Party Like it’s 1999?

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It’s only the middle of June, but the hype machine is already cranking out the story lines. Marcus Vick returns to
Virginia Tech and will take over the starting quarterback job. Virginia Tech has a strong team, and is looking to defend
their ACC Championship. The Hokies will have to get past Miami and Florida State this year to win the conference. You
know the deal. It happens every year now-a-days. But this year is a little different.

Sure, some “experts” picked the Hokies to play for the National Championship in 2001 and 2003. And there
were definitely some good reasons to do so. But when it comes down to it, the 2005 team is more similar to the 1999 team
than either the 2001 or 2003 squads. Let’s take a look at each position on the 1999 and 2005 teams and see what is
similar or different, as well as deciding on if the position is upgraded, downgraded, or about the same.

 

Quarterback

 

The Hokies had an unproven quarterback in 1999, and will in 2005 as well. In both cases, the quarterback is fast. He
has an incredible arm. And in both cases, his last name is Vick. Despite being a r-freshman in 1999, Michael Vick did
pretty well for the Hokies, setting an NCAA record for passing efficiency by a freshman, finishing third in the Heisman
Trophy voting and leading Tech to the National Championship game against Florida State.

Marcus Vick will begin his first season as a starter with much more of a burden on his shoulders than Michael did.
The first burden is, of course, Michael himself. Just having the same last name, not to mention the same types of
abilities, is enough to draw comparisons. The other burden for Marcus is overcoming his greatly publicized and
tumultuous past. Not to mention the fact that he is replacing the 2004 ACC Player of the Year in Bryan Randall.

It’s a lot to ask, but if Marcus can make the same types of plays that Michael made in 1999, the Hokies have a
chance to run the table in 2005. Because of Michael’s accomplishments, I’ve got to say this position is downgraded.
It sure as heck won’t be upgraded. But Marcus does have a chance to be a very special player.

 

Tailback

 

Again, this is a similar position to the 1999 duo of Shyrone Stith and Andre Kendrick.

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