Spring Football Update

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Culled from various sources around the web: We bring you updates on position
changes, players who are out with injuries, and the status of the quarterback
race. The Hokies are four practices into the spring, and among other things, the
offensive line is starting to shake out, and the quarterback battle is still a
dead heat.

Brown
and Frye Switch Sides, Other Offensive Line Notes

In the days leading up to spring practice, there was anticipation that Ryan
Shuman would move to offensive guard and grab a starting position. That hasn’t
happened as of yet, but there has been one interesting move along the line.
Duane Brown and Brandon Frye have switched positions.

Frye started one game last season at left tackle. He got the start in the
Gator Bowl when Jimmy Martin went down with an injury. Despite his success
against All-American defensive end Elvis Dumervil in that game, the Tech coaches
want their most experienced offensive tackle, Duane Brown, protecting their
quarterback’s blindside. Frye and Brown, perhaps the most athletic combination
of tackles the Hokies have ever had, are poised to have good seasons. But one
injury could derail this group, as they are backed up by r-freshman Eric Davis
and true freshman Aaron Brown.

Other offensive linemen that have reportedly been impressive include Ryan
Shuman and Nick Marshman. Offensive line coach Curt Newsome has taken notice of
Shuman’s aggressiveness, and also likes the way Marshman moves for a player of
his size. Duane Brown is setting the tone for the group with his outstanding
work ethic. Coach Newsome will begin to learn more about his individual players
as he sees them practice with full pads this week.

Danny McGrath has missed time with a shoulder injury, but is expected to
return to the lineup soon. He would take over at the center position, and Ryan
Shuman could finally be moved to left guard.

Change
in the Quarterback Depth Chart

Cory Holt has passed Sean Glennon and is now listed first on the depth chart
at quarterback. This change isn’t intended to be permanent, but it comes as a
result of Holt being more consistent and accurate since practice opened last
Wednesday. The quarterback race is still wide open, and either quarterback has a
chance to emerge victorious.

Recent reports say that Cory Holt has caught or nearly caught Sean Glennon
with regards to understanding the offense. Holt was considered a three-year
project by former quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, and he is now entering his
third year in the program. The r-sophomore reportedly has more physical skills
than Glennon, but he struggled in picking up the offense. Now that he
understands what the Hokies are trying to do, he has a good chance to keep his
seat at the top of the depth chart.

It appears that the battle for the quarterback position is now a two-horse
race. Holt and Glennon were already separating themselves from r-freshman Greg
Boone, and Boone suffered another setback during Monday’s practice when he
limped off the field favoring his right leg. It is unknown if Boone will miss
any time due to the injury.

Despite Ike Whitaker’s case being settled
in court last Thursday
– Whitaker received a deferred judgment
that allows him to keep a clean record by completing certain requirements over
the next year –Whitaker still has not been cleared to practice by Frank
Beamer. Whitaker pleaded no contest to public swearing, underage possession of
alcohol and destruction of property on Thursday. His record will be cleared if
he pays to fix the window he broke, stays out of trouble for one year and
completes 25 hours of community service. He must also take an alcohol awareness
class.

Hokies are Healthy, Mostly

Thus far Virginia Tech has been relatively lucky with injuries this spring.
The vast majority of Tech’s key contributors are healthy and practicing.
Branden Ore was back in Blacksburg over the weekend to get a checkup on his
shoulder, which he had surgery on in January. Ore is a little ahead of schedule
in his recovery time, and he has been cleared to begin lifting weights.

Free safety Cam Martin, a r-freshman from Danville, VA, has suffered a hernia
and will undergo an operation Wednesday, causing him to miss the remainder of
spring practice. Martin was pushing D.J. Parker at free safety, but his absence
will leave a major void in the defensive backfield for the remainder of the
spring. Parker will now be backed up by Cory Price.

R-Freshman defensive tackle Hivera Green has been sidelined with a foot
injury as well. Green is currently not practicing, but it is expected that he
will get some reps before spring practice ends. Green is expected to compete for
playing time on the two-deep at defensive tackle this season.

Without Green, the Hokies have just four healthy defensive tackles. Carlton
Powell has one of the starting spots locked up, but r-juniors Barry Booker and
Kory Robertson, as well as r-freshman Cordarrow Thompson, are fighting it out
for the other position.

Danny McGrath (shoulder), Roland Minor (neck) and Cary Wade (ankle) have also
been injured, but they are fine. As mentioned above, Greg Boone suffered an
injury to his right leg during Monday’s practice.

Kinzer’s Future in Doubt

Tight end John Kinzer is not participating in spring practice because of
recurring injuries. Kinzer has had a problem with neck "stingers" in
the past, and his injuries are just not improving. There is a possibility that
he could never play football gain. His absence has left the starting tight end
spot wide open.

Three r-freshmen are manning the tight end position this spring. Sam Wheeler
has been the most impressive in practice thus far. He is the odds-on favorite to
start at tight end this season. Behind him is Ed Wang, who should see a lot of
playing time as well. Converted offensive tackle Richard Graham is third on the
depth chart. This is obviously Tech’s least experienced position, with none of
the three returning players having played a down of college football.

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