Hokie Football Outlook, Part V
Defensive Line
July 22, 2005

Outlook Schedule on hokiesports.com:
General OutlookWednesday, July 13
Offensive LineFriday, July 15
Wide Receivers/Tight EndsMonday, July 18
Tailbacks/Fullbacks/QuarterbacksWednesday, July 20
Defensive LineFriday, July 22
LinebackersMonday, July 25
SecondaryWednesday, July 27
SpecialistsFriday, July 29
  • The Hokies will miss Jim Davis, who spent much of his Tech career at end before taking over one of the tackle positions last fall. Davis was a force from the inside and played a key role in the Hokies' success. This season, Darryl Tapp could be used on occasion in the same type of role.

  • Tapp was named the defense's top leader during spring practice, but it was Chris Ellis who commanded the most attention. The sophomore end won the team's defensive MVP award with his exceptional play.

  • Senior tackle Jonathan Lewis has started 29 consecutive games, the longest streak among Tech's current defensive players. Lewis leads the Hokies' returning tackles in career sacks with 11.

59Barry Bookerr-So.DT
96Noland Burchetter-Jr.DE
60Chris Burnettr-Jr.DT
49Chris Ellisr-So.DE
Greg KezmarskySr.DE
Scott KingSo.DT
56Jonathan LewisSr.DT
91Orion Martinr-Fr.DE
99Carlton Powellr-So.DT
75Kory Robertsonr-So.DT
71Tim Sandidger-Sr.DT
Watson StellySo.DT
55Darryl TappSr.DE
41Jordan Trottr-Sr.DE
Steven FridayFr.DE
Hivera GreenFr.DE
70Sergio RenderFr.DT
Cordarrow ThompsonFr.DT
94William WallFr.DE
The Players
DARRYL TAPP - This explosive play-maker will be looked to for leadership on a defensive unit that could feature as many as six sophomore starters ... He finished third on the team in tackles last year with 60 and topped the Hokies in tackles for loss (16.5), sacks (8.5) and hurries (23) ... He also intercepted a pass and blocked a kick on the way to first-team All-ACC honors.

NOLAND BURCHETTE - Got the starting nod in 12 games last season, but may share more time with Tapp and Ellis in a three-man rotation at the two end positions this year ... Missed time in the spring due to a triceps injury, but will be ready to go when practice resumes.

CHRIS ELLIS - Became more of a presence against the run with his physical play during the spring ... Combines size with speed to rank as one of the team's top pass rushers ... His rapid development may allow Tech to experiment with Tapp at tackle.

JONATHAN LEWIS - Moved into the starting lineup for the last three games of his freshman year and has been there ever since ... Became more of a pass rushing presence last season and continued to be a force during the spring ... Had 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and five sacks last year to go with 14 QB hurries.

CARLTON POWELL - Last year as a freshman, he gave the Hokies solid play as a backup to Jim Davis ... Moved into the starting nose tackle spot with a good spring performance that saw him earn the top hustler award on the defense.

TIM SANDIDGE - An experienced player who has worked hard to get himself ready to have a good senior season ... Moved into the No. 2 spot at nose tackle on the strength of his spring showing ... Saw some starting duty during each of his first two seasons.

BARRY BOOKER - Moved into the backup spot behind Lewis after enjoying his best spring since coming to Tech ... Coaches attribute his improvement to his work in the strength and conditioning program ... Has become a more physical player at the point of attack.

Coach Wiles on the Line
"We've got great competition. Right now, we feel we have three starters at defensive end with Darryl Tapp, Noland Burchette and Chris Ellis back. We just need to bring along a fourth end who we think can compete against the upper echelon of the ACC.

"At tackle, we feel good about Jonathan Lewis and Carlton Powell going into the fall, but we must continue developing our depth."
Wiles on His Newcomers
"All of our young kids are going to get a hard look this fall. We are going to play the best guys, and if we can get another guy in that two-deep who is better than what we've got, then we want to do it."