Chancellor, Harris Named to Thorpe Watch List

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Despite losing Brandon Flowers and D.J. Parker to the NFL, Virginia Tech
still has a very talented secondary. Cornerback Victor "Macho" Harris and
free safety Kam Chancellor have been named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason
watch list. The award is given annually to the nation’s top defensive back. A
total of 40 players are on the watch list.

Harris is a 6-0, 192-pound senior who earned First Team All-ACC honors as a
junior. He tied for the team lead with five interceptions, and he led the team
with 16 passes defended. Harris is switching to boundary corner this season, and
he could also play a major role on special teams. He could also see some time at
wide receiver.

Chancellor is a 6-3, 225-pound junior. He started at rover in 2007, but moved
to free safety in spring practice. He finished the season with 79 tackles and an
interception, and earned a reputation as a fierce hitter.

Many early mock drafts are projecting Harris and Chancellor as late first
round draft picks in the 2009 NFL Draft. Harris was a highly-touted 5-star
recruit coming out of high school, while Chancellor was an under the radar
prospect whose only 1-A offer came from Virginia Tech.

Clayton, Hopkins to Enroll in August

Virginia Tech has announced that two more true freshmen will be joining the
team for preseason practice on August 3rd. Quarterback Joseph "Ju-Ju"
Clayton and defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins will make the number of true
freshmen in preseason camp grow to 23.

Clayton, 6-2, 210, was originally planning to enroll in January of 2009.
However, Tech’s other quarterback recruit, Marcus Davis, will apparently try
his hand at wide receiver in hopes of earning early playing time at a thin
position. If Davis sticks at wide receiver, which is very possible, then the
Hokies would have had no backups to Tyrod Taylor in 2009 except Clayton and a
possible 2009 signee.

Thus, the staff decided to bring in Clayton in August. He will red shirt,
which will give him a full year in the program in case he is needed at
quarterback next season.

Hopkins, 6-2, 280, is a defensive tackle recruit. There were some issues with
his paperwork that prevented his enrolling for the second summer session, but
everything is in order now. He’ll join his teammates on August 3, and he’s
expected to red shirt as well.

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