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The Senior Class
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #460, November 26, 2010

Tomorrow's game with UVA will mark the Senior Day celebration for 16 Virginia Tech seniors. If they manage to win the ACC this year, they will have three ACC Championships in four seasons, a remarkable accomplishment.

Here is a list of those 16 seniors, with a brief synopsis of what they've accomplished at Virginia Tech, and what they've contributed to the program.

Davon Morgan - Morgan is Virginia Tech's starting rover. He played as a true freshman in 2007, blew out his knee early in 2008, and was never completely healthy until his senior season. He is finally flourishing as a senior. He has the first four interceptions of his career this season, including critical ones against Georgia Tech and Miami.

Tyrod Taylor - Taylor has started 39 career games for Virginia Tech. He has thrown for 6,356 yards and 39 touchdowns, and he has rushed for 2,126 yards and 22 touchdowns. His 8,482 yards of total offense is the Virginia Tech record. He has an opportunity to win his third ACC Championship in four seasons. Taylor will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in Virginia Tech history.

Rashad Carmichael - Carmichael's career started out slow, but he has developed into a top notch cornerback over the last two seasons. He has excellent speed, and could be the first Virginia Tech player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. Carmichael has 10 career interceptions. Unfortunately, he's doubtful for Saturday's game with an ankle sprain.

Steven Friday - Friday had to wait until his senior season to start, because he had trouble keeping on weight and because he was playing behind excellent defensive ends. It has been worth the wait. He leads the team with 7.5 sacks, and he has 14 tackles for loss. He has a good chance to be a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft in April.

John Graves - Graves has been a starting defensive tackle at Virginia Tech since the 2008 season. He has struggled with injuries at times, but he was always able to tough it out and play through them. Graves has become one of the more popular players the Hokies have ever had, not only because of his play on the field, but because of his personality off the field.

Chris Hazley - Hazley is the latest of Tech's highly successful placekickers during the ACC era. After missing his first career attempt against Boise State, he has converted 18 consecutive field goals and will probably be a First Team All-ACC player.

Zach Luckett - Luckett began his career as a wide receiver, and after some off the field issues, he turned his career around and became an excellent special teams player. He was all set to start at the whip position this year, but he blew his knee out during the 2009 UVA game and never had the opportunity. Luckett should be given credit for turning his life around in the right direction in the middle of his career, which is a difficult thing to do.

Brian Saunders - Like Hazley, Saunders only had the opportunity to start for one season. As Tech's senior punter, he has done a fine job. Saunders is averaging 44.8 yards per punt this year, and he is one of the top punters in the ACC.

Andre Smith - Smith developed into one of the best blocking tight ends in Tech history, and he has improved his receiving skills as a senior as well. Smith has 16 receptions and five touchdowns on the season, and he will likely be selected in April's NFL Draft.

Beau Warren - Warren is Virginia Tech's starting center, and he's done very well over the course of his career. Despite not being an overly big player, he is Tech's most consistent offensive linemen, and has very good feet. He has graded out with a winning grade in every game this season.

Kenny Younger - Younger took over the starting fullback role this year as a senior. He's a physical player who blocks very well in the running game. He caught four passes this season, including a critical third down at Miami.

Jeff Wardach - Wardach is one of those rare walk-ons who finishes all four years of his career, despite not getting playing time. It takes a dedicated player to show up for practice every single day without seeing time on the field during an actual game. Wardach, a defensive end, is a valuable member of the scout team each and every week.

Ron Cooper - Cooper, a free safety, was once one of the fastest players on the team before blowing out his knee. He would have developed into a good special teams player for the Hokies, but he was never able to successfully overcome his knee issues.

Josh Eadie - Eadie is a walk-on defensive end who saw extensive playing time on special teams as a senior. He also recorded half-a-sack in mop-up duty this year in a "Rudy" type play. Eadie is a dedicated player who was once cut from walk-on tryouts, but stuck it out and eventually earned playing time.

Prince Parker - Parker has played in 25 games in his career, mostly on special teams. He has one catch for four yards. He did get some quality reps earlier this season when Eric Martin was injured, and threw a key block on Darren Evans' long touchdown run against NC State.

Rob Stanton - Rob Stanton played in 12 career games on special teams. He provided valuable depth for Frank Beamer's special teams units over the past two seasons.

Thanks to all of Virginia Tech's seniors for their hard work and dedication, and best of luck in their future endeavors.



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