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   Welcome to TSLMail #336- Friday, June 27, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News


2008 Receivers Will be Young, Just like 2004
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Last summer we ran a TSLMail that covered the production of Tech's four rising senior receivers. Eddie Royal, Justin Harper, Josh Morgan and Josh Hyman were all set to have the most productive season of any wide receiver corps in school history. They were supposed to be the strength of the offense. The Hokies won't have that luxury this year.

First, let's look at the productions of Tech's wide receivers heading into 2007.

Career Receptions Heading Into 2007
Name Receptions

Eddie Royal

86

Josh Morgan

76

Josh Hyman

56

Justin Harper

42

Total

260


That's a lot of experience and a lot of catches than Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor had to work with.

However, they won't have that luxury this year. Here are Tech's top returning receiving targets for 2008, regardless of position.

Career Receptions Heading Into 2008
Name Receptions

Sam Wheeler

28

Greg Boone

16

Andre Smith

6

Kenny Lewis

5

Ike Whitaker

3

Zach Luckett

2

Kenny Jefferson

1

Devin Perez

1

Total

62


Tech's top eight returning receivers have caught a total of 62 passes in their careers. That's not as many as Eddie Royal and Josh Morgan had caught as individuals heading into 2007, and it's barely ahead of Josh Hyman. I think it's safe to say that the passing game won't be Tech's strength this year, at least not at first.

There is one name that is conspicuously absent from the list above. Tech's top receiver of the spring was Brandon Dillard. At this point he looks like the Hokies' top playmaking threat at wide receiver in 2008. He has blazing speed, having been electronically clocked at 4.29 in the 40. However, the rising junior has never caught a pass in his 2-year career.

That last example alone is enough to show how bare the wide receiver cupboard is following the departures of Royal, Morgan, Harper and Hyman. When the guy who appears to be your most dependable receiver at this point has never caught a pass in a college game, then there's going to be a learning curve.

Despite all that, things aren't all that different right now than they were heading into the 2004 season. Here is a look at Tech's top returning pass catchers in 2004, based on their 2003 stats.

Leading Returning Receivers in 2004
Name Receptions

Richard Johnson

13

Mike Imoh

9

Jeff King

6

David Clowney

5

Cedric Humes

4

Jared Mazzetta

3

Chris Clifton

3

Steve Canter

1

Total

44


The Hokies lost all-time leading receiver Ernest Wilford, second leading receiver Justin Hamilton moved to tailback, Doug Easlick finished his career, Kevin Jones declared for the NFL Draft and Chris Shreve completed his eligibility.

Heading into 2004, we were all every bit as concerned about wide receiver as we are heading into 2008. With the knowledge of 2004 in mind, the best bet for 2008 is that this group will start out slow.

There will be at least one true freshman in the lineup. In 2004, Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan and Justin Harper all played as true freshmen. Dyrell Roberts is expected to fill that role this year, and he could get help from Randall Dunn and Jarrett Boykin as well.

If you'll recall, Tech opened the 2004 season against USC. Tech's most experienced wide receivers, such as Chris Clifton, let the offense down in that game. (Clifton had two drops, one deep in USC territory.) At that point, Frank Beamer decided his freshmen needed to be the primary targets, and they were for the remainder of the season. They had their struggles, and they weren't consistent, but by the end of the season they were a legit threat.

If Tech's receiving corps isn't up to par in the early part of this season, don't get worried. They aren't supposed to be. There is talent in the group, just not experience, so they should get better as the year goes on.

 

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week
Friday Football Q&A: June 27, 2008
June 27, 2008
Did Virginia Tech miss it's opportunity for a National Championship in 1999? How does Joseph "Ju-Ju" Clayton fit into Tech's plans at quarterback? And finally, how does Tech's depth compare to that of other programs? Raleigh Hokie and Chris Coleman tackle these questions in this week's Friday Q&A.
more

Pistons Draft Deron Washington
June 27, 2008
In somewhat of a surprise, former Virginia Tech forward Deron Washington was selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Washington was considered a long shot to be drafted, but the Detroit Pistons took him with the 59th pick overall, the next-to-last pick in the draft.
more

St. Xavier Star to Visit Virginia, Virginia Tech
June 27, 2008
One of the nation's top defensive end prospects in the 2009 class will tour the state of Virginia's two major Division 1A programs this weekend. St. Xavier (Cincinnati, OH) star Pat Muldoon, a 6-4, 265-pound rising senior, has top offers from all over the country including Alabama, Boston College, Iowa, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin, among others.
more

