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   Welcome to TSLMail #335 - Friday, June 20, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

Defense Not So Experienced in 2008
by Chris Coleman,

Last week we looked at the top offensive players of the Beamer Bowl Era. This week we'll switch sides of the ball and pick our All-VT defensive team since 1993. The Hokies have such a reputation for good defense that it was very hard to make decisions for a lot of positions.

Ultimately, here's my starting lineup if I got to choose 11 defenders from the Beamer Bowl Era.

All-VT Defense, Beamer Bowl Era
Position Name

Corey Moore


J.C. Price


David Pugh


Cornell Brown


Vince Hall


Xavier Adibi


James Anderson


Brandon Flowers


Keion Carpenter


Pierson Prioleau


Tyronne Drakeford

It was not particularly difficult to pick the defensive ends. The Hokies have had two completely dominant players at end during the Beamer Bowl Era. In 1999, Corey Moore was a Unanimous All-American, and he led the Big East in sacks in 1998 and 1999. Cornell Brown was a Consensus All-American in 1996, leading the Big East with 14 sacks.

Brown and Moore built Virginia Tech's reputation for great defensive ends. For quite a while, every new defensive end recruit that the Hokies signed was "the next Corey Moore" or "the next Cornell Brown". Honorable mention: Chris Ellis, Darryl Tapp, John Engelberger.

Defensive tackle was a lot harder to pick. The Hokies have had a lot of very good ones, but no truly great one. The best was probably J.C. Price, who was a 3rd Team All-American in 1995. He had four sacks against Miami that year. David Pugh was also a 3rd Team All-American in 2001, so he is the other choice. Honorable Mention: Jonathan Lewis, Chad Beasley, Carlton Powell.

Just pop in a tape of the 2005 defense to see all three linebacker selections. Vince Hall, Xavier Adibi and James Anderson were all starters on that team. Vince Hall was one of the best pure football players to ever play for Tech, Xavier Adibi was the best coverage linebacker Bud Foster has ever had, and James Anderson was the most naturally gifted whip in school history.

It's hard to imagine all three players coming from the same defense, but that's how it worked out on my list. Honorable mention: George DelRicco (mike), Ben Taylor (backer), Jamel Smith (backer), Brandon Semones (whip).

I think we can all safely refer to Virginia Tech as DBU - Defensive Back University - from now on. Think about the number of defensive backs from Tech who have played in the NFL since the Beamer Bowl Era began: Tyronne Drakeford, Torrian Gray, Antonio Banks, Pierson Prioleau, Keion Carpenter, Ike Charlton, Anthony Midget, Cory Bird, Kevin McCadam, Willie Pile, Eric Green, Vincent Fuller, Jimmy Williams, Garnell Wilds, Justin Hamilton, Brandon Flowers, Nick Sorensen, Ronyell Whitaker, and DeAngelo Hall. Apologies if I left anyone out.

With so much talent, it was tough to choose defensive backs, so a new category was created, which we'll go over later. But first, let's talk about the starters.

Brandon Flowers is the best overall cornerback to ever play at Tech. He is one of the most natural football players, regardless of position, to ever play at Tech. He was an easy one for the list. As the other cornerback I chose Tyronne Drakeford. At safety we have Keion Carptenter, who was undrafted but turned into a five-year starter in the NFL. Pierson Prioleau is the rover, and he still plays in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Honorable mention corners include Jimmy Williams, DeAngelo Hall and Eric Green. At free safety, honorable mention players are William Yarbrough and Willie Pile, while Aaron Rouse makes the list at rover.

There are a lot of good players left off that list, many of whom played more than one position in the secondary. So I created a special list of the top versatile players in Tech's secondary.

VT All-Versatile Team
Name Positions

Torrian Gray


Antonio Banks


Vincent Fuller


Anthony Midget


Torrian Gray started at rover for Tech in 1995, where he was a hero in the Sugar Bowl. In 1996 he started at free safety. Antonio Banks, Vincent Fuller and Anthony Midget all spent time at free safety and cornerback for the Hokies.

