Charges Against Nolen Dropped

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Charges Against Todd Nolen Dropped

Hampton High School wide receiver and Virginia Tech
football signee Todd Nolen has been cleared of charges stemming from an
altercation with two other students on March 9 at his school. Hampton
Commonwealth Attorneys decided to drop the charges due to a lack of evidence.
Nolen had been charged with maiming and attempted robbery.

Nolen
was involved in a fight in a Hampton High School restroom with two other
students, aged 17 and 16. Initial police reports after the incident stated that
Nolen was repeatedly punching the 16 year old, who was also being choked by the
17 year old. Later, the 16 year old drew a knife and cut Nolen under his eye.

However, the two other students involved in the incident
gave a different story. They stated that Nolen did nothing to start the incident
and was acting purely in self-defense. This corroborated the story told by
Nolen, who always maintained that he was acting in self-defense. In light of
this testimony, which would have come out at some point during the trial
(scheduled to start on Wednesday), the prosecution decided to drop the charges.
There is a possibility that the case could reopen, but that is highly unlikely.

Nolen is a highly touted wide receiver prospect who hails
from a high school that the Tech coaches have been long shut out of in
recruiting. Hampton High School generally sends their prospects to UVA or out of
state, and it was considered quite a coup when Jim Cavanaugh was able to land
Nolen over the likes of UNC, Penn State and UVA.

Nolen is ranked the #6 prospect in Virginia by
Techsideline.com, and the Roanoke Times ranks his as the #10 player in the
state. He is listed as a 4-star player by Scout.com and a 3-star prospect by
Rivals.

Despite being a member of the class of 2005, you won’t
see the 19 year old Nolen in a Virginia Tech uniform this fall. Instead, Nolen
will head to prep school, likely Hargrave Military Academy (per Nolen himself in
a Newport News Daily Press article today). After that, he wants to enroll at
Virginia Tech for the spring semester of 2006.



This will be a good situation for Nolen, as it will put
him another year behind rising sophomore wide receivers Eddie Royal, Josh Hyman,
Josh Morgan and Justin Harper. Assuming he redshirts in his first year in
Blacksburg, Nolen will be a r-freshman when Royal, Hyman, Morgan and Harper are
seniors. Already 19 years of age as a high school senior, Nolen will be a very
mature young player for the Hokies, similar to Josh Hyman.


Some Recruits Yet to Qualify


Besides Todd Nolen, there are some other Hokie recruits
that need to do a little more in order to become eligible for Tech. LB Deveon
Simmons will not graduate high school and will repeat his senior year at
Hargrave Military Academy. Simmons is a 4-star linebacker recruit from whom many
are expecting big things in the future.

OL Brandon Holland, DE William Wall and ATH Sam Wheeler
have spent the 2004-05 academic year at Hargrave. They each still need to pull
their GPA up slightly to achieve qualification status. Hargrave is currently in
the middle of exams, and the school year ends on Friday, May 27.

Other recruits that are in danger of not qualifying are
cornerback Stephan Virgil of North Carolina and Steven Friday of Hampton. Both
were considered probable redshirts in their first season at Tech, so a year of
prep school could help their development even more.

Of all the listed recruits, William Wall is probably the
most critical. Wall earned rave reviews at Hargrave this past year and could
contribute at VT this fall, according to sources around the program.


Ike Whitaker to Play in Good Samaritan
Bowl


Virginia Tech incoming quarterback recruit Ike Whitaker
has been selected to play in the Good Samaritan Bowl on Saturday, June 11, 2005
in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD. The game will feature
the top players from the Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia areas
in an East vs. West format. Whitaker will be the starting quarterback for the
West team.

Whitaker is a 4-star quarterback prospect from Germantown,
MD who signed with the Hokies back in February. He will begin his Tech career
this fall, and will redshirt along with fellow incoming freshman quarterback
Greg Boone.

Other notable players in the game include Melvin Alaeze
(Maryland), Alex Field (UVA) and Jamari McCollough (Maryland). There are also
players in the game who will be attending schools such as Rutgers, Syracuse,
Cincinnati and Marshall.

For more information on the game, visit the website of the
Good Samaritan Bowl at http://www.goodsamaritanbowl.com/game.html.




Lane Stadium West Side Expansion Update

/news/2005/westoutdoorclubseats.jpg (30995 bytes)
Location of
outdoor club
seating on the West side.
(click to enlarge)
/news/2005/chairbackseat.jpg (31835 bytes)
Plastic seats
similar to this
took up too much leg room
and won’t be used on the
West side for outdoor
club seating.
(click to enlarge)

In a recent hokiesports the newspaper, Jimmy Robertson
wrote that the number of outdoor club seats to be included in the West Side
Expansion has been decreased from 1,659 to 1,259. This reduction comes as a
result of limited fan interest for the seats. These are expensive seats that
require a $1,500 annual surcharge per seat. The 400 seats that will be left over
have been converted to regular seating and were part of the recent seating
selection process.

The outdoor club seating area is located in the top center
area of the West side stands. Those stands currently have aluminum bleacher
seats with a chair back, and according to the Kroger
Roth Report of May 19
, those bleacher seats will remain in place. New orange
and maroon plastic seats, such as those in the South End zone club seating
areas, were being considered by the Virginia Tech athletic department, but Tech
officials decided against this plan because the new seats created very cramped
leg room in the West side outdoor club seating area. Thus, outdoor club seat
owners will have access to the club areas and will have chair back seating, but
will still be sitting on aluminum bleachers instead of new
“theater-style” plastic seats.

Sources tell Techsideline.com that no price breaks will be
offered to those outdoor club seat owners who were expecting to have the
upgraded plastic seats. Fans who have complained (as a result of the Kroger Roth
Report) have been offered the opportunity to move to the South End Zone club
area or to receive a full refund.

One new feature that Lane Stadium will have this fall is
the addition of safety nets behind each goal post. This is to prevent fans in
either end zone section from being hurt following extra point and field goal
attempts.

Some parts of the new West Side expansion may not be
completed at the beginning of the 2005 season. These include the Hall of Fame
area and the academic offices. However, Tech officials say that all fan
necessities such as seating, concession stands and restrooms will be completed
on time.

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