Named Tech's top defensive newcomer during spring practice ... Is expected to provide some much-needed depth at the mike linebacker position ... Made steady improvement during the spring ... A physical player who is good in the run game ... Is still learning the passing game ... Needs to play a little faster and with a little more consistency, but that should come with additional reps ... Coaches like his eagerness to learn and desire to be good ... Will give the Hokies quality depth if he can start off the preseason like he finished the spring ... Tech's coaches are excited about his future. 2007: Redshirted as a mike linebacker during the fall ... Bench pressed 355 pounds after arriving on campus ... His 360-pound jerk during off-season workouts equalled the third-best effort on the team ... Earned Iron Hokie honors in the process ... Was in on four tackles in one spring scrimmage and had three tackles and forced a fumble in another ... Won the Torgersen Award as the top defensive newcomer of the spring. High School: An All-America and All-Atlantic Region selection by PrepStar ... Had 171 tackles and five interceptions (three for touchdowns) as a senior for Coach Jody Groom ... As a junior, recorded 130 tackles and had three interceptions ... Holds the school records in tackles and starts ... In his best game as a senior he registered 21 tackles, blocked a field goal and took part in a goal-line stand ... Earned all-state honors at the linebacker position both seasons ... Was named all-conference his last three seasons ... Earned a spot on the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team ... Listed as the No. 14 overall player on the North Carolina 35 by SuperPrep ... Rated the No. 19 player in the state of North Carolina and the No. 25 middle linebacker in the country by Scout ... Listed as the No. 63 outside linebacker in the country by Rivals ... A member of the SuperPrep Mid-Atlantic Team his senior year. Personal: Barquell Rivers ... Born 12/19/88 in Wadesboro, NC ... Son of Norma Rivers and Ronnie Hall ... Enrolled in apparel, housing and resource management.