Depth Chart Takes Shape

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Depth Chart Takes Shape


As the spring football practice schedule progresses closer towards the annual
spring game on April 16, the depth chart is taking shape and coaches are
beginning to determine who will get the most reps and see the field most during
the spring game. The latest release of the depth chart, from Wednesday, shows
how many positions are starting to take shape.

Offensive Line

After
anchoring the offensive line at the center position last season, walk-on Will
Montgomery was moved to left guard as a part of the reshuffling of the offensive
line due to graduations. Montgomery has been solid throughout his tenure at
Tech, at both the guard and center positions. The coaching staff has benefited
from having the ability to move Monty around on the offensive line and allow
other players to play to their strengths (since Montgomery has more than one).
There was a lot of talk about the staff testing the waters at the beginning of
spring with respect to the offensive line reshuffling, but it appears that
Montgomery at left guard is becoming pretty much a reality.

Montgomery back at guard can be attributed to two young players emerging at
the center position for the Hokies. Redshirt junior Danny McGrath (No. 69) and
redshirt freshman Ryan Shuman (No. 58) are battling to see who will be snapping
the ball come September. The latest release of the depth chart has McGrath as
the starter with Shuman looking on.

Wide Receiver

While the depth at offensive line may be paper thin, the wide receiver corps
is as stacked as a Hardee’s Monster Thickburger. Tech has six players capable
of hauling in passes this fall, a problem any coach around the country would
love to have.

On the latest depth chart, a “-” appears in both first team slots at
flanker and split end, which basically signifies that out of the group there is
nobody head and shoulders above the rest. When you have proven talent (which the
Hokies have), this is not a bad thing. The wide receivers could be one of the
more interesting storylines when fall ball rolls around. The maximum number of
guys Tech can line up is five, so it might be time for a few of the guys to go
from really good to phenomenal.

Quarterback

The most scrutinized position this spring is that of the signal caller. Any
update released concerning Virginia Tech spring football mentions the trio of
Vick/Glennon/Holt. The three have all had their ups and downs over the last
several weeks and the coaches have been pleased overall with the production. It
seems that on any given day, one of the three emerges and has a great outing.

The depth chart has the three listed in the same spots as day one of spring
ball (Glennon, Holt, Vick). It is no secret that Vick has really opened the eyes
of everyone and shown he has not lost a step. However, it is apparent that the
job of starting quarterback cannot be won in a day, and whoever is Tech’s
field general on September 4 will no doubt have earned it.

Defensive Line

Tech’s defensive line is extremely top-heavy. Hokie fans should take solace
in the fact that the primary playmakers go by the names of Darryl Tapp, Jonathan
Lewis, Carlton Powell and Noland Burchette (although Burchette injured a tricep
Wednesday and is out for the rest of spring). However, beyond those four, there
are only a few familiar names that wait in the wings. One of those players is
Chris Ellis.

The two-deep of the defensive line is not what it was last season, and the
new release of the depth chart makes that apparent. The fourth man in the
shuffle right now at defensive end is walk-on Orion Martin. The redshirt
freshman is the brother of incoming freshman safety Cam Martin and is listed
behind Tapp on the chart. Martin is only listed at 6’1, 243, but observers say
he is explosive and could very well serve as a good fourth man, an observation
the coaches obviously concur with.

At defensive tackle, Lewis and Powell have been the anchors, but the backups
have not been the same throughout the spring. Coming into spring practice, Kory
Robertson was the favorite to be the third man in the middle, but several bad
outings have dropped him down to third team on the latest depth chart. The
current second team tackles are veteran Tim Sandidge and Barry Booker. Sandidge
was not as active this past season as he was in other seasons, but the
experience he gained in 2002 (30 tackles) and 2003 (47 tackles) could be
invaluable come September.

The third defensive tackle is a very important role, and Sandidge may prove
to be a key part of the defense. Last year, the Hokies had Jim Davis, Jonathan
Lewis, Kevin Lewis and Powell. If the Hokies needed a fifth man, Jason Lallis
stepped in to take care of the job. Davis, Kevin Lewis and Lallis are all gone,
therefore it is time for Sandidge to take the forefront, and it appears he will
be ready to do so.

There was some talk of moving Tapp to the inside and using him similarly to
how Jim Davis was used in 2004-2005. However, with the loss of Burchette and the
lack of depth at end, expect Tapp to stay at the end position, especially since
the latest depth chart still has him there.

Linebacker, Rover

Two other positions worth noting on the depth chart are whip linebacker and
rover. The transition of Aaron Rouse to rover from whip seems to be panning out.
He sits atop the depth chart, which is allowing the coaches to get both James
Anderson (starting at whip) and Rouse on the field at the same time. Currently
sitting behind Rouse on the depth chart is Cary Wade, who has elevated his play
this spring. One interesting tidbit about two of Tech‘s potential starters:
both Rouse and Anderson are listed at 6’3, 222.

