Hokie Football Outlook, Part VII
Defensive Secondary
July 27, 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
Headlines
  • Senior cornerback Jimmy Williams is the only returning starter in the secondary for the Hokies. Williams, a first-team All-ACC pick, considered entering the NFL Draft before opting to return. He has been listed as the top cornerback in the Division I-A ranks by The Sporting News.

  • Aaron Rouse is being given a shot at the starting rover job after seeing considerable action at whip linebacker the past two seasons. Rouse worked at rover during the spring.

  • Tech has ranked among the nation's top seven teams in interceptions five of the last seven seasons.

RETURNERS
No.NameCl.Pos.
21Chris Ceasarr-Jr.CB
18Brandon Flowersr-Fr.CB
27Justin Hamiltonr-Sr.FS
Ryan Hashr-Jr.CB
26Kent Hicksr-Fr.FS
31Brenden Hillr-Jr.FS
47Theodore Millerr-Fr.CB
15Roland Minor r-So.CB
25D.J. ParkerSo.FS
22Robert Parkerr-Jr.FS
Jake PattenJr.FS
48Cory PriceJr.CB
36Aaron Rouser-Jr.ROV
30Cary Wader-Jr.ROV
2Jimmy Williams Sr.CB
NEWCOMERS
No.NameCl.Pos.
Jahre CheesemanFr.CB
1Victor HarrisFr.CB
Cam MartinFr.FS
Dorian PorchFr.CB
Stephan VirgilFr.CB
The Players
Boundary Corner
JIMMY WILLIAMS - Tech's most experienced player in the secondary after starting 13 games at free safety in 2003 and 13 games at the boundary cornerback spot last year ... Led the ACC in interceptions last season with five and was tied for third on the team in tackles with 60.

Field Corner
ROLAND MINOR - Is the leading candidate for the starting field corner job after backing up Williams at the boundary spot last season ... Intercepted two passes in the Georgia Tech game, returning one 64 yards for a touchdown ... Turned in the second-fastest time among the DBs in the forty during spring testing at 4.35.

BRANDON FLOWERS - Could push Minor for the starting duties at field corner ... Returned an interception for a touchdown in his first game, but also suffered a season-ending injury ... Received a medical redshirt ... One of two defensive players to earn top newcomer honors last spring.

Free Safety
D.J. PARKER - Finished the spring with a slight edge in the battle for the starting free safety job ... Was moved to the position from cornerback, where he saw some action last season as a true freshman.

JUSTIN HAMILTON - Is expected to resume his bid to win the starting duties at free safety when practice opens ... Was in the thick of the battle during the spring until suffering an ankle injury that required surgery ... A valuable athlete and leader who has contributed at several positions.

Rover
AARON ROUSE - Moved over from whip linebacker during the spring and showed promise ... Has always been a solid performer against the run, but will have to show he can handle pass coverage to win the job.

CARY WADE - Will battle for the starting duties when practice opens after being named the Hokies' most improved defensive player during the spring ... Got a feel for the position last year as a backup.

Coach Ward on the Secondary
"Overall, I think we have a chance to be good. After losing Eric (Green) and Vinnie (Fuller), there were some big questions about who would take over the field corner and free safety positions. Coming out of spring practice, I really feel like we made great strides at the free safety spot by moving D.J. Parker there and having Justin Hamilton. At field corner, we moved Roland Minor over from his backup spot at boundary corner and he had a great spring. We feel good about him playing the field corner, as well as Brandon Flowers. We are going to be fine at the boundary corner because Jimmy (Williams) is back. We just need to find a backup for him."
Coach Cavanaugh on the Rovers
"I purposely kept Aaron Rouse at rover most of the spring to give him as many reps as I possibly could. He's good against the run. Will he be a good enough pass defender for that position? That's what we need to know.

"I thought Cary Wade had a good spring. He had good run support and played the pass pretty well. He's at home at the position and I've been impressed with him."
Ward on His Newcomers
"There are some good freshmen coming in. I think all of the kids that we are bringing in have the potential to play ... not that they all will, but they are really good football players."