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  TSLMail #384- June 5, 2009    
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 Tech Sports News

Talent Comparison: 2007 and 2009
by Chris Coleman,

Throughout the summer, a number of Tech fans will find themselves comparing the 2009 Tech football team to other elite teams of the past. We'll start that off today by comparing them to the 2007 team that featured so much future NFL talent.

First, let's see how the recruiting rankings of the starting lineups for each team compare.

Recruit Rankings Comparison
Year Off. Star
Def. Star
Overall Star
2007 2.91 2.91 2.91
2009 3.27 3.09 3.18

According to those rankings, the 2009 team is the more talented team on offense, defense, and overall. However, as we all know, recruiting rankings can be deceiving.

First of all, the 2007 team is held back by the fact that starting defensive end Orion Martin was a walk-on, thus he gets no stars. That drops the average star ranking of the 2007 defense back quite a bit, even though Martin went on to be an All-ACC defensive end for the Hokies.

Men's VT AnoChrome WatchI would argue that the recruiting analysts gain more respect for Virginia Tech's recruiting classes year by year. For example, players like Carlton Powell and Sam Wheeler were 2-star recruits when they signed with Tech, but there is a good chance that they would have been 3-star guys if they signed a couple of years later.

Recruiting rankings mean nothing, however, so let's compare each team by each position.

Quarterback - The Hokies had Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor in 2007, and that made for an effective duo. However, in 2009 Taylor will have the job all to himself and should be ready to take the next step as a quarterback. Advantage: 2009

Running Back - In 2007, Tech had a banged up Branden Ore and no effective backups. In 2009, Tech will have 1,200 yard rusher Darren Evans and rising star Ryan Williams. Advantage: 2009

Wide Receiver - The 2009 wide receivers are talented, but the 2007 group featured four talented seniors: Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Justin Harper and Josh Hyman. Advantage: 2007

Tight End - Sam Wheeler and Greg Boone played a lot in 2007, with Wheeler getting hurt against Georgia Tech. In 2009, Greg Boone, Andre Smith and Sam Wheeler all appear to be ready to play, and incoming blue chip recruit Logan Thomas could see action as well. Advantage: 2009

Offensive Line - The 2007 line featured first round pick Duane Brown, but an injury to Ed Wang forced Richard Graham into the starting lineup at guard, which did not produce good results. They were solid for the second half of the season, but they were pretty bad in the opening weeks of the season. The 2009 starting five looks good right now, and they appear to have more depth. Advantage: 2009

Overall Offense - The 2009 Hokies look better up front than the 2007 team, and they look more explosive overall. Advantage: 2009

Defensive Line - The 2007 team was 4-deep at defensive end, and they could also play five defensive tackles. The 2009 team has depth issues at both positions. Advantage: 2007

Linebacker - The 2007 team featured the best combo of inside linebackers in school history in Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. The 2009 team is breaking in Barquell Rivers and Jake Johnson, both new starters. Advantage: 2007

Defensive Back - The 2007 team had two All-ACC cornerbacks in Brandon Flowers and Macho Harris. They also had senior free safety D.J. Parker, and Kam Chancellor was the perfect fit at rover. The 2009 team has a proven player in Stephan Virgil, but the field corner position is up for grabs. Advantage: 2007

Overall Defense - The 2009 defense will likely be very good, but it's tough to give them an advantage over the 2007 team anywhere, with the exception of whip linebacker. Advantage: 2007

There you have it. The 2009 team appears better on offense, while the 2007 team looks better on defense. All of that is just on paper, so we won't know until the team steps onto the field against Alabama on September 5. 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
VT Makes Dakota Royer's First Cut
June 5, 2009
Under Armour All-American Dakota Royer boasted over 20 Division 1A scholarship offers before whittling down his list of schools to 10. Virginia Tech is one of the 10 finalists for the 6-2 1/2, 215-pound rising senior defensive end/linebacker, who has totaled 22 sacks over the past two seasons at Manheim Central High School (Manheim, PA).

Nebraska, Marshall Football Game Times Announced
June 4, 2009
The ACC has released broadcast information and game times for 17 football games involving conference teams, including Virginia Tech. Game times and broadcast plans for Virginia Tech's games against Nebraska and Marshall, previously unknown, are now set.

Incoming Freshman DE Reflects on Recruitment
June 4, 2009
Boston College, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia. Brooke Point (Stafford, VA) defensive end Lanford Collins certainly had a large selection of schools to choose from, but after making official visits to four schools the 6-4, 240-pound senior chose Virginia Tech. A month before he is to arrive in Blacksburg, Collins took time to reflect on his recruitment and look ahead to his first year at Virginia Tech.

State of the Program, Part Three: Virginia Tech Recruiting
June 4, 2009
Recruiting is the most vital aspect of every basketball program in the country. Without good players, even great coaches couldn't win. Major program-level decisions, such as building facilities and hiring coaches, are made with recruiting in mind.

Farris Talks Enrollment Plans, Nike Performance
June 3, 2009
The fact that Rockbridge (Lexington, VA) offensive lineman Caleb Farris committed to Virginia Tech during its Spring Game didn't come as a surprise to many. What did come as a surprise, however, was learning that the 6-4, 300-pound rising senior, one of the top offensive line prospects in the state of Virginia's 2010 class, plans to enroll at Tech in January of 2011.

Catching Up With Ace Custis
June 3, 2009
Watch Ace Custis play basketball these days and you'll hear something strange when he catches the ball. The former Tech star is now playing in Japan, and he's refined his game.

Price of Scheduling Continues to Rise
June 2, 2009
Virginia Tech will be playing arguably the most challenging and entertaining out-of-conference schedule in school history in 2009. Enjoy it while you can, because it's the last good schedule you'll see for awhile.

Offer Profile: Midlothian OG/OC Matt Arkema
June 2, 2009
Virginia Tech has had success in recruiting central Virginia's Dominion district over the past several years, scoring former Manchester star defensive lineman Khalil Latif and Clover Hill offensive lineman Blake DeChristopher in the 2007 class. Tech has offered another Dominion district lineman in the 2010 class, this time heading to Midlothian High School.

NC DE Rising on the Recruiting Scene
June 2, 2009
Norwood (N.C.) South Stanly defensive end Justin Taylor looked raw at this past Saturdayís invite-only combine held at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane (N.C.); however, thatís understandable considering he doesnít have a lot of experience working out at combines. In fact, the 2009 season will be just his second as a football player after focusing almost exclusively on basketball.

TSL Audio: The Jerry Miller Show, 5/28/09
June 1, 2009

On Thursday, Chris Coleman was a guest on The Jerry Miller Show, where he and Miller discussed Virginia Tech selling out their season ticket allotment for the tenth season in a row. They also talked about the latest Virginia Tech verbal commitment, Jerome Lewis.
The Jerry Miller Show appears on The Sports Addict Radio Network every afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm in Blacksburg (1430 AM), Charlottesville (840 AM), and Bluefield (1050 AM), and from 2:00-4:00 in Martinsville (1160 AM).

Davis Sees Decision Coming this Summer
June 1, 2009
Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) first-team all-district offensive tackle Conner Davis has always indicated a preference to commit before the beginning of his senior year, but he has also said he would only do so if he has zero doubts. The 6-5, 270-pound rising senior now seems more confident that a decision will indeed come sooner rather than later.
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