Hokie Football Outlook, Part V
Defensive Line
July 21, 2006

Outlook Schedule on hokiesports.com:
General OutlookWednesday, July 12
Offensive LineFriday, July 14
Wide Receivers/Tight EndsMonday, July 17
Tailbacks/Fullbacks/QuarterbacksWednesday, July 19
Defensive LineFriday, July 21
LinebackersMonday, July 24
SecondaryWednesday, July 26
SpecialistsFriday, July 28
  • The Hokies lost three of their four starters along the defensive front - All-America end Darryl Tapp and starting tackles Jonathan Lewis and Tim Sandidge. All three are in NFL camps.

  • Junior end Chris Ellis is the lone returning starter. Senior end Noland Burchette and junior tackle Carlton Powell are the only other returning players along the defensive line who have started games.

  • Young players are going to have to step up and fill some spots at both end and tackle. William Wall will be a player to watch at end, while Cordarrow Thompson and Hivera Green will be candidates at tackle. The coaches have not ruled out incoming freshmen joining the mix.

59Barry Bookerr-Jr.DT
96Noland Burchetter-Sr.DE
60Chris Burnettr-Sr.DT
Chad CarlsonSo.DE
49Chris Ellisr-Jr.DE
82Steven FridayFr.DE
93Hivera Greenr-Fr.DT
91Orion Martinr-So.DE
99Carlton Powellr-Jr.DT
75Kory Robertsonr-Jr.DT
Watson StellyJr.DT
95Cordarrow Thompsonr-Fr.DT
Matt TilleySo.DE
40William Wallr-Fr.DE
Jason AdjepongFr.DE
Ladi AjiboyeFr.DT
Mike GeeFr.DE
John GravesFr.DE
Joey HallFr.DT
Daryl RobertsonFr.DT
The Players
Chris Ellis - Was named one of Tech's three MVPs following spring practice and has been ranked the No. 19 defensive end in the nation by The Sporting News ... A playmaker who is athletic and fast ... Is hungry again this year.

Noland Burchette - An experienced senior who the coaches are leaning on for leadership ... Plays hard non-stop and has a knack for making plays ... Needs to stay healthy and have an outstanding season.

Orion Martin - Has shown steady improvement and worked his way into the playing rotation ... Is developing into a playmaker.

William Wall - Lacks experience, but has size, ability and speed ... Coaches would like to see him make a good summer preparation and become a solid 10-15 plays a game guy this season.

Carlton Powell - Tech's most experienced DT ... Started five games last year ... A mentally tough player who will not back down ... Is penciled in as one starter.

Barry Booker - The Hokies' most athletic tackle ... Picked up some valuable playing time last fall ... An instinctive player who can rush the passer ... Is battling for a starting job.

Kory Robertson - A potential starter... Was named the team's most improved defensive player following spring practice ... When he turns it on, he's extremely good ... When he starts turning it on consistently, he'll see a lot more action.

Cordarrow Thompson - A young player with a tremendous amount of upside ... If he can eliminate busted assignments and get into playing shape, he will be in the mix at the tackle position.

Hivera Green - A redshirt freshman who could make a move in the preseason if he's healthy ... Was banged up much of his first year ... Has some ability, just needs to cut it loose.

Coach Wiles ...
On his Newcomers
"We want to find five tackles and five ends, and it's probably going to include a freshman at the end position. We have some athletic guys coming in at end who are strong and probably a little more mature at this point in their careers than some of the ends that we have had in the past. It's not out of the question for one of those guys to step in and be the fourth or fifth end."

On the Line
"I think we have a chance to be solid up front. Of course, we're banking on a couple of young redshirt freshmen guys continuing to get better. We have a really healthy competition at tackle. Carlton Powell is a steady presence there, and I think Kory Robertson and Barry Booker are two real key guys for our success. They have to stay healthy and be productive.

"At end, we are real solid with Chris (Ellis) and Noland (Burchette), and then, I've been pleased with the progress of Orion Martin. He had a great winter and a great spring practice. So now, we are in a similar position as tackle. Will William Wall be the fourth guy or can one of the incoming freshmen be a factor this fall as an end?"