Those guys deserve special recognition because they played more than one position in the secondary, and they were very good at whatever position they played. 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
Mount Tabor Star Can Play Either Guard Spot
June 20, 2008
Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, N.C.) guard C.J. Harris attended last year's NBPA Top 100 Camp as a rising junior and admits "I got pushed around a lot, but it really prepared me. It showed me where I needed to be and how much stronger, quicker and faster I needed to get."

Courtland's Hairston a Big-Time Prospect
June 20, 2008
Courtland (Spotsylvania, VA) forward Josh Hairston, one of the top 2010 class prospects in the country, is putting his versatile game on display at this week's NBPA Top 100 Camp. The 6-8, 215-pound rising junior has the ability to play from the perimeter or to play in the post, although he does have a slight preference.

Friday Football Q&A: June 20, 2008
June 20, 2008
This week's Friday Q&A deals with Virginia Tech's offense. Raleigh Hokie and Chris Coleman talk about what has caused the offense to struggle in the past, and why it should be improved in 2008.

Edwards Brothers Plan Return Trip to VT
June 19, 2008
Marlboro County (Bennettsville, S.C.) brothers Tariq and Tyrell Edwards performed well at Virginia Tech's camp earlier this month, but for now the Tech coaches have not yet pulled the trigger on offering both prospects. The brothers plan to return to Blacksburg, though, in hopes of swaying the Tech coaches.

TSL Audio: The Final Word, 6/18/08
June 19, 2008
On last night's "Catching Up With Coleman" segment of "The Final Word With George Hunsicker," George and Chris talked about Virginia Tech football recruiting: what players have committed where, who is still on the Hokies' board, and more (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.5 MB, 10:38).

Philmore Sees NBPA as an Opportunity
June 19, 2008
6-7, 210-pound forward Isaiah Philmore is excited to be in Charlottesville right now for the NBPA Top 100 Camp. The John Carroll (Bel Air, MD) standout rising senior is anxious to match his talents against other top prospects from across the country, and he is hopeful that those who do rankings will notice his performance.

Kendall Durant Not Coming to Virginia Tech
June 18, 2008
The Roanoke Times is reporting that 2008 Virginia Tech basketball signee Kendall Durant will not enroll at Tech, and will not play basketball for the Hokies. Durant is a combo guard recruit from Capital Heights, MD.

Catching up with Dwight Tucker
June 18, 2008
Former Oviedo (FL) star defensive lineman Dwight Tucker certainly had a big off-season between his junior and senior seasons, adding about 30 pounds to his 6-3 frame. Tucker's preparation for Virginia Tech has been just as intense, though in a different way.

Recruiting Update: Prospects That are Heading Elsewhere
June 17, 2008
As a result of their recent recruiting camp in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech now has five verbal commitments for the 2009 recruiting class, as well as one verbal for the 2010 class. The Hokies don't have a lot of open spots this year, and the target board is so small that you're probably able to memorize it, if you're the type that follows recruiting closely. Today's article is about a group of guys you won't have to remember, because they aren't signing with Virginia Tech.

Gibson Primed for Freshman Year
June 17, 2008
Two-time Beach district Defensive Player of the Year Lyndell Gibson will arrive in Blacksburg on June 29th, and he is very much looking forward to it. The 5-11, 210-pound linebacker, a former star at Salem High School in Virginia Beach, has been preparing hard for his freshman year at Virginia Tech.

Wilson Hopes to Narrow List in July
June 16, 2008
George Washington (Danville, VA) running back David Wilson boasts an impressive list of scholarship offers that includes Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Now comes the tough part. The 5-11, 190-pound speedster hopes to narrow his list of schools soon and could do so as early as next month.

Hokie Track Teams Finish Up at NCAA Meet
June 16, 2008
The Virginia Tech track & field teams recently competed at the NCAA National Championships in Des Moines, IA. Although there were some early setbacks that prevented a higher finish, both the men's and women's teams earned valuable points that will go towards the Directors' Cup.
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