Preseason Honors Abound for Hokies
Several athletes on watch lists
June 16, 2006

BLACKSBURG - Football practice doesn't start until Aug. 4, but that's not stopping several of Virginia Tech's players from grabbing preseason accolades. Here's a look at what some preseason publications are saying about the Hokies:

Virginia Tech: Ranked 20th nationally and picked second in the Coastal Division by Lindy's; Ranked 21st nationally and second in the Coastal Division in Athlon's preseason edition; Picked second in the Coastal and 16th nationally by The Sporting News.

Position Groups: Linebackers are rated No. 2 in the country and tops in the ACC by The Sporting News; Linebacking corps rated No. 3 in the country (tops in ACC) and the wide receivers ranked No. 7 group in the country (tops in the ACC) by Lindy's; Receivers are the No. 10 unit in the country and second in the conference by TSN; Defensive backfield is ranked tops in the ACC by Athlon; Special teams ranked No. 1 in the ACC by both TSN and Lindy's.

Xavier Adibi: Bednarik Award Watch List; Rated the No. 19 outside linebacker in the country and second-team All-ACC by Lindy's; Named second-team All-ACC by The Sporting News.

Chris Ellis: Rated the No. 18 defensive end in the country by Lindy's and the No. 19 defensive end in the nation by The Sporting News; Named first-team All-ACC in Lindy's and Athlon's preseason editions; A preseason All-ACC selection by Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook; Named second-team All-ACC by The Sporting News.

Vince Hall: Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List; Lott Trophy Watch List; Bednarik Award Watch List; Rated the No. 3 outside linebacker in the country by Lindy's; Ranked the No. 5 inside linebacker in the country by The Sporting News; Named second-team All-America and first-team All-ACC by both Lindy's and Athlon's preseason editions; A preseason All-ACC selection by both The Sporting News and Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook.

Brandon Pace: Named second-team All-ACC in Athlon's preseason edition; Rated the No. 10 kicker in the country by Lindy's and the No. 13 kicker in the nation by The Sporting News; Named second-team All-ACC by The Sporting News.

Aaron Rouse: Ranked the No. 3 strong safety in the country and first-team All-ACC by The Sporting News; Named third-team All-ACC in Athlon's preseason edition.

Nic Schmitt: Named a preseason All-American by Playboy; Named second-team All-ACC in Athlon's preseason edition; Rated the No. 5 punter in the country by Lindy's and the No. 15 punter in the country by The Sporting News; Named second-team All-ACC in Lindy's and The Sporting News' preseason editions.

Also earning preseason All-ACC second- and third-team honors are: OT Duane Brown, TB Branden Ore, CB Roland Minor and WR Eddie Royal. Additionally, freshman guard Sergio Render has been named the Offensive Newcomer of the Year by The Sporting News.