Hokie Football Outlook, Part VII
Defensive Secondary
July 26, 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
  • Former Hokie and NFL player Torrian Gray is entering his first season on the Tech staff. Gray, who started for Tech as a rover and free safety, coaches the cornerbacks and safeties.

  • Aaron Rouse returns as the starting rover and has been rated the No. 3 strong safety in the nation by The Sporting News. Rouse led the Hokies in interceptions last season and was third overall in tackles.

  • Gone from last year's starting lineup are All-American corner Jimmy Williams, who was a second-round NFL pick, and free safety Justin Hamilton, who was drafted in the seventh round.

RETURNERS
No.NameCl.Pos.
27Jahre Cheesemanr-Fr.CB
18Brandon Flowersr-So.CB
1Victor HarrisSo.CB
21Ryan Hashr-Sr.CB
26Kent Hicksr-So.CB
41Cam Martinr-Fr.FS
Brian McPhersonr-Sr.CB
15Roland Minor r-Jr.CB
25D.J. ParkerJr.FS
Jake PattenSr.FS
24Dorian Porchr-Fr.ROV
48Cory PriceSr.FS
Matt ReidySo.ROV
36Aaron Rouser-Sr.ROV
43Stephan VirgilFr.CB
30Cary Wader-Sr.ROV
NEWCOMERS
No.NameCl.Pos.
Rashad CarmichaelFr.CB
Mario EdwardsFr.FS
The Players
Boundary Corner
Brandon Flowers - The leading candidate to start following an impressive spring ... Has a team-first attitude and outstanding ability ... Stepped up and played superbly in the Gator Bowl.

Jahre Cheeseman - Put in a lot of work during the spring ... May have made the most progress of anyone in the secondary ... Will make the cornerback spot stronger.

Field Corner
Victor Harris - Spent the first two weeks of the spring at tailback, then moved back to corner for the final two weeks ... Climbed to the top of the depth chart ... Coaches like his hunger and coachability ... Has a tremendous upside.

Roland Minor - Possesses tremendous ability, but must be focused on and off the field ... Is the only cornerback on the roster who has started at the position ... Needs to play a leadership role in a young secondary.

Free Safety
D.J. Parker - Started six games last season ... Was the leader of the secondary during spring practice and won the Coaches' Award for an exceptional spring ... Will be a key player for the Hokies this season.

Cam Martin - A redshirt freshman who has impressed the coaches with his work on and off the field ... Missed spring practice after undergoing surgery for a hernia ... Will have some catching up to do when practice resumes.

Rover
Aaron Rouse - Returns to the starting position after an outstanding junior season ... A physical run stopper who has also developed into a good coverage man ... Had a great spring ... Is being counted on to be one of the leaders of the defense.

Cary Wade - Had an excellent Gator Bowl ... Carried that over into the spring ... Has worked hard to improve as a player ... Added some versatility by spending some time at free safety during spring practice ... Knows what's going on.

Coach Cavanaugh
On the Rovers
"I am comfortable with what the rovers can do. Aaron Rouse has become a good leader. His keys and run support have become very good, he's a good tackler and he has developed into a good pass defender. He is trying to do everything the right way ... he's coming into his own.

"Cary Wade has really fought to be a good player. I like the fact that he wants to do what's right for the team. He's shown great leadership. Everything about Cary has been good."

Coach Gray
On the Secondary
"I feel very good about where we finished spring practice. From the start of it, to the end of it, I think the guys developed an understanding, as far as my expectations, of what it takes to play at this level in a consistent manner. We started being more consistent near the end of spring practice, so I was real pleased with the overall progress of the group."