Two major depth chart changes highlighted Tuesday's practice, as
head coach Frank Beamer announced that Ike Whitaker, a redshirt sophomore from
In discussing Whitaker, Beamer left the door open for the young man
to return to the quarterback position after the season.
"We want him on the field and he wants to be on the field," Beamer
said. "We'll see how things work out this season and then meet after the season
and talk about it."
Whitaker had been working at both quarterback and receiver the past
week or so, but had struggled throwing the ball both in practices and in the
scrimmages. The move to receiver allows Whitaker a chance to fully acclimate to
the position before possibly moving into a starting role next season. The
Hokies lose four senior receivers after this season.
"I'm doing this for the team and for a chance to get on the field
this season," Whitaker said. "Doing both has been tough. I've messed up
mentally on some things just trying to do both. I think some of that is because
I've been so tired in the scrimmages. It's been tough, so I think this is the
Whitaker also said he could see that
"I knew early on that he was legit," Whitaker said. "I've got
nothing against him at all. This is a D-I school and there are always going to
be great players coming in. And he can do the job. So why not have him back
"I may work on both next summer when I'll have more time. I don't
know. We'll see how it goes. I'll talk to my family and then go from there."
"They're [the No. 2 unit] faster,"
"This was the coaches' decision. I have the same mentality that I
had before. I'm going to work hard and prepare myself every day and whatever
It's still not a given that
"Tyrod's thrown the ball accurately for the most part and he's made
some plays with his feet," Beamer said, explaining the move. "He's also shown a
lot of poise.
"He needs to get more work than what he's been getting. He's going
to be getting reps against the second-team defense when things are going faster
and then we'll evaluate further whether he redshirts. Instead of getting a
couple of reps [each team period], he's going to be getting 6, 7, maybe 8. That'll
enable us to get a good evaluation on him and then we'll decide."
Here are a couple of nuggets from the rest of practice:
• Beamer put his kickers through two kicking competitions. In the
first one, Dustin Keys and Matt Waldron tied for the top spot. In the second
one, Keys won it outright.
However, Jud Dunlevy, who missed three field goals and had one
blocked in Saturday's scrimmage, was the kicker during the team periods and
drilled all his attempts. Dunlevy still leads in the battle for the kickoff job
Beamer also changed the rules for the competition. A kick now must
be down the middle for it to be good. If it's remotely close to the goal posts,
it's ruled no good. Also, if it hits the cross bar and bounces through, it's
still no good.
"That shows how much this kicking duty means to Coach Beamer," Keys
said. "If he thinks it's too close to call, he tells you that, and you're out."
• Only three players missed Tuesday's practice because of injury - Cody Grimm (knee), Andrew Bowman (knee) and Hivera Green (high ankle sprain). Grimm and Green should be back soon. Bowman's status is more up in the air.
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