Young Players Flash Talent in Spring Game

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The Maroon team defeated the White team 16-0 on Saturday in a Spring Game that featured some solid play on both sides of the ball. Neither offense was consistent because the starting offensive line was split up amongst both teams, but some young players stepped up and performed well individually.

Tony Gregory, a r-freshman running back, led all rushers with 10 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Gregory flashed the speed that he is noted for, and also showed toughness running the ball not typically displayed by someone who weighs just 186-lbs.

David Wilson had four carries for 21 yards, including a 16 yarder up the middle. Darren Evans had five carries for eight yards. Starting tailback Ryan Williams did not play in the Spring Game.

Tyrod Taylor played just the first half for the White team, and he wore a yellow jersey, which means he was off limits to contact. Taylor had a good day, going 4-of-8 for 76 yards.

Logan Thomas, Tech’s promising r-freshman quarterback, was 6-of-12 for 34 yards and a touchdown while playing for both teams. His most impressive drive was the first drive of the game. He completed all five of his pass attempts and threw a three yard touchdown pass to r-junior wide receiver Danny Coale. Thomas also had five carries for 21 yards on the day.

Ju-Ju Clayton also played for both teams, going 5-of-13 for 46 yards with an interception. He was picked off on a deep ball by Eddie Whitley. The pass was intended for Marcus Davis, but it was overthrown.

True freshman quarterback Ricardo Young also saw action in his first Spring Game, and he was 2-of-4 for 15 yards. Walk-on freshman Trey Gresh, from Blacksburg High School, went 4-of-7 for 50 yards, seeing most of his action in the fourth quarter.

Four different players caught three passes for the Hokies. Jarrett Boykin had three for 50 yards, Xavier Boyce finished with three receptions for 43 yards, Danny Coale had three for 29 yards and a touchdown, while Marcus Davis had three catches for zero yards. Davis was the recipient of three very short passes, one of which he lost yardage on.

Several young defenders had good days for both defenses. R-freshman defensive end James Gayle had a sack for the White team, and r-sophomore defensive tackle Joe Jones also had two tackles for loss for the White team.

Alonzo Tweedy, playing for the White team as well, appeared to play the best of all the whip linebackers. He had three tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss. Eddie Whitley was arguably the best defender on the field for the White Team. He finished with five tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception.

Finally, true freshman linebacker Chase Williams also had a good game for the White team. Starting at the backer position, he had four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He made one very impressive play when he blew up a screen pass to Tony Gregory.

Two new starters led the Maroon team defensively. Mike linebacker Bruce Taylor continued his good play by finishing with five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Taylor was very active on Saturday, and the starting mike position looks to be in good hands with Barquell Rivers out with an injury.

Steven Friday is a r-senior defensive end who will be starting for the first time this season. He solidified his claim to a starting spot with his performance in the Spring Game. Friday finished with four tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and one quarterback hurry. He blew by left tackle Andrew Lanier on his second sack, planting Logan Thomas into the end zone turf for a safety.

Overall it was a well-played Spring Game, though Tech’s offensive line injuries resulted in 17 combined tackles for loss for both defenses. Centers Michael Via and Andrew Miller and guards Vinston Painter and Tyler Barfield missed the game due to injuries.

The Hokies will use their summer strength and conditioning program to get ready for August two-a-days. Their season will begin on Monday night, September 6 at FedExField when they take on Boise State. The Broncos are expected to begin the season in the Top Five.

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