Tech Talk Live Notes for 8-22-11

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Tech Talk Live (football and basketball season)

When: Every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during basketball season.

Where: Click here for a list of radio stations, and to find the link for listening to the show on the Internet (look to the right on the page that loads when you click the link). You can see the show in person Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill in Blacksburg.

Note: Jim Weaver was the first guest, but his segment was not available on
Hokies All-Access.

Bud Foster

This is Foster’s 25th year at Tech. They were in a deep hole back then
because of probation, but they managed to dig themselves out thanks to a patient

Foster really likes Tech’s starting defense. The Hokies are younger this year
than they were a year ago, and last year’s defense was young already. However,
Foster really likes the starting group. They have good demeanor, chemistry,
talent and attitude.

Tech will have some young backups on the defensive side of the ball. They
could play three, four or five true freshmen, and a lot of r-freshmen and
sophomores will be playing. Foster likes the direction they are going.

J.R. Collins and James Gayle are playing very well and extremely hard. They
know what they are doing. They played significant roles as backups last year,
and really took over the starting jobs in the spring. They are playing fast, and
they really understand their positions now.

Tech’s backup defensive ends are very young and they have no experience. Zack
McCray is probably the most improved guy at that position. He played slow in the
spring, but he has made big strides this August. Duan Perez-Means is probably a
year away from a strength standpoint, and Tyrel Wilson is undersized. Dadi
Nicholas may or may not play. He’s very impressive, but sometimes he doesn’t
move in the right direction.

Antoine and Derrick Hopkins are playing very well at defensive tackle right
now. Tech didn’t have tackles who could make plays away from their alignment
last year. Foster feels better about that this season. Antoine and Derrick can
chase the football.

Luther Maddy is going to be a special player. He can make big plays. Corey
Marshall also has a chance to be a playmaker at tackle. Those are two guys who
can make plays away from their alignment. They play hard and they are athletic.
The fifth guy right now is probably Isaiah Hamlette. He really showed great
improvement early, but he has leveled off a bit.

Jeron Gouveia-Winslow had a very good spring and he’s had an outstanding
fall. He is playing with more confidence. He is more aware of his abilities,
what he can and can’t do.

Telvion Clark has played very well at backer. He is probably the most
improved player on the team. Clark has really taken the next step. Foster feels
like he has very capable depth at mike and backer. Barquell Rivers is back and
can contribute, while Jack Tyler played very well at the end of last season.
Tariq Edwards is also very good at backer. Foster feels like Tech has really
improved their speed and athleticism at backer.

Antone Exum and Eddie Whitley are switching positions. Exum has a little more
athletic ability, so they are switching him to the wide side of the field at
free safety. The rover is more of a free hitter type player, and Whitley has a
better understanding of that part of the defense. The positions are very
similar. It also gives Tech more depth, with both guys having knowledge of both

Jayron Hosley and Kyle Fuller have played very well. Fuller played a lot of
snaps for the Hokies last season, so he is a very experienced sophomore. Detrick
Bonner will back up Hosley at boundary corner, and Cris Hill will back up Fuller
at field. Foster thinks Bonner has a very bright future. If the Hokies play any
nickel, Kyle Fuller will probably be the nickel, while Cris Hill comes in and
plays field corner.

Tech will probably play true freshman Kyshoen Jarrett this year. He would be
the fifth cornerback right now. Foster likes what he’s done in some scrimmages.
He has a lot of self-confidence. Tech will need him to play a major role next

At safety, James Hopper is very functional. True freshmen Ronny Vandyke and
Boye Aromire have been battling it out as well. Both of those guys will probably
play this year. Michael Cole is likely heading towards a redshirt. He’s missed
too much time with a nagging injury.

The true freshmen who will likely play are defensive tackles Luther Maddy and
Corey Marshall, cornerback Kyshoen Jarrett and safeties Boye Aromire and Ronny
Vandyke. They are still considering Dadi Nicholas as well, because he is such a
playmaker. Foster is really excited about this freshman class overall.

Foster’s biggest concern right now is consistent depth, particularly at the
safety spot. The Hokies have improved themselves at defensive tackle, but end is
still a concern. If the first group can stay healthy, Foster believes they will
be a much-improved defense.

