2 - Ronyell Whitaker Position: Cornerback
Class: r-Senior
Height: 5-9
Weight: 197
High School: Lake Taylor H.S.
Hometown: Norfolk, Va.
photo         One of the nation's top cornerbacks ... Was a first-team All-BIG EAST Conference performer and a third-team Associated Press All-America pick last season ... Has been named first team on Athlon's 2002 preseason All-America team ... Rated the No. 8 cornerback in the nation by The Sporting News ... Ranked the No. 10 cornerback by Lindy's ... A preseason All-BIG EAST pick by Athlon, TSN and collegefootballnews.com ... Heads into 2002 season at the field corner spot after starting the past two years at boundary corner ... Frequently draws an opponent's top receiver ... Is tough and physical ... Studies the game and opponents ... Has the potential to be a dominating corner, but needs to concentrate on every play ... Has seen action on over 1,375 plays during his last 21 regular-season games ... Was Tech's busiest player in 2000 with over 750 plays to his credit on defense and special teams ... Opened that season as the Hokies' starting field corner ... Moved to the boundary cornerback position when teammate Larry Austin suffered a season-ending injury at Boston College ... Moved back to the field side for the final two games ... Was asked to take over the punt return duties full-time in 2000 when André Davis was sidelined at Syracuse in the seventh game of the year ... Responded by finishing third in the BIG EAST and 16th in the nation ... A second-team All-BIG EAST selection in 2000 ... Named to the 2001 Virginia Division I All-State team by the state sports information directors ...

2001: Played in 10 games, recording 53 tackles ... Had 27 solo stops, 26 assists and broke up a team-high 10 passes ... Also had two tackles for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery ... Was in on six tackles in the opener against UConn ... Registered three solo stops and broke up a pass against Western Michigan ... Finished with a tackle and four assists at Rutgers ... Also had an interception and broke up a pass ... Had two solo tackles, recovered a fumble and broke up a pass against UCF ... Registered a solo tackle, an assist and three pass deflections at West Virginia ... ... Was in on seven tackles, one for a loss, and broke up two passes against Syracuse ... Returned a blocked field goal 71 yards for a touchdown at Pittsburgh ... Also had a solo tackle, three assists and a PBU in that game ... Was suspended for the Temple game for violating team rules ... Was credited with eight solo tackles, five assists, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against No. 1 Miami ... Earned Iron Hokie honors in both the preseason and spring testing periods ... Registered a personal-best 555-pound back squat in the spring ... Moved to field corner for spring practice ... Posted four tackles in one spring scrimmage ... Finished with two tackles, a tackle for loss, a pass broken up and an interception in another scrimmage ... Contributed a tackle in the Maroon-White game ...

2000: Started seven games at the field corner position and five at boundary corner ... Broke up two passes at East Carolina ... Registered his first interception in the Rutgers game ... Contributed seven tackles in back-to-back games against Boston College and Temple ... Added a 22-yard interception return against the Owls ... Was in on a career-high 11 tackles during the West Virginia game ... Also had two interceptions versus the Mountaineers ... Had 10 total hits during Tech's win over Pittsburgh ... Picked off his fifth pass at UCF ... Posted a 50-yard punt return against UCF and a personal-best 61-yard return in the Virginia game ... Compiled 61 total tackles, including 37 unassisted ... Turned in two tackles behind the line and nine passes broken up ... Averaged 14.4 yards on 17 punt returns ... Intercepted a pass and returned it 27 yards during a Gator Bowl win over Clemson ... Added three tackles and broke up a pass ... Ran a personal-best 4.44 in the 40 during spring testing ... Returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown in one spring scrimmage and posted four tackles and a pick in another scrimmage ... Was in on six tackles and broke up two passes in the Maroon-White game ... Returned three punts for 29 yards ... Won the George Preas Award as the defensive MVP of the spring ...

1999: Saw playing time in all 12 games ... Contributed just two tackles in his first four appearances ... Played 37 defensive downs at Rutgers ... Contributed three tackles and broke up a pass ... Also returned a blocked extra-point kick for a two-point defensive extra point for the Hokies ... Had three tackles in a win over Syracuse, including two on special teams ... Made six defensive stops and one special teams tackle in the Pittsburgh game ... Was called on to play 71 downs at West Virginia ... Responded with six tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass broken up ... Turned in a season-best eight tackles against Miami and another tackle for loss ... Contributed a total of 29 tackles, 22 of which were primary hits ... Broke up four passes ... Met all six goals in the strength and conditioning program during fall testing ... Posted a 500-pound back squat and 35 1/2-inch vertical jump ... Turned in a personal-best bench press of 330 during spring testing ... Returned two punts for 18 yards during the Maroon-White spring game ... Added a tackle and a pass broken up ...

1998: Practiced at the field cornerback position while redshirting ... Turned in a 475-pound back squat during spring strength and conditioning tests ... Returned a pass interception 53 yards for a touchdown in one of Tech's spring scrimmages ... Picked off a second pass in another scrimmage ... Posted six tackles in the annual spring game ... Voted the Paul Torgersen Award as the top defensive newcomer on the squad ...

High School: Lettered four years as a running back, defensive back and return man for Coach Dan Newell at Lake Taylor High ... Was the seventh-leading rusher in South Hampton Roads history ... Ran for 3,458 yards during his career and scored 44 touchdowns ... Earned preseason All-America honors from SuperPrep and PrepStar ... Named postseason A-A by PrepStar, which listed him the No. 6 running back in the ACC Region ... First-team all-state pick by The Associated Press and second-team by the coaches ... Rated one of the top 5 players in Virginia by The Charlottesville Daily Progress ... Ranked the ninth best prospect in Virginia by The Roanoke Times and 10th by SuperPrep ... Rushed for 970 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in 1997 ... Eastern District Offensive Player of the Year ... Named the All-Tidewater Player of the Year ... A three-time all-Tidewater selection ... Had 68 tackles and five interceptions for the season ... Contributed 180 yards rushing, a 60-yard punt return for a TD and two interceptions for touchdowns of 45 and 75 yards in a 21-20 win over Western Branch ... Turned in a game-winning 89-yard kickoff return versus Maury ... Posted 84 tackles, three sacks and five interceptions his junior year ... Rushed for over 1,000 yards ... Added two punt returns for touchdowns and one kickoff return ... Had 18 career interceptions and over 35 touchdowns ...

Personal: Ronyell Deshawn Whitaker ... Born 3/19/79 in Norfolk, VA ... Son of Sylvonia Whitaker ... Nephew of pro boxer Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker ... Enrolled in physical education.

2001 Tackles Game-by-Game
at Rutgers11450-00-0
at WVU11120-00-0
at Pittsburgh11340-00-0
at TempleDid not play
at Virginia13140-00-0