October 20, 2009
Former receiver Royal makes history; other former Hokies doing well in NFL
Former Tech and current Denver receiver Eddie Royal enjoyed arguably the game of his young career when he thrilled a Monday night audience by returning two kicks for touchdowns in the Broncos’ 34-23 victory over San Diego in San Diego. The victory moved the Broncos to 6-0 on the season.
Royal became the first player in Broncos history and the 11th player in NFL history to return a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown in the same game, and he became the first player to do since Nov. 25, 2007, when Chicago’s Devin Hester did both. Royal returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score with 4:39 left in the first quarter and then returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown with 5:53 left in the first half.
“You’ve got to believe it can happen before you do it,” Royal said in an ESPN.com article about the game. “I’ve got a lot of faith in the guys in front of me, so I wasn’t surprised.”
Royal finished with 235 yards combined on kickoff and punt returns. That established a new Broncos record.
Royal’s game marked the latest in significant contributions made by former Virginia Tech players currently playing in the NFL. So far this season, 22 former Hokies have been active for at least one game and 18 have gotten at least one start. The list includes the following, with games played and games started:
#50 James Anderson, OLB, Carolina Panthers (5 GP/1 GS)
#76 Duane Brown, OT, Houston Texans (6 GP/6 GS)
#17 David Clowney, WR, New York Jets (5 GP/1 GS)
#11 André Davis, WR, Houston Texans (4 GP/1 GS)
#24 Brandon Flowers, CB, Kansas City Chiefs (5 GP/5 GS)
#77 Brandon Frye, OT, Seattle Seahawks (IR) (4 GP/3 GS)
#17 Shayne Graham, PK, Cincinnati Bengals (6 GP/6 GS)
#64 Jake Grove, C, Miami Dolphins (5 GP/5 GS)
#23 DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington Redskins (6 GP/6 GS)
#35 Macho Harris, CB, Philadelphia Eagles (5 GP/5 GS)
#47 Jeff King, TE, Carolina Panthers (5 GP/4 GS)
#63 Will Montgomery, OG, Washington Redskins (6 GP/1 GS)
#84 Josh Morgan, WR, San Francisco 49ers (5 GP/5 GS)
#37 Aaron Rouse, S, New York Giants * (6 GP/1 GS)
#19 Eddie Royal, WR, Denver Broncos (6 GP/5 GS)
#27 Nick Sorensen, S, Cleveland Browns (6 GP/3 GS)
#55 Darryl Tapp, DE, Seattle Seahawks (6 GP/1 GS)
#17 Ernest Wilford, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars (6 GP/2 GS)
* - Rouse started the week 2 game for Green Bay, but was cut and was picked up for week 3 by the New York Giants
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