Spring Football 2005: Ellis, Flowers, and Depth

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Spring practice is winding down, and the Hokies held another scrimmage in Lane Stadium Saturday. As detailed in last
Friday’s News and Notes, the depth chart has pretty much been set for the remainder of the spring, and the two-deep
players are getting a lot of reps as the coaching staff works with the guys who will be the frontrunners going into the
fall. Here’s the latest on who’s looking good, who’s not, and what the feeling is about the team’s depth.

Ellis Having a Great Spring

“One guy that has been totally unblockable all spring is Chris Ellis,” one of our insiders told us. “I
think he is poised to have a breakout season, much like Darryl Tapp did a year ago.”

Like Tapp last year, Ellis will be entering his third season at Virginia Tech as a redshirt sophomore next fall, and
as we have said before, the third year in the program is when the light bulb usually goes on for players. Tapp posted
some good statistics as a true sophomore but was often out of position and got pushed around at times. Then he became a
more solid all-around player as a true junior in 2004.

Ellis exhibited the same on-again, off-again tendencies as a redshirt freshman last year. He played in all 13 games
last year and finished tied for second on the team in QB hurries with 14, and fourth in tackles for loss with 7.5. But
he was inconsistent, as you might expect from a redshirt freshman. He would make a great play, but then on the next
snap, he would be out of position. But this spring, he has stepped up his game.

Noland Burchette, who injured his tricep last week and must sit out the rest of the spring, is generally perceived as
the starter at the “stud” defensive end spot, opposite Tapp at the “end” spot. But Ellis, who backs
up Burchette at stud, is every bit as good as Burchette, and maybe

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