Hokie Football Outlook, Part VI
Linebackers
July 24, 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
Headlines
  • Virginia Tech's linebacking corps is ranked the third-best in the nation by Lindy's. Returning starters Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi finished first and fourth, respectively, in tackles for the Hokies last season.

  • The leading candidate for the starting rover position, vacated by third-round NFL draft pick James Anderson, is fifth-year senior Brenden Hill. Hill began his Tech career as a wide receiver.

  • The fathers of linebackers Brett Warren and Chad and Cody Grimm are former Washington Redskins teammates, Don Warren and Russ Grimm.

RETURNERS
No.NameCl.Pos.
11Xavier Adibir-Jr.ILB
6Andrew Bowmanr-So.ILB
13Corey Gordonr-Jr.OLB
29Chad GrimmSr.OLB
Cody Grimmr-Fr.OLB
9Vince Hallr-Jr.ILB
31Brenden Hillr-Sr.OLB
Jonas Houserightr-So.OLB
Mark Munceyr-Fr.ILB
45Purnell Sturdivant r-So.ILB
56Demetrius Taylorr-Fr.ILB
33Brett WarrenJr.ILB
NEWCOMERS
No.NameCl.Pos.
Nekos BrownFr.ILB
Devven SuttonFr.ILB
Matt WrightFr.ILB
The Players
Mike
Vince Hall - A two-year starter who led the team in tackles last fall and ranked fourth in the ACC ... Rated the No. 5 inside linebacker in the country by The Sporting News ... Will need to play a leadership role on a young defensive unit ... An outstanding football player who is physical and instinctive.

Brett Warren - Really showed improvement during the spring, especially in the coverage aspects of the position ... Is becoming a complete linebacker ... Has great vision and football savvy ... Needed to step up, and did.

Backer
Xavier Adibi - Picked up valuable experience last season to go with his outstanding physical ability ... Took another step forward with his game during the spring ... Plays fast and is motiviated ... Is being counted on to play a leadership role.

Purnell Sturdivant - Slated to be the No. 2 man, but has some catching up to do ... Missed most of spring practice while battling mono ... Has gotten bigger and stronger ... Made good progress last fall, but needs to have a good preseason.

Whip Linebacker
Brenden Hill - Was No. 3 at the position when the 2005 season started, moved up to No. 2 before it was over and came out of spring practice No. 1 ... Is good in pass coverage and is improving against the run ... Did a good job of tackling during the spring ... Lacks playing experience, but doesn't make many mistakes.

Corey Gordon - A physical player who runs well and is a good tackler ... Had a very good spring ... Must focus on his responsibilities and being good each play ... Will continue to challenge Hill for the starting job ... Should see his share of the action.

Coach Foster ...
On his Newcomers
"We have a group of promising newcomers. Matt Wright is a guy we're going to look at in August to see if he can come in and pick up the backer position, both mentally and physically. He's athletic, in the lines of Adibi, and runs well. We need depth at that position, and I think he may have a chance to help.

On the ILBs
"Obviously, we have Vince (Hall) and Xavier (Adibi) back. Vince was an all-ACC player and Xavier is that same caliber guy. I think they made great improvement during the spring. I'm really looking forward to those guys turning their game up a notch and also becoming big-time leaders for us. With those two guys back, creating some depth is going to be the key to our success."

Coach Cavanaugh on the OLBs
"I'm anxious to see how the whip position plays when you turn the lights on. The players there have yet to play a full game.

"Brenden Hill was a nice surprise this spring. He understands the game and what he is supposed to do. He makes very few mistakes. Corey Gordon has the size and speed that you want. He became a better player in the spring, but needs to be more consistent. Both of them are going to play."