August 15, 2007
Football practice continues for Tech squad
The Notebook
Preparations for the first football game continue in the searing heat on the practice fields behind the Jamerson Athletics Center. Here are a few tidbits:

• The Hokies spent several periods working on special teams, including two periods devoted to kickoffs and kickoff returns. The battle for kickoff job continues, with Jud Dunlevy getting most of the reps with the first-team kickoff unit. Dunlevy, who hit two field goals in Saturday's scrimmage, won the daily practice field-goal competition today over Jared Develli and has a solid grip on that job. His height on kickoffs may enable him to wrestle the kickoff job away from Develli by the time the first game rolls around.

• For nearly all of the afternoon, the first-team offensive line featured Duane Brown, Nick Marshman, Ryan Shuman, Sergio Render, and Matt Welsh, who is trying to secure the starting left guard job, and at this point, has the edge over Hivera Green. The second unit consisted of Green, Beau Warren, Aaron Brown, Richard Graham, and Jaymes Brooks, the freshman from Newport News, Va.

Graham has been listed on the depth chart as the back-up to Duane Brown at left tackle, but today, Aaron Brown played left Tackle, and Graham spent the afternoon at right tackle behind Marshman and ahead of touted freshman Blake Dechristopher.

• There is still no word on the status of freshman offensive lineman William Alvarez, the 6-foot-5, 332-pounder from Woodbridge, Va., who is awaiting word from the NCAA's Clearinghouse. Tech's staff expects to know definitively on him by Friday at the latest.

Also, Roland Minor did not practice with the team today. Minor is still trying to clear up some academic issues.

• It was a semi-interesting day for freshman linebacker Hunter Ovens, as tonight at midnight marks the deadline that those drafted in Major League Baseball's amateur draft can sign with the team that drafted them. Ovens, a standout baseball player at Cardinal Mooney High in Bradenton, Fla., went in the 25th round to the San Diego Padres, but the 5-11, 199-pounder took himself out of the mix when he enrolled at Tech for the second summer session. Ovens, who fully expects to redshirt and spend a year learning the whip linebacker spot, has no regrets.

"I'm happy I was drafted," he said. "It was an accomplishment. I would have liked to have gone higher, but I'll play football and baseball here and see where it takes me."

• On the injury front, Barry Booker, a projected starter at defensive tackle, still hasn't been able to go full speed because of a toe injury. His injury may linger for a while.

Eric Davis and John Graves continue to nurse hamstring injuries and did very little today.

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