Hokies hold first practice
By Jimmy Robertson
December 27, 2000

The Virginia Tech football team held its first practice on Wednesday since arriving in Jacksonville as the Hokies begin preparations in earnest for their Jan. 1st Gator Bowl game with Clemson. Tech held its customary "Monday" practice, with head coach Frank Beamer wanting to keep things as close to a regular game week as possible. Tech will be practicing at Fletcher High School all week, just 15 minutes from the team hotel.

The Hokies also met the media for the first time. Ten to 15 members of the press converge on practice and conducted interviews. A lot of attention centered around the health of star receiver André Davis, who trotted onto the practice field without a brace on his sore left ankle. Davis missed most of the second half of the season with heel and ankle injuries.

"Everything feels good," Davis said after practice. "I was able to work it and see what I could do and everything felt fine. I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent. But I'm close. I definitely want to get out there and make a difference."

Tech practiced in full pads for nearly two hours. The Hokies worked on team stuff, with the offensive and defensive units going against scout teams, and they also worked on fundamentals such as blocking and tackling.

After practice, Tech's linemen, linebackers and tight ends stayed at the practice site to lift weights. After Thursday's practice, the skill players will lift.

Tech players were free for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Several players went to the beach, just minutes from the hotel, while others went to the local mall and some spent time at the resort swimming and chilling out in the hot tub.

The Hokies resume practice Thursday morning. Thursday evening's festivities include a players-only trip to the Orange Park Kennel Club.