Moved into the starting mike linebacker spot during the spring after serving as a special teams starter in 2001 ... Has worked hard to make himself a better player ... Combines the ability to make plays with a motor that runs nonstop ... Lacks height but showed he could handle the position during the spring ... Possesses good strength and athletic ability ... Has played equally well against the run and the pass ... Should continue to improve as he gains experience ... Will be a key figure in Tech's defensive plans ... 2001: Recorded a 500-pound squat and 326-pound push jerk in preseason strength and conditioning tests ... Played in all 11 games as a starter on special teams ... Worked as a backup at the backer position but did not see game action ... Recorded seven total tackles and a forced fumble ... Had an assist against Western Michigan ... Turned in a solo stop and an assist on seven special teams plays at Rutgers ... Had two tackles on special teams at Pittsburgh ... Registered a solo tackle on special teams against Temple ... Forced a fumble on kickoff coverage that was recovered by the Hokies at Virginia ... Played a season-high 12 special teams plays against Miami ... Earned Super Iron Hokie honors during spring testing ... Turned in a time of 4.03 seconds in the NFL shuttle run and bench pressed 370 pounds ... Switched to the mike linebacker spot during the spring ... Was in on seven tackles during one spring scrimmage and four during another ... Posted three tackles in the annual Maroon-White game ... 2000: Bench pressed 320 pounds when he reported in August ... Was redshirted while he worked at the backer position ... Was a personal record-breaker during winter workouts ... Improved his bench to 355 pounds ... Also posted a 530-pound back squat ... Got extra work during the spring while starting backer Ben Taylor was rehabbing from fall surgery ... Contributed a tackle in the spring game ... High School: A three-year starter as a linebacker for Coach Bill McGregor at DeMatha ... A PrepStar All-American who was rated the No. 3 linebacker and No. 17 overall prospect in the Atlantic Region ... Ranked the No. 17 player in Maryland by SuperPrep ... Posted 102 total tackles his senior season, including 65 solos ... Had 11 quarterback sacks and 16 tackles for loss ... Caused six fumbles and recovered two ... Intercepted two passes in 1999 and blocked a punt ... Contributed 12 tackles, two sacks, three passes broken up and two fumbles caused in a game against Paul VI ... Earned all-county, all-conference and first-team all-state honors ... Was in on 117 solo tackles and 34 assists as a junior ... Caused six fumbles that season and added eight sacks and five interceptions ... Finished his prep career with 274 total tackles, 14 fumbles caused and seven interceptions ... Helped the team to a 33-2-1 record during his three varsity seasons ... Personal: Mikal Rahim Baaqee ... Born 12/20/81 in Boston, MA ... Son of Susanne Bilal and Shakir Baaqee ... Enrolled in university studies.