- Key Losses: Tailback Branden Ore and fullback Carlton Weatherford
- Key Returner: Tailback Kenny Lewis, Jr., has paid his dues as a backup during his first two seasons in Blacksburg. Despite missing some of the spring following shoulder surgery, the Danville, Va., native has quite a bit of playing time under his belt. The coaches are looking forward to seeing what he will do with the opportunity to be No. 1.
- Battle to watch: Due to a pair of spring injuries, it's a tossup between the quarterback and tailback positions. Quarterbacks Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor both played well during the spring. Competition seems to bring out the best in both players and this is a decision that is still very much up in the air. The tailback position, which the coaches had hoped to have a fix on by the end of spring, took an interesting turn when the top two candidates - Kenny Lewis, Jr., and Jahre Cheeseman - were both sidelined by injuries. In their absence, freshmen Darren Evans and Josh Oglesby and senior Dustin Pickle picked up additional reps and tightened the competition. Throw incoming freshman Ryan Williams into the mix this fall and things really become interesting.
- Spring standout: Tailback Darren Evans really pleased the coaches with the way that he came on. He's a big, tough back who is physical and does an outstanding job running the football. He has developed an understanding of the system and put himself in contention for early playing time.
SEAN GLENNON (r-Sr.) - A veteran performer who really stepped up as a leader last season with his performances at Georgia Tech, Virginia, and in the ACC Championship game against Boston College ... Has an excellent understanding of the Tech system ... Made good decisions during the spring ... Has worked to improve his mobility and his ability to make plays outside the pocket.
TYROD TAYLOR (So.) - A young quarterback who is capable of creating plays with his feet and his arm ... Improved tremendously from the beginning of the 2007 season to the end ... Played a big role in the season ... Used his first spring to concentrate on fundamentals, such as footwork and timing, as well as the mental aspects of the game.
KENNY LEWIS, JR. (Jr.) - The Hokies' most experienced runner ... Was sidelined the last half of spring practice after surgery to repair a nagging shoulder injury ... Has great speed and quickness ... The hardest working guy Billy Hite says he has ever coached ... Was slated to miss four-to-six months, but could return to the battle earlier than expected.
JAHRE CHEESEMAN (r-Jr.) - Was making a strong spring bid in the battle for starting duties when he suffered a leg injury ... Was set to return at the beginning of summer ... Possesses a lot of ability ... A hard, physical runner who should figure prominently in the tailback battle.
- Coach Hite on the Running Backs“Overall, I was very pleased with the progress we made at the quarterback position during the spring. I anticipate that both Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor will continue to compete for the starting job, and I think they are both very good quarterbacks. Now, they both need to go out and have a good summer preparation. We're not going to try and force anything with these two. We'll let it play out through August and see how it goes. I will feel good about whoever steps on the field for us.”
- Coach O'Cain on the Quarterbacks
DUSTIN PICKLE (Sr.) - A former walk-on who "just gets the job done," whether at tailback or on special teams ... A member of every special team unit, who was put on scholarship this past off-season ... Will battle for the extra yards.
DARREN EVANS (r-Fr.) - Scored 127 career touchdowns in high school, so he knows what to do with the ball in his hands ... Picked up a lot of reps in spring practice and took advantage of them ... A big back who hits the hole and runs with power.
JOSH OGLESBY (r-Fr.) - Another young back who benefitted from extra work during the spring ... Has done a great job in the weight room to become bigger, faster and stronger ... Has some wiggle to him and can make people miss ... Another serious candidate when the tailback competition resumes.
KENNY JEFFERSON (r-Jr.) - Is next in line to start after waiting his turn ... Is exactly what coaches are looking for in the fullback spot from a physical standpoint ... An outstanding blocker who has improved at catching the football out of the backfield.
DEVIN PEREZ (r-Sr.) - A very physical player ... Is an extremely strong athlete who loves the game of football and hitting people ... Has been a mainstay in the Hokies' goal line offense.
KENNY YOUNGER (Jr.) - A walk-on who coaches believe will develop into a special player ... Has twice made Mike Gentry's 'Excalibur' list in the weight room for demonstrating superior achievement in all areas of off-season conditioning ... Also has good speed and catches the ball well.
Taken from the Virginia Tech 2008 Football Media Guide which went to print in mid-June
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