LB Vince Hall

2005 Statistics

Coach: Frank Beamer
146-79-2, 19 years
2005 Record: 11-2
at NC State WON 20-16
at Duke WON 45-0
at West Virginia WON 34-17
at Maryland WON 28-9
at Virginia WON 52-14
vs. Florida State LOST 22-27
vs. Louisville WON 35-24

2005 Final Rankings
AP-7, Coaches-7, BCS-10

2006 Outlook

Last season began with high expectations for Virginia Tech football that only grew…that was, until Miami came into Blacksburg and beat them up…bad…again. Their post-season (featuring a disappointing loss to a marginal Florida State squad in the ACC Championship game and the embarrassing behavior on the field during the Gator Bowl) left a bad taste of the Hokie program in everyone’s mouth, which Vick’s departure only worsened.

With Vick gone, the focus should at least return to what happens on the field. That’s a mixed blessing because the Hokies won’t be as good this time. The defense will slip only slightly from their perch as last season’s best in the nation, but the offense will struggle. The key to Virginia Tech’s success will be how quickly, if at all, their offensive line comes together. If they play well, the Hokies can then run the ball successfully, as they usually do, and therefore take pressure off their new quarterback(s). If they can’t get the running game going, however, and they put matters in the hands of their new signal caller, it won’t be a good sign. But using the pass to set up the run could work, if met with the abilities/limitations of the signal-caller being duly respected. If you see this approach being tried, know that Tech is scrambling to find some way to move the ball. There are all kinds of QBs waiting their turn, so it could be trial-and-error lineups until the right guy is found.

Due to offensive setbacks, expect Virginia Tech to finish behind Miami in their Coastal Division. Another embarrassingly easy out-of-conference schedule will insure nine wins, but probably no more than that and such weak non-cons cause definite problems as their SOS would likely hinder them from those precious BCS wildcards. A single-digit win-total won’t cheer the Hokies fans up a whole lot and will raise questions about what direction the program is heading. Not to worry, 9-3 is as bad as things will get in the foreseeable future, and most I-A teams would give anything to know they would finish so well.

Projected 2006 record: 10-2
QB - 2 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 4.5
WR - 4 DB - 4
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Cory Holt, 12-4-0, 80 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Branden Ore, 109 att., 647 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: David Clowney, 34 rec., 619 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Brandon Pace, 19-22 FG, 51-52 PAT, 108 pts.

Punting: Nic Schmitt, 52 punts, 43.2 avg.

Kicking: Brandon Pace, 19-22 FG, 51-52 PAT, 108 pts.

Tackles: Vince Hall, 112 tot., 43 solo

Sacks: Chris Ellis, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Aaron Rouse, 4 for 52 yds.

Kickoff Returns:
Eddie Royal, 14 ret., 20.9 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Eddie Royal, 32 ret., 8.2 avg., 0 TD


WR David Clowney
OFFENSE: Cedric Humes-TB, Mike Imoh-TB, Jeff King-TE, Jimmy Martin-OT, Will Montