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   Welcome to TSLMail #323- Friday, March 28, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

Biggest Weight Changes on the Tech Football Team
by Chris Coleman,

The offseason is a time for players to get bigger, faster and stronger. The change is most noticeable in the younger players on Tech's roster, especially those who are redshirting and just spent their first year in a college weight room. There are also a few players each year who need to go in the opposite direction and lose weight.

A 2008 Spring Football roster was released on Thursday, and just a quick glance reveals that some players have changed their bodies quite a bit since they weighed in last August. Here is a list of the players that caught our eye.

Biggest Weight Changes
on the Tech Football Team
Name August Spring Change
Kwamaine Battle 262 292 30
Purnell Studivant 217 234 17
Sergio Render 310 324 14
John Graves 279 292 13
Cris Hill 172 185 13
Richard Graham 278 288 10
Greg Nosal 271 281 10
Hunter Ovens 199 209 10
Rashad Carmichael 186 194 8
Darren Evans 207 215 8
Steven Friday 227 235 8
Tyrod Taylor 206 213 7
Blake DeChristopher 303 293 -10
Cordarrow Thompson 338 323 -15
Khalil Latif 283 260 -23

It's not clear when these weights were taken. It could have been 3 weeks ago, or it could have been 3 days ago. We can't tell you with absolute certainty that they are accurate, but it's all we have to go on right now.

Some of those changes are surprising, and others, not so much. We can only hope that for all the guys who added weight, it's all "good weight."

Defensive tackle Kwamaine Battle had the biggest increase in weight. Battle nearly played last year as a true freshman, but shoulder surgery forced him to redshirt. He managed to put on 30 pounds despite being unable to participate in much of Mike Gentry's offseason strength and conditioning program. I'm a little concerned that Battle's weight increase might not be good weight. He will miss most of spring practice, if not all of it, as he continues to recover from his surgery.

Starting backer Purnell Sturdivant made a big jump, from 217 to 234. Gaining weight was probably the right move for him. If defensive tackle play isn't up to par this year, the smallish Sturdivant could get engulfed by big linemen. The added weight will help him in that regard, but again, let's hope it's good weight. Former Tech linebacker Mikal Baaqee put on 25 pounds. between the 2002 and 2003 season, and it was all bad weight. He couldn't move nearly as well in 2003 as he did in 2002.

Other important players who have put on weight include John Graves, Rashad Carmichael, Cris Hill, Tyrod Taylor and Richard Graham. Graves needed a bit more bulk to be a starting defensive tackle this year, while Rashad Carmichael and Cris Hill are competing for the field corner spot.

Cordarrow Thompson is down to 323 from 338, according to the official rosters, but word is that Thompson is actually down to less than 310. If he keeps that weight off, that would be huge news. His conditioning would improve significantly, allowing him to play more snaps at a high level. His improvement could be the key to Tech's defensive line this season.

Khalil Latif checked in at 283 and playing offensive guard. He is now down to 260, or if you listen to defensive line coach Charley Wiles, 270. He is the type of person that just has trouble keeping weight on. He'll be given a shot at defensive tackle this spring.

Softball Team Pulls off Incredible Win

The Virginia Tech softball team defeated the US National Team on Wednesday night by the score of 1-0. Hokie sensation Angela Tincher pitched a no-hitter, as Tech ended the U.S. Olympic team's streak of 185 games against non-Olympic competition.

The last time the US National Team lost to a non-Olympic team was May 3, 1996. Since that day, they have outscored exhibition opponents 1,475-24. They have won the Gold Medal three consecutive times. This is believed to be their first loss ever against a college team.

Tincher struck out 10 batters and allowed just one base runner, a walk in the second inning. She was one walk away from pitching a perfect game against the best softball team in the world.

TSL reader Toney Fender attended the game and sent us a great first-hand report, which we posted in TSL Blogs. Click here to read it.

Virginia Tech is ranked #24 in the nation, with a record of 23-9. They are currently tied for first place in the ACC with North Carolina. Their game against the US National Team can be seen on ESPN2 on May 6 at 7pm. 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

Victor Davila Selected First Team All-State, Plus Highlight Videos

March 28, 2008
If there's one thing Wednesday night's loss to Ole Miss showed, it's that you can never have enough post players. The Hokies could have used some more beef to combat the Rebels' big men, and 2008 signee Victor Davila will help in that area. Listed at 6-8, 230 when he committed to Tech last September, Davila has added an inch and ten pounds, and now goes 6-9, 240.

Bowanko Drawing Division 1A Interest
March 28, 2008
Centreville High School (Clifton, VA) offensive tackle Luke Bowanko, a first-team all-Concorde district selection this past season as a junior, has been the most heavily recruited Wildcats rising senior according to head coach Gerry Pannoni. The 6-6, 260-pound prospect has yet to receive a Division 1A offer, but he has plenty of interested parties.

