Preseason Report: S/WR Desmond Frye

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Virginia Tech-bound safety/wide receiver Desmond Frye and the rest of Thomas Dale’s varsity football squad began preseason practice this week, the start of what Knights head coach Kevin Tucker hopes is a long and successful season. stopped by the Chester, Virginia, high school for more on the coming season, including comments from Coach Tucker and a video interview with Frye, who committed to the Hokies in April.

A young Dale team finished last season 5-5 but won three of its final four games. Led by a talented group of skill athletes and a tough group of linemen, there is reason for optimism heading into 2011.

“Thomas Dale, we’re a little bit under the radar with a lot of organizations. Virginia Preps, they did their preseason rankings and we were their number seven or eight team out of the region, which was a fair assessment of us because we were a young team last year. We have a lot of experience coming back this year, but we still have to prove that we can win,” said Coach Tucker, who took over for the late Vic Williams in 2010. The Knights won the Group AAA, Division 6 state championship in Williams’ last season in 2009.

Frye, quarterback Quinton Taylor, running back/cornerback Lorenzo Fields (Tucker’s “lockdown cornerback”) and linebacker/running back Tevin Thorpe headline the rising senior group expected to lead the Knights this season. At safety, the 6’3″, 190-pound Frye had over 50 tackles, broke up 16 passes and had four interceptions last season as a junior. He was also a big-play threat at wide receiver, averaging 19.5 yards per catch with seven touchdowns.

“Desmond is a lot stronger than he was last year at this time,” Tucker said. “I think that will help his body frame take on more of those blows. Desmond, with the physical abilities he has and just being as athletic as he is, and watching him this summer in 7-on-7 and at Richmond camp a couple weeks ago, and at practice, he covers so much ground on the defensive side of the ball it’s ridiculous. It’s