Welcome to Camp Confidential, Year Two, here at hokiesports.com, where we’ll go behind the scenes of the 2012 Virginia Tech preseason football camp. Practice starts tomorrow, but today is check-in day. As we speak, the players (returning and new) are streaming into the Merryman Center to begin the 2012 season. It’s organized chaos downstairs, but as usual, it’ll get done in a timely manner.
So as for today ... after checking in with veteran Kristie Verniel in the coaches’ office to fill out a few forms, the players head downstairs for a variety of poking, prodding, measuring and so on. They’ll meet with the trainers to get updated heights and weights and will perform the concussion test, take their blood pressure, fill out forms and give contact information. They’ll get parking squared away if they haven’t already. They’ll meet with long-time equipment manager Lester Karlin to get their equipment and then head to their locker to get that all situated.
The freshmen will meet at 4:45 to go over dorm rules and then the entire team will convene at 5 o’clock for the first team meeting of the year. They’ll be greeted by Athletic Director Jim Weaver and will have an educational speaker each night. Tonight will have to do with residential housing for the freshmen and all the team members will be spoken to about drug testing, compliance, weight lifting, team rules and more. Other guests slated during the preseason will deal with the rule changes in college football, nutrition, hydration, academics, FCA, the ticket policy, the NFL, social media, parking services and more.
The coaches have been busy today, as well. They’ve been in meetings most of the morning getting their depth charts and practice schedules squared and will check-in with their own players as well before the meetings begin. Coach Shane Beamer tweeted the picture at right of the staff grinding away. You can follow him @CoachSBeamer.
After the team meeting, the team will eat a nice steak dinner in the Bowman Room at 7 o’clock and then there will be individual meetings at 8 p.m. The real fun begins Thursday at 7 a.m. with breakfast, lifting, the 100 makeups, lunch, meetings and then practice at 5 o’clock. The media will get its crack at the defensive players and coaches after practice so be sure to check out their blogs, tweets and stories online and in their respective papers.
This year, we’re going to send our roving reporter, Rachel Perreault, behind the scenes of camp to give you access to places fans don’t get to go. She’ll have a story on what goes on in preparing team meals, check in with the sports medicine staff, take a look in the equipment room, show you what it’s like in a position meeting and much more. There’s so much more than meets the eye in terms of getting ready for a season from a departmental standpoint and hopefully her insights will bring you closer to the action during camp. We’ll also have scrimmage reports and daily videos to give you a feel for what’s going on as the Hokies get ready for the big season opener.
So here’s your first nugget of the blog. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but still good information. D.J. Coles (PCL) and Tariq Edwards (knee/shin) will start off in blue and will probably remain there for a while as the staff continues to try to get them ready for the season. “Our plan is we can get those guys ready,” head athletic trainer Mike Goforth said. “We know what they can do, it’s just how they recover each day. Thank goodness we are only practicing once a day and Coach Beamer is totally on board with giving these guys a day off here and there to help out.” Bruce Taylor (foot), Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (foot), Michael Via (knee), David Wang (foot) and Antoine Hopkins (knee) are full and ready to roll. A couple of freshmen could start off in blue with hamstring issues (Trey Edmunds, Davion Tookes, Jarontay Jones and Zach Snell), but should be full before long.
So that’s the sort of stuff we’re looking to provide here. Our goal this camp isn’t to break the news, but to bring you some behind-the-scenes video, interviews, stories, blogs, tweets, pictures and more as the Hokies begin their season. One last note, if you’re not already, be sure to follow us on Twitter @VT_Football for timely tweets on the team. We’re at just over 26,000 followers right now, so spread the word and let’s get to 30K by that first game! Also, be sure to follow the equipment room on Twitter … they’re new and need some people making them feel loved. Their handle is @VTFBEquipment. While I can’t promise you that Lester Karlin is the one tweeting, I can promise you they’ll have some cool stuff from the equipment room that you can’t get anywhere else. They tweeted a picture of the practice gear the team will be wearing this year. You can see it to the right.
That’s it for today. Check back with hokiesports.com later tonight for the updated heights and weights and we’ll crank this thing up tomorrow.
For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).