Tech hasn’t considered moving Tariq Edwards to whip yet. That could be a
possibility down the road. They’ve talked about it.

Logan Thomas has a great head on his shoulders, and he’s a guy you can trust.
Foster thinks you’ll see Tech run the ball a little more with Thomas, with power
plays and decide plays. He’s 255, he runs fast, and he likes to be physical.
He’s a great leader for Tech. He’s going to make some young mistakes, but he’s
going to be a special player for the Hokies.

Foster said that if David Wilson can stay healthy, he is probably the best
running back that Foster has seen at Virginia Tech. He has explosiveness, power,
and he’s a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the football.
Tech has had some great backs, but Foster isn’t sure they’ve had a more gifted

Wilson’s power surprises some tacklers. He’s a thoroughbred. He’s a major
pain to Foster in practice, but he’s a terrific player.

Tech has good depth up front on the offensive line. It’s going to be a good
group. And Tech’s receivers are very good. The Hokies have a chance to be a very
exciting football team. There are some question marks, but Foster really likes
this team.

Danny Coale

Coale stayed in Blacksburg to take classes over the summer. He traveled on
weekends and enjoyed his time with family and friends.

Preseason camp is going really well. He feels like the new guys are stepping
into their roles very well. It’s going to be a new look, but it’s going to be
really fun. They have a new quarterback, a new running back and new players on
defense, and that’s exciting.

Coale loves the football aspect of preseason camp. He loves practices. But
the meetings are pretty brutal. They are the worst part of camp. You are there
are 8am and you don’t leave until 9pm. Only two hours of that time is practice.
The rest is reserved for meetings.

The offense looks good. Coale is excited about it. Tech lost a lot with Tyrod
Taylor leaving. But if the Hokies have to lose Taylor, Coale is glad they get to
replace him with Logan Thomas.

When Tyrod was in the huddle, Coale could look him in the eyes. When Logan is
in the huddle, Coale has to look up in the air. They both have really deep
voices, so that’s not different. Coale’s neck strains after about five or six
plays with Thomas in the huddle.

When Taylor was first playing, the other players had trouble hearing him in
the huddle. That’s not the case with Thomas.

Coale feels like the experience of the wide receivers can benefit Thomas, but
he also feels like the receivers can learn from Thomas as well.

It’s unfortunate to see the situations at Ohio State, Miami, UNC, etc. Coale
hopes that is not what college football is turning into everywhere. He’s lucky
to play with some great guys for a great team, and he doesn’t see it happening
at Tech.

Coale believes that how you act as a student athlete is a direct reflection
of the coaching staff. If you see a guy like Nevin Shapiro around your program,
it’s going to send mixed messages to your players.

Coale noted that the coaching staff educates players on what they can and
can’t do. At the end of the day, it’s the decision of the players. The coaches
aren’t there 24 hours a day. They can’t be.

Coale felt like the Miami game was the most physical he played in last year.
He would be disappointed if Miami wasn’t as good as they’ve been because of
probation. You accomplish a lot when you beat Miami. It’s never easy.

In two weeks, you are going to see a team that is different. But the heart
and soul of the team, the principles that make the team, haven’t changed.

Eddie Whitley

At rover, there is less ground to cover. It’s very detailed. You really can’t
mess up. If you read the wrong keys, you will give up big plays. Whitley feels
good about the opportunity. It makes him a more versatile player.

Whitley was a leasing consultant and a maintenance guy in his apartment
complex over the summer. That was an internship. His major is consumer studies.

The best part of preseason camp is getting preseason camp over with. The
conditioning is terrible. Now that classes have started, the preseason is over.
They aren’t working all day.

The Hokies have to eliminate the big plays defensively this year. That will
help their defensive ranking quite a bit. They gave up far too many last season.
This year Tech needs to continue to force turnovers, but limit big plays. That
will make them a much better defense.

A lot of guys have more experience this year, and Whitley feels like the
defense is playing a lot more loose this August. They are playing ball, and not
letting their minds tie up their feet.

Going to the ACC media event in Pinehurst was an experience. There were lots
of questions. Some of the other ACC players were very impressive, such as NC
State tight end George Bryan. He’s a big guy. Whitley didn’t realize he was that
big, not even from playing against him.

