virginia Tech fought hard down the stretch to pull out an unexpected win over Maryland 69-65 in the Comcast Center. It was Tech's first win at Maryland since joining the ACC, and it gives them a season sweep of the Terrapins. The Hokies are now 15-11 overall, and 6-6 in ACC play. Maryland dropped to 17-10 overall and 7-5 in the ACC.

Inside the Numbers: Ranking the 2008 Recruits
February 20, 2008
Here we are again with's eighth annual "Inside the Numbers: Ranking the Recruits," in which we mash together recruiting rankings from various recruiting services into one complex ranking system that gives each VT recruit a composite ranking. We first did this in 2001, and as we add more and more recruits to our rankings, it's interesting to see where today's recruits rank when compared to yesterday's recruits. We now have eight years of data, and we can see how the 2008 recruits compare to schoolboy superstars like Kevin Jones, DeAngelo Hall, Victor Harris, and Tyrod Taylor.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Maryland
February 20, 2008
Virginia Tech has lost three games in a row, and they'll look to get back in the win column when they take on Maryland in College Park on Wednesday night. Simply put, it would be a big accomplishment to pick up the win. The Terps are at least the third best team in the ACC, and they are a completely different team than the one the Hokies beat by one point in Blacksburg for their first ACC win of the season.

A Coach's Perspective on the U.S. Army Bowl
February 20, 2008
The U.S. Army All-American game has become a staple of high school football over the past several years, drawing top talents from all across the country. When a prospect is selected to participate, the prospect's high school football coach is also invited for the trip down to San Antonio, Texas. Such was the case with Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA) 4-star running back Ryan Williams and head coach Loren Johnson, who provided a full account of his experience.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/18/08
February 19, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Seth Greenberg had a lot to talk about Monday night: The North Carolina game, the development of his freshmen, the upcoming matchup with Maryland, and where he feels the Hokies stand right now. All that, plus a Jim Valvano anecdote.

Top CB Givens Holds 11 Offers
February 19, 2008
With 11 Division 1A scholarship offers in the fold already, Darrell Givens is well on his way to being one of the most highly recruited cornerbacks in the East and perhaps the country. The 6-0, 179-pound junior turned in an excellent performance this past season, totaling 82 tackles with seven pass deflections, four forced fumbles, three interceptions, one punt return touchdown and one kick return touchdown.

Around the ACC: February 18th, 2008
February 18, 2008
After another great week of ACC basketball, there appear to be four teams that are NCAA tournament bound. A fifth team pulled a big upset on Sunday night, and they are throwing their name into the mix as well. With five or six games remaining for all 12 teams, a lot can still happen.

GW's Wilson One of the State's Best
February 18, 2008
George Washington (Danville, VA) running back David Wilson saw playing time as a sophomore in 2006, but he wasn't the featured running back because of the depth the Eagles already had in place. Wilson's time to shine came in the 2007 season opener. With top junior fullback Tahron Goods out with an injury, the 5-11, 190-pound speedster needed to be a big-time playmaker at running back for head coach Dan Newell's squad. He didn't disappoint.

The Q Word Rears Its Ugly Head
February 17, 2008
How quickly the fortunes of a freshman-laden ACC team can turn. Three games ago, the Virginia Tech Hokies blew Virginia off the floor in overtime in a 72-65 win. They were loose, they were smiling, they were 5-3 in the ACC, and they were the toast of the Hokie Nation. Three losses later, capped by a humiliating defeat in Chapel Hill, the Hokies are struggling, and the finger pointing has begun.

Hokies Humbled in Chapel Hill
February 16, 2008
Virginia Tech's men's basketball team was very competitive through the first 10 games of ACC play, even in losses. That wasn't the case on Saturday afternoon however, as the Hokies ran into a buzz saw in Chapel Hill, falling to the Tar Heels 92-53. The loss dropped Tech to 14-11 overall, and 5-6 in ACC play. UNC is now 24-2 overall, and 9-2 in the ACC.
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