Stepped up in the spring and showed he was ready for the challenge of filling the backer position vacated by four-year starter Xavier Adibi ... Answered a lot questions with his performance, most importantly that he could play with consistency ... Has all the tools, including great speed and athleticism ... A powerful player who has won the Excalibur Award, the highest honor in the Tech strength and conditioning program ... A starter on the kickoff return team and a member of two other special team units ... Has backed up at the backer position the past three seasons ... The Hokies are hoping that now is his time to shine at that position. 2007: Saw action as a starter on the kickoff return team ... Picked up six plays at the backer position against Ohio and was in on a tackle ... Made the most of his 55 plays at the backer position against William & Mary ... Posted eight tackles, including two sacks ... Also intercepted two passes on the way to a team-leading defensive grade of 49 points ... Collected two tackles on 16 plays at Duke ... Picked up another tackle against GT ... Recovered an on-side kick against FSU ... Was in for seven plays at linebacker against Miami, picking up a QB hurry ... Finished the year with 12 total tackles ... Added two sacks, two interceptions and two hurries ... Had a 450-pound front squat and 365-pound jerk on the way to Super Iron Hokie honors during the off-season ... Posted seven tackles during one spring scrimmage and five in another ... Was in on four tackles in the Maroon-White game, including one behind the line. 2006: Saw reserve duty at linebacker ... Started on the kickoff return team and worked with three other units ... Played 19 defensive plays in the opener against Northeastern ... Was in on four tackles ... Had two tackles on defense at UNC ... Registered three total tackles in the Duke game ... Saw action on 10 special team plays versus UC ... Saw action on 13 plays against Southern Miss, registering a tackle ... Graded over 90 percent on two special team units and got a brief stint on defense against Kent State ... Turned in a big hit on special teams during the Wake Forest game ... Had 10 total tackles on the season ... Earned Super Iron Hokie honors during spring testing ... Posted a personal-best 39 1/2-inch vertical jump ... Won the Dr. Richard Bullock Award as the most improved defensive player of spring practice. 2005: Playing time was limited to special teams ... Practiced at the backer position ... Started every game on the kickoff team ... Had one tackle each against NCSU, Ohio, Georgia Tech, Virginia and UNC ... Posted four tackles in the ACC Championship game against Florida State ... Finished the season with nine total tackles ... Earned Iron Hokie recognition during the off-season ... Improved in all four major lifts, including a 580-pound back squat ... Also posted a 38 1/2-inch vertical jump, which was the third-best on the team ... Missed most of spring practice while battling mono. 2004: Was redshirted while working with the scout team ... Practiced at rover, but was moved to the backer spot in the spring ... Posted a 530-pound back squat, a 294-pound push jerk and a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump in spring testing. High School: A two-way player who was named All-Eastern District and All-Eastern Region as both a linebacker and running back ... Rushed for 1,359 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior ... Racked up 97 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions from his linebacker spot ... Named the Eastern Region Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior ... Earned Eastern District Player of the Year award in 2003 ... Gained 603 yards on 106 carries his junior year, scoring 10 touchdowns ... Helped his team to the state playoffs in three consecutive seasons ... A second-team Group AAA all-state pick by the AP as a senior ... A first-team All-Tidewater linebacker by the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot ... Rated the No. 13 prospect in the state by both SuperPrep and The Roanoke Times ... Named All-Atlantic region by PrepStar ... Competed in the long jump, shot put, 200 meters and 4x100 relay as a member of the track team. Personal: Purnell Joshua Sturdivant ... Born 3/19/86 in Norfolk, VA ... Son of Purnell and Terry Sturdivant ... Earned a bachelor's degree in apparel, housing and resource management and is pursuing a second undergraduate degree.