Football is not a hard game as long as you pay attention to details. The Tech
coaching staff does a great job of preparing the players each and every week.

Jarrett Boykin was Whitley’s high school teammate. Whitley said Boykin didn’t
develop into a dominant receiver until his senior year of high school. He was a
great player that year, and it carried over into his college career.

Whitley feels really bad for Kwamaine Battle. An ACL injury is really tough
to come back from, particularly a guy like Battle who has a lot of muscles in
his legs.

Whitley intercepted Logan Thomas on Saturday. He was reading his eyes. Thomas
is so tall that it’s easy to read his eyes even when he’s behind the offensive

The Hokies have plenty of players on defense who are entering their third
year in the program. There are plenty of experienced starters.

Frank Beamer

The Hokies are having a good preseason so far. They are making progress.
Preseasons are hard. Players get tired of hitting their teammates all the time.
They are ready to hit another team. It’s tough, but it’s also an important time
for development.

Beamer thinks Tech is a couple of backups short right now. As the next few
weeks go along, he hopes the Hokies are able to develop a little more depth.

Beamer feels like Logan Thomas is going to do well, but he hasn’t done it
before. Same with kicker, punter, and other positions. Until they do it on the
field, they are question marks. Logan Thomas has a lot of good and experienced
players around him, and that will help him.

It’s time for some real change in college football. Beamer feels like
punishments should be more severe. Punishments also need to be handed out more

You have to get all the facts in the Miami case, but the players who are
still there who violated rules need to pay the penalty.

Beamer feels good about Tech’s tailbacks. Michael Holmes has a really good
future. The staff hasn’t decided whether or not to play him this year. Beamer
feels like Tony Gregory is back to full speed.

Logan Thomas has looked good. He’s got to continue to get experience. The
more snaps he takes, the better he is going to be. Beamer is really impressed
with Mark Leal. He takes most of the snaps against the #1 defense with the #2
offense around him, and he’s an impressive guy.

Blake DeChristopher was doing some team drills on Monday. He’s not practicing
full speed yet, but he’s getting there.

Jim Cavanaugh is now Tech’s Director of Recruiting. That will help everyone
on the recruiting trail. Mike O’Cain is now calling plays. That frees up Bryan
Stinespring to do some more recruiting, and he’s a very good recruiter in the
Tidewater area. Shane Beamer is in Richmond, and he’s doing a good job. Cornell
Brown is in Lynchburg and Danville. Tech is close to being done with the 2012
class. They’ve got a few more really good players they are pursuing.

Cody Journell is going to be Tech’s placekicker. The Hokies have some good
kickers in the program. Tyler Weiss is a transfer from Murray State who is
solid. Justin Myer has a very strong leg.

Scott Demler is going to be the punter, for now. They will continue to work
Danny Coale in practice. Michael Branthover has a very strong leg, and he can do
punts and field goals.

Beamer awarded scholarships to wide receiver Corey Fuller, fullback Joey
Phillips and fullback Martin Scales. They are important parts of the team. They
deserve to be rewarded.

George George is a guy who is dependable at tight end. Randall Dunn really
brings a speed and receiving threat to the position. Beamer thinks Dunn will
make some plays this year. The Hokies are also working Ryan Malleck, and Beamer
thinks he will play this year. He is a good receiver, but you’d like for him to
be bigger and stronger.

Randy Edsall is stepping into a good situation at Maryland. They bring back
some good players from a winning team. Miami is a very unknown situation right
now. It’s tough to coach when you don’t know who will be available for the
opening game. Those teams play each other in the opening week of the season.

Beamer is very proud of Tech’s organization. The great thing is that Billy
Hite and Jim Cavanaugh are still in the program. Shane Beamer and Cornell Brown
have great futures. The whole organization is running well, even down to the
academic staff, secretaries, training staff, etc.

Beamer thinks the Hokies are getting closer to being able to play eight or
nine guys on the offensive line. Being fresher in the fourth quarter could be a
real benefit to this team.

Shayne Graham is going into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. He was a
tremendous kicker, and he made a really big one in Morgantown. John Moody is
also going into the Hall. He has raised millions for the school over the years.

Tech will have a closed scrimmage on Wednesday. They will watch the video on
Thursday. On Friday, they will begin preparation for Appalachian State.

Monday was Day 2,459 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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