The move of Rouse to rover left a hole behind Anderson at whip. Enter Corey
Gordon. The 6’2, 220 redshirt sophomore has had several homes at Virginia Tech
and could probably play several different positions. He now sits behind Anderson
at whip and many are saying this could be his final destination in Blacksburg.
Lost in the mix is Robert Parker, who sits among several players contending for
the third team spot on the depth chart at whip linebacker. Parker is another
athlete who has tried his skill at several different positions, so it will be
interesting to see where he ends up eventually.

With three years of eligibility left, getting Gordon comfortable at whip this
spring could ready him for a big future as a backup this coming year and perhaps
as a starter for the next two years after the departure of Anderson.

Safety

The last man on the totem poll has yet to be decided by the coaching staff.
Another “-” sits where the starting free safety should be, and that dash
might not be replaced until after the spring game or until the beginning of the
fall.

Behind the dash sits DJ Parker at second string and the well-traveled Justin
Hamilton at third string. Parker has the edge right now, considering he has been
working in the defensive backfield longer, but that edge does not seem to be
very large considering he is not the outright starter.

This is one position that will be closely scrutinized as Tech’s first game
becomes more of a reality rather than just another date on the calendar.
Hamilton went down Wednesday with a sprained ankle, so he must recover quickly
and hope he has a good finish to the spring so he will remain in contention for
the starting safety spot.

Punter

Tech’s lone punter is Nic Schmitt. Anyone at the spring game last year will
remember his multiple 50+ yard boots that drew a collective “whoaaaaa” from
the crowd on more than one occasion. However, if anything unfortunate happens to
Schmitt, this could pose a large problem for the coaching staff.

Perhaps the most suitable backup to Tech’s punter will be incoming freshman
Brent Bowden. It might be safe to say that he will be sitting as the backup when
he arrives to Blacksburg this summer.

Injuries

The latest release of the depth chart has the following key players injured:

  • WR Eddie Royal
  • OL Tripp Carroll
  • LB Stevie Ray Lloyd
  • WR Michael Malone

After Wednesday’s practice, Justin Hamilton and Noland Burchette can be
added to that list. When these players return, it will likely result in some
shuffling of who sits where on the depth chart.



The 2005 (Fourth Annual) TechSideline.com Spring
Game Tailgate Party






Sponsored by Techsideline.com, Original Frameworks and Chick-fil-A
of Christiansburg.

TSL is once again pleased to be putting on our spring game tailgate party,
which last year drew approximately 200 attendees. Your hosts this year will be
message board posters F4EHokie, CFA Hokie, knucklejunction, hokiebred,
Techstudent, and ACCFootballChamps2004.

Date: Saturday, April 16th
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Here’s what will be provided:

  • BBQ Pork…yes another pig pickin’!
  • Chick-fil-A platters
  • Plates, napkins, cups, and utensils
  • Buns and condiments
  • Ice
  • Grills

Here’s what you need to bring:

  • Your favorite beverage, adult or otherwise
  • Hamburger, sausages, hot dogs, or anything else you want to
    grill
  • Chips, salsa, veggie trays, chicken, side dishes, etc.,
    basically
  • Whatever else you want to eat (But plan on sharing!)
  • Anything else you think fellow Hokies might enjoy.

We have ordered a 125# pig and it will be first come, first served.

Tailgating begins at 10:00 AM. Look for an orange and maroon Hokie tent in
the east end of lot 2, behind the South end zone. (Approximately the same
place as last year).

New This Year! A Raffle

The sponsors are partially underwriting the cost of the tailgate party, so
we will be raffling off several items to raise the additional funds needed to
cover the cost of the tailgate. Raffle prizes are:

Raffle tickets will be $2 each or three for $5. The drawing will be at 1:30
PM, and you do not have to be present to win.

Any money raised over and above our costs will be donated to the VTCC’s
Memorial Scholarship Funds for U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jeffrey Kaylor, of Clifton,
Va., and Army 1st Lt. Timothy Price, of Midlothian, Va., both of whom were
killed in action in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

We’re looking forward to it, and hope you are as well!

Questions? Email F4EHokie at beamer@cfw.com.
(No, he’s not a relative of Frank Beamer’s.)



Seth Greenberg’s Contract Extension



With the recent successes of the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team, head
coach Seth Greenberg was compensated for his efforts by Jim Weaver and was
rewarded in late March with a contract extension that covers him through the
2010-11 season. Here are the details of Greenberg’s new deal, as outlined in
the April 1, 2005 edition of TSLMail and the Roanoke Times.

Greenberg’s total compensation when he was hired by VT was $429,000,
according to a TechSideline.com
News
and Notes update from April 3, 2003
. Greenberg has
received a couple of yearly 5% raises since then to his salary of $158,000, plus
his contract extension gave him a $50,000 raise in the "retention
incentives" category of his total pay. (This was on top of a $10,000 raise
in that category that he received after the 2003-04 season.)

Greenberg’s salary for the upcoming year, his third in the program, is now
$174,211, and his total compensation is about $505,000, according to a recent
Roanoke Times article. He has received nearly $80,000 dollars in increases, or a
bump of about 17%, in just two years.


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