Although the Hokies only got in 11 practices this spring, the coaching staff
still handed out their annual spring football awards over the weekend (announced
on BeamerBall.com). A total of seven different awards were handed out to 14
different players. Some winners were obvious, and others might surprise you.
The Paul Torgersen Award (Top Newcomer)
Wide receiver Brandon Dillard won the award for the offense. Dillard
is a 5-10, 180 r-sophomore from Martinsville. Although he’s a sophomore, he’s
considered a newcomer because this is his first time in the rotation at wide
receiver. He has great speed and overall good athletic ability. He was Virginia
Tech’s most productive receiver at times this spring.
Defensive tackle John Graves was the defensive recipient of this
award. Although the Hokies are very deep at defensive tackle, Graves should see
some action this fall. He could also get reps at defensive end. Considered a
defensive end by most scouts when he was coming out of high school, Graves can
use his quickness to be disruptive as a defensive tackle.
Dr. Richard Bullock Award (Most Improved During the Spring)
Tight end Greg Boone is the offensive winner of this award. Big and
physical at tight end, Boone apparently improved his hands quite a bit over the
spring. Tech fans remember his case of the drops in several games last season,
but it looks like he’s come a long way with his hands since then. Still, Boone
is somewhat of a surprise here, considering that Bryan Stinespring moved Andre
Smith ahead of him on the depth chart at one point during the spring.
this award goes to linebacker Purnell Sturdivant. Sturdivant is Xavier
Adibi’s top backup, so winning this award not only shows that the Hokies have
improved their depth at linebacker this spring, but that they also may have a
capable replacement for Adibi after the 2007 season.
Frank O. Moseley Award (Top Hustler)
Kenny Lewis, Jr. earned this award on offense. Lewis is locked in a
battle with Jahre Cheeseman to be Branden Ore’s top backup. Right how he’s
holding off Lewis, and his work ethic on the practice field has a lot to do with
that. If he can stay ahead of Cheeseman in pass blocking, he’ll likely keep his
spot as the #2 back.
Defensively, the award goes to Macho Harris. This one isn’t really
surprising. We were being told that Macho was having a big spring. It’s always
heartening to see a guy with as much talent as Harris being one of the top
hustlers on the team. As many coaches will tell you, it’s important for your
best players to be your hardest working players.
The President’s Award (Outstanding Leadership)
The offensive winner of this award is offensive tackle Duane Brown. As
the only senior non-wide receiver on offense, it is important for Brown to step
up and be the leader for the Hokies up front. There are a lot of young players
on Tech’s offensive line, and it’s important for them to have a good leader.
Brown appears to be filling that void.
On defense, this award goes to defensive tackle Carlton Powell. Powell
isn’t the most physically talented defensive tackle on Tech’s team, but he is
the hardest working, and he has a mean streak. As one of three senior defensive
tackles on the team, it’s good to see him stepping up and being a leader.
The Don Williams Team United Award (Put the team first)
Fullback Carlton Weatherford received this award on offense.
Weatherford is a walk-on fullback and likely starter for the Hokies this year.
He has put in a lot of hard work over his career, despite the fact that he
didn’t see much action until last season, and the fact that fullbacks don’t get
as much playing time at Tech as they used to.
Whip linebacker Corey Gordon was the winner for the defense. Gordon
entered the spring tied with Cam Martin atop the depth chart at whip. At the end
of the spring, he appears to be solidly entrenched as the starter.
The Coaches Award (Exceptional spring)
Justin Harper was the winner of this award for the offensive. He has
always had a lot of potential as a wide receiver, and has steadily gotten better
each season. This spring he has put a serious run on Josh Morgan’s starting
split end position. The highlight of the spring for Harper came on an 85 yard
touchdown pass from Sean Glennon in the second scrimmage.
Defensive tackle Barry Booker was the award winner on defense. Booker
is arguably Tech’s best defensive tackle. He has very good quickness and he has
improved at the point of attack throughout his career.
The George Preas Award (MVP)
Starting quarterback Sean Glennon was the offensive MVP of spring
practice. Glennon improved on many areas of his game this spring, including
decision making and footwork in the pocket. The game slowed down a bit for him,
and he’s getting the ball away quicker than last year. His combined scrimmage
stats were impressive: 18-of-30 (60%) for 236 yards, three touchdowns and just
one throwaway interception on a Hail Mary at the end of a half.
Former walk-on defensive end Orion Martin was the defensive MVP of the
spring. He put more pressure on the quarterback than any other defender this
spring, and he improved at the point of attack, his weakness in the past.
Four of Tech’s seven defensive award winners came from the defensive line.
The Hokies should be hard to block up front this year.