Football Practice Opens Today

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The Virginia Tech football team will open practice for the 2007 football
season this afternoon at 3:15. As usual, there are major storylines, as well as
spots on the depth chart up for grabs. Virginia Tech is coming off a 10-3 season
in which they finished second in the ACC Coastal Division. They earned a trip to
the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where they lost to Georgia 31-24. The way the Hokies lost
that game left many questions unanswered heading into 2007.

Virginia Tech’s offensive line struggled last season, and those struggles
were most obvious against SEC speed and power in the Georgia Dome. On top of
that, quarterback Sean Glennon struggled against the Bulldogs with four second
half turnovers that helped UGA turn a 21-3 deficit into a seven point victory.

The Hokies are in good shape heading into the preseason, but there are a few
question marks that must be addressed in practice. Offensively, they need to
find some depth on the offensive line. Offensive line coach Curt Newsome knows
who his starters are going to be, and he also knows that Richard Graham can
provide quality depth at each position. However, some other players need to step
up and show they can play if they have to. True freshmen Blake DeChristopher,
A.B. Latif and Jaymes Brooks will be closely watched. The most buzz is building
around DeChristopher, who has impressed his older teammates in the early going.

Defensively, the Hokies have to find new starters at whip and rover. The
dependable Brenden Hill played well at whip last season, and r-senior Corey
Gordon is expected to replace him. Gordon earned the job in the spring. A battle
was shaping up for the #2 spot, but the Tech coaching staff decided to move Cody
Grimm from whip to backer, leaving Cam Martin the likely #2 whip, ahead of
Steven Friday.

At rover, Kam Chancellor appeared to win the job during the spring. However,
Dorian Porch played well also and has a great opportunity to get plenty of reps
at the position. The competition for the starting job might not be over.

Perhaps the most important battle will be for the place kicking duties, where
Jud Dunlevy currently is ahead of Jared Develli, Matt Waldron and Dustin Keys.
The winner of that battle has the unenviable task of replacing Brandon Pace, who
missed just one field goal all of last season.

Key
Preseason Dates for Virginia Tech football
Date Event

Thursday, Aug. 2

Practice Begins

Saturday, Aug. 4

Media Day

Saturday, Aug. 11

1st Scrimmage

Sunday, Aug. 12

Outback
Steakhouse Welcome Back Picnic

Saturday, Aug. 18

2nd Scrimmage

Friday, August 24

3rd Scrimmage

In a big change from previous preseason practices, the Hokies’ first two
scrimmages, on August 11th and August 18th, will be open to the public. The
scrimmages are held at 3 p.m. in Lane Stadium, and anyone can attend, free of
charge.

Many of the position battles will be determined in the three scrimmages on
August 11, August 18 and August 24. Normal game week preparation for East
Carolina will begin on Monday, August 27.

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