August 4, 2008
Hokies begin 2008 fall practice
The Virginia Tech football team opened practice Monday afternoon and began preparations in earnest for the 2008 season. The team consisted of 105 players, as allowed by the NCAA. The coaching staff can expand the roster to 115 once school starts in a few weeks. On Monday, the team did not practice in full pads, but rather in shorts, jerseys and helmets.
Following practice, Tech head coach Frank Beamer met with the media about his squad, which was picked to win the ACC’s Coastal Division.
“This is the most important preseason practice we’ve had in a long time,” Beamer said. “Who our backups are on defense, who our quarterback is, who are receivers are, who are running backs are – we’ve got just a lot of important things to decide here in the preseason.”
Most of the questions centered on the quarterback position. Beamer and his staff plan on giving Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor equal reps. Beamer would like to settle on one quarterback, but don’t expect an imminent decision.
“We’re not going to put a deadline on this,” Beamer said.
Other observations from Tech’s practice:
• Zach Luckett suffered from severe cramps toward the end of practice and struggled just to get off the field. The redshirt sophomore receiver should be ready for Tuesday’s practice.
• Cam Martin was wearing a knee brace on his right knee. Martin, the starter at whip linebacker, injured the knee in the ACC championship game and it flared up on him during a July workout. He looked fine, though.
• Sam Wheeler, the Hokies’ starting tight end a year ago until blowing out his knee in the Georgia Tech game, ran with a noticeable limp during conditioning drills at the end of practice and doesn’t appear close to being ready.
• Macho Harris got some reps at receiver and hauled in a long touchdown reception. The senior, who will start at boundary corner, figures to see more and more action at receiver as the Hokies’ staff attempts to find some playmakers among the young crop.
• Speaking of receivers, Dyrell Roberts and Marcus Davis – two touted freshman – were listed at No. 2 on the depth chart at the receiver slots. Roberts looked particularly impressive and stands a good chance at playing this fall. Davis is an imposing target at 6-foot-3, 222 pounds.
• Former offensive lineman Billy Conaty and his son made an appearance at practice. Conaty, who toiled in the NFL for several years as an offensive lineman/snapper, currently is in law school at Rutgers.
• Whips and rovers coach Jim Cavanaugh celebrated his 60th birthday on Monday. Tyrod Taylor celebrated his 19th birthday on Sunday.
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