>> Sunday, June 28, 2009
Virginia Tech has firmly established itself among the nation's elite. The Hokies have compiled five straight 10-win seasons and that does not appear destined for change. Frank Beamer and his veteran staff continue to put a quality product on the field and they appear to have an ACC favorite and BCS bowl contender this season. The Orange Bowl champions return the majority of their offense and should make matters simple on offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.
Stinespring no longer has to deal with a quarterback controversy. Gone are the days of a Sean Glennon-Tyrod Taylor battle. Taylor, now a junior, returns to be a leader and a dynamic playmaker on this squad. Taylor is a 6'1, 216 pound quarterback that reminds the Hokie Faithful of Michael Vick. He has speed for days and the ability to turn a broken play into a great one. Taylor will be joined in the backfield by a trio of talented running backs, lead by Darren Evans.
Evans burst onto the scene last season with a 1,265 yard rushing effort and many expect him to improve on that number this season. When Evans needs a blow, Stinespring can hit opposing defenses with Josh Oglesby and Ryan Williams. Both running backs will bring an added dimension to the running game and they will have plenty of holes to run through with a veteran offensive line. Three-year starter Beau Warren anchors a powerful and veteran unit who will keep the chains moving. The Hokies only flaw on offense appears to be at the wide receiver position.
While, Greg Boone provides a large target at tight-end, there is a lack of proven playmakers at the wide receiver position. Jarrety Boykin and Danny Coale hope to burst onto the scene and provide the offense with even more playmaking ability. This offense is loaded with talent, but the defense may be even more powerful.
Bud Foster has been residing in Blacksburg, VA for a long time (15 years) and his defenses are routinely among the best in the country. Foster has tons of talent to play with this season, including defensive end Jason Worilds. Worilds will be joined up front by Demetrius Taylor, Cordarrow Thompson and John Graves, giving Foster a very capable and stout defensive line. The defensive back field touts one of the best cover corners in the country, Stephan Virgil, and will have no problems shutting down opposing receivers. Virgil will be flanked by Rashad Carmichael and a stud safety, Kam Chancellor. The linebacking unit appears to be the only question mark on the defensive side of the ball. There is youth at middle and weakside linebacker in Jake Johnson and Barquell Rivers. Foster needs Cam Martin to be a stabilizer and a leader with the young group.
The Hokies have dominated the talent-rich state of Virginia in the recruiting game over the last several years, and it was no different this year. The Hokies landed the 23rd ranked class in the country (rivals.com) and the majority of that talent came from their home state. Logan Thomas, a 6'6, 233 pound tight end leads the class to Blacksburg. Thomas was one of the top ranked tight ends in the country and could provide immediate help in the receiving game. There was a great haul on the defensive side of the ball, including three defensive ends and two cornerbacks who will help immensely in the future.
October 10th-Boston College-Win
October 17th-@Georgia Tech-Win
October 29th-North Carolina-Win
November 5th-@East Carolina-Win
November 21st-N.C. State-Win
Season Projection: 11-1 (ACC 8-0)