Status of the 2008 Football Recruiting Class
June 26, 2008
Virginia Tech's 2008 recruiting class was quite impressive - in addition to signing 16 of TSL's in-state top 30, Tech's class ranked 18th nationally by Rivals.com - but a major question mark was just how many of Tech's 30 signees would suit up for the Hokies in the 2008 season. After all, a Division 1A program may only enroll 25 players in a given class. Things have become much clearer in the past month or so, but there are still some questions lingering with respect to which recruits will enroll when.
more

Hokies Finish 37th in Directors' Cup
June 26, 2008
The Men's College World Series ended on Wednesday night, bringing the 2007-08 sports season to a conclusion. Today, the final standings of the Directors' Cup competition were released, and Virginia Tech continues to move up the charts year after year.
more

Boggs Talks NBPA, Virginia Tech
June 26, 2008
Virginia Tech's future backcourt was on display at last week's NBPA Top 100 Camp. For Hidden Valley (Roanoke, VA) rising senior Ben Boggs, the chance to play with fellow 2009 class commit Erick Green was an opportunity not only to play alongside a close friend, but to get to know each other's tendencies on the court as well.
more

TSL Audio: The Final Word, 6/25/08
June 26, 2008
It has been a busy week for Virginia Tech recruiting, both in football and men's basketball, and on the latest "Catching Up With Coleman" segment of "The Final Word With George Hunsicker," George and Chris talked about Tech's latest verbals: football players Telvion Clark and Andrew Miller, and basketball player Manny Atkins (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.4 MB, 10:26).
more

2006-07 Financial Report: ACC Gives Hokie Finances a Huge Boost
June 25, 2008
This is the third annual appearance of my article on Virginia Tech Athletic financial information. This year's report covers the 2006-07 academic year, including the 2006 football season and the 2006-07 men's basketball season. Powered by ACC revenue-sharing and ever-increasing football income, Virginia Tech's athletic revenue jumped an incredible 34.8% from 2005-06 to 2006-07.
more

More on Miller's Commitment to VT
June 25, 2008
Landing a commitment from Bassett (VA) offensive lineman/defensive lineman Andrew Miller is a big deal for Virginia Tech. The scholarship strapped Hokies will get a quality recruit - a 6-5, 275-pound lineman who had offers for football-only offers from Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest - and it doesn't have to use up a scholarship in the 2009 class.
more

Greenberg Scores 2009 Commit #3
June 24, 2008
Two years ago, Virginia Tech landed a standout wing forward out of the state of Georgia in former Stone Mountain High School standout Terrell Bell. Two years later, head coach Seth Greenberg has received a verbal commitment from another wing from the Stone Mountain area.
more

Five Years Ago Today
June 24, 2008
Five years ago today, Virginia Tech was invited to join the ACC. The Hokies didn't sign on the dotted line until July 1, 2003, and Tech didn't become a full member of the conference until a year later, but June 24, 2003 is the day to mark on your calendar and to celebrate, because that's the day the ACC head honchos finally caved in and voted to offer admission to the Hokies.
more

C.J. Harris Makes Visit
June 24, 2008
Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, N.C.) rising senior combo guard C.J. Harris followed through and did indeed visit Virginia Tech on Sunday, a day after the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville. The 6-3, 175-pound prospect had been to Tech several times for football games, but this was the first opportunity he had to thoroughly tour the campus.
more

Bassett OL Makes His Choice
June 23, 2008
Bassett (VA) standout lineman Andrew Miller had three scholarship offers for football, from Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest, and he also had an offer from Virginia Tech to accept a wrestling scholarship and then switch over to football after one year. Last night, he made his decision.
more

Why Wait? Clark Commits to VT
June 23, 2008
Telvion Clark didn't need to wait any longer before making his college decision. Just hours after indicating that he would announce his college decision tomorrow, the Granby (Norfolk, VA) 6-1, 205-pound standout linebacker called primary recruiter Curt Newsome and pledged his commitment to sign with the Virginia Tech Hokies next February.
more

Report: Tech Primed to Land Commitment #6
June 23, 2008
Telvion Clark will not make a verbal commitment today and instead will do so tomorrow. Earlier today, he indicated to TechSideline.com that he had made his college decision but "wanted to make sure" before making his decision solid. But, as of now, all indications are that Virginia Tech will be the choice for the 6-1, 205-pound linebacker.
more

Granby Star Seems Close to a Decision
June 22, 2008
Telvion Clark has had an impressive month of June, earning scholarship offers from North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia Tech after attending each school's camp. The 6-1, 205-pound Granby (Norfolk, VA) linebacker does not plan to take his recruitment much farther, though, and could have a decision in the very near future.
more

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."
more

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.
more
 
 
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