Virginia Tech had just one player selected in 2009 NFL Draft. Cornerback
Victor “Macho” Harris went to the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth
round, which was two to three rounds later than expected. Harris will compete
for playing time in an Eagle secondary that is known for their talent and
Philadelphia has two players who are already entrenched in their roles as
starting cornerbacks: Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. However, playing time is
available as a nickel or dime back, which is what Harris might have to play as a
rookie. He could also factor in at safety, where Quintin Demps is set to start
in just his second season in the NFL. Demps is backed up by career reserve
Harris was a First Team All-American in 2008 by The Sporting News. He
intercepted six passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and broke up
eight more. For his career, Harris finished with 15 interceptions, third
all-time behind Tyronne Drakeford (16) and Gene Bunn (18), and he returned four
of them for touchdowns.
Harris was the only Hokie selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. Despite Tech’s lack
of draft picks, the ACC did well as a conference with 33 players selected,
second only to the SEC’s 37.
Picks in the NFL Draft
Maryland and North Carolina led the conference with five draft picks each.
Maryland lost Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was selected with the seventh overall
pick by the Oakland Raiders.
North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was also taken in the first round,
going 29th overall to the New York Giants. Carolina tight end Richard Quinn was
taken in the second round, while wideout Brandon Tate went in the third round.
All three of Carolina’s available wide receivers were drafted, with Brooks
Foster going in the fifth round.
Wake Forest also had some notable selections. The Demon Deacons had four
players drafted, all of whom came from their starting defense. Linebacker Aaron
Curry, arguably the best player in the draft, went fourth overall to the Seattle
Seahawks. Fellow linebacker Stanley Arnoux went in the fourth round to New
Orleans. Cornerback Alphonso Smith was a second round pick of the Broncos, while
safety Chip Vaughn joins Arnoux in New Orleans.
Farris Commitment Highlights Big Recruiting Weekend at Tech
The commitment of Rockbridge County offensive lineman Caleb Farris on
Saturday morning was the highlight of a major recruiting weekend for Virginia
Tech. The Hokies had a number of highly-touted recruits in the stands, and they
had to be impressed with the fan turnout, as well as the game itself.
Top in-state recruits expected at the game included defensive end Zack
McCray, offensive lineman Mark Shuman (VT commit), defensive tackle Nick Acree
(VT commit), defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins, wide receiver Justin Hunter, and
safety Nick Dew, among others. Washington, DC quarterback Ricardo Young also
made the trip, and Virginia Tech stands an excellent chance of landing him.
All of the recruits got to see a Spring Game that was attended by an
estimated 41,000 fans, the biggest crowd to ever attend a Spring Game at
Virginia Tech. They also saw a number of NFL players return to campus, and those
players were honored at halftime. Those players included DeAngelo Hall, Brandon
Flowers, Justin Harper, Chris Ellis, Jake Grove, Eddie Royal, and many others.
The Hokies picked up a lot of recruiting momentum on Saturday, and they hope
to continue that through June, when the invitation-only summer camps begin.
Spring Award Winners
As usual, Virginia Tech handed out their spring awards at halftime. For the
most part, there were no surprises.
Tailback Ryan Williams and wide receiver Xavier Boyce earned the Paul
Torgersen Award, which is presented to the top newcomer each spring. Williams, a
r-freshman tailback, had a terrific spring. He will be on the field quite a bit
for the Hokies this season. Boyce, a r-freshman wide receiver, was a favorite
target of quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The President’s Award is given to two players who demonstrate outstanding
leadership during spring practice and offseason workouts. Two upperclassmen won
this award. For the offense, it was junior quarterback Tyrod Taylor. For the
defense, senior free safety Kam Chancellor was the recipient.
The Dr. Richard Bullock Award is given to the most improved players on
offense and defense. The Hokies showed a lot of improvement offensively this
spring, particularly up front, so the award was shared by three offensive
linemen: Greg Nosal, Michael Via and Andrew Lanier. Defensively, starting backer
Jake Johnson got the nod.
Center Beau Warren and whip linebacker Cody Grimm won the Frank O. Moseley
Award, which is given each spring to a player from the offense and defense who
displays the most hustle during spring practice and the offseason workouts.
The Don Williams TEAM UNITED Award is presented to an offensive and defensive
player who put the team first. Ed Wang won the award for the offense, while John
Graves was the defensive winner. Graves spent the spring at defensive end
because of Tech’s lack of depth at that position.
The Coaches Award is given to an offensive and defensive player who had an
exceptional spring. Tight end Chris Drager, one of Tech’s leading receivers in
the Spring Game, won the award for the offense. Demetrius Taylor, who stepped
into the starting defensive tackle position vacated by John Graves, earned the
award for the defense.
Finally, the George Preas Award was given to the MVP of the spring, for the
offense and defense. Tyrod Taylor was the offensive winner, and defensive end
Nekos Brown collected the defensive hardware.