Hokies Earn All-America Honors
Three recognized by The Sporting News
December 25, 2002

BLACKSBURG -On the eve of Virginia Tech's cross-country trip to San Francisco to face the Air Force Academy in the inaugural Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl, three Hokie football players were recognized for their performance on the field this season.

Senior Willie Pile and junior Jake Grove earned All-America honors from The Sporting News while freshman Jonathan Lewis earned freshman A-A honors from TSN.

Pile, from Alexandria, Va., made the second team as a free safety. Pile has started 37 consecutive games and earned second-team All-BIG EAST honors this year. He had 96 total tackles, second on the team, and four interceptions this year.

Grove, from Forest, Va., earned fourth-team honors as a center. Grove started all 13 games for the Hokies this year and was the only lineman to grade above 80 percent in every game.

Lewis was named to the Fourth-Team Freshman All-America squad. The Richmond, Va., native played in all 13 games, registering 51 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks.

Virginia Tech (9-4) will leave Blacksburg on Thursday at 7 a.m., driving to Greensboro, N.C., for the longest trip in the program's history. The team is expected to arrive on the west coast at around 12:15 p.m., Pacific time. The Hokies will hold their first practice in California on Friday, at Laney College in Oakland.