Odom Working Towards Virginia Tech
March 27, 2008
6-2, 235-pound linebacker Quillie Odom is still working to make the grade academically, but he is confident he will do so and plans to arrive at Virginia Tech in the first summer school semester later this year. Odom has two more months left at Hargrave Military Academy, and he is currently doing well in the classroom and in the weight room.

NYC Sendoff Goes Awry
March 27, 2008
As the winning point guard dribbled the last few seconds off the clock, a cheer arose in Cassell Coliseum. When the final horn sounded, chants of "LET'S GO HOKIES!" rang out to the rafters, and when Virginia Tech exited the floor, it was to thunderous applause and cheers. It was the end we envisioned to the game, with one major change to the script: The Hokies lost, and their season is over.

Rebels End Tech's Run
March 26, 2008
Virginia Tech's basketball season came to an end on Wednesday night with an 81-72 loss to #2 seed Ole Miss in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies finish the season 21-14, and the game marks the end of the career of senior wing Deron Washington, as well as reserve guard Marcus Travis. Ole Miss will move on to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden.

Ten Questions Heading Into Spring Practice 2008
March 26, 2008
Spring football practice begins this afternoon for the Hokies, and as usual, there are some major questions that need to be answered. Some starting positions have yet to be decided, and a lot of young players are battling for playing time in the two-deep. It should be one of the more meaningful springs in recent memory.

Spring Football Practice Opens Today
March 26, 2008
It's a big day in Blacksburg. Not only is there a huge NIT game against Ole Miss tonight, but the Virginia Tech football team opens up spring practice this afternoon as well. The Hokies lost a lot of good players off the 2007 team, and a number of position battles will be going on this spring.

Davis Looking Forward to Playing QB at VT
March 26, 2008
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star athlete Marcus Davis headed into the 2007 season as an "athlete" recruit, a prospect who combined excellent size (6-4, 220 pounds) and athleticism (4.5 in the 40) and who likely projected to play wide receiver or tight end on the next level. Come Signing Day, however, Davis would be listed on Virginia Tech's official website as a quarterback recruit.

NIT Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs Ole Miss
March 26, 2008
Virginia Tech is one victory away from heading to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals of the NIT. To get there, they'll have to knock off their most formidable opponent thus far in the tournament: the Ole Miss Rebels.

Photo Gallery: Hokies 75, UAB 49 in the NIT
March 25, 2008
The atmosphere in Cassell was rocking Monday night against UAB, and it promises to be completely off the hook Wednesday night when Ole Miss visits. Here's a 75-picture gallery of Monday night's NIT festivities in the stands, on the court, and on the sidelines.

Which Sport will Miller Choose?
March 25, 2008
Bassett High School (VA) junior Andrew Miller is a standout in football and wrestling. He stars at offensive guard and defensive tackle for the Bengals varsity football squad, and he recently captured a heavyweight Group AA state championship in wrestling. He'll have to pick one sport or the other in college, though, and the decision could be a tough one to make.

2008 Spring Football Preview: Defensive Backs
March 25, 2008
Our last two defensive previews have shown that the Hokies lack experience and depth at some key positions in their front seven. Today will be a lot more positive, as we talk about a unit that is deep and loaded with talent: the secondary.

Star OL Keeping Quiet on Recruiting Front
March 25, 2008
6-7, 330-pound Meadowbrook (Richmond, VA) offensive lineman Morgan Moses makes a lot of noise with his play on the gridiron. Trying to figure out where he may end up playing his college football is a different story, though, as the outstanding junior prospect is not letting on to any potential favorite school or schools.

Hokies Steamroll UAB, Get Ole' Miss in Cassell on Wednesday
March 25, 2008
The Hokies kept their streak of good play alive on Monday night by crushing visiting UAB 75-49 in Cassell Coliseum. Tech never trailed in the game, and they improved to 21-13 on the season. They'll face Ole' Miss on Wednesday night at 7pm in Blacksburg in the NIT quarterfinals. That game will be televised by ESPN2.

2008 Spring Football Preview: Linebackers
March 24, 2008
For the last four years, Virginia Tech has had the luxury of having two of the best linebackers in school history in Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. Bud Foster's inside linebacker unit will look much different this fall, though there is experience, maturity and talent at the position. However, there isn't much depth at any of the linebacker spots. The depth chart will be filled out with walk-ons.

Green Helps Millbrook to State Championship
March 24, 2008
On Saturday, March 15th, the Millbrook Pioneers captured the Group AA boys basketball state championship with a 53-43 win over Brunswick. Following the victory, head coach Scott Mankins gave all credit to his players, who finished the year with a 29-1 record.

NIT Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs UAB
March 24, 2008
The Hokies will be looking to pick up their 21st win of the season and earn another home game when they take on the UAB Blazers tonight at 9pm in Cassell Coliseum. A win would send Tech to the quarterfinals of the NIT, and if they win that game, they'll be heading to Madison Square Garden. However, UAB is a very good team who will have something to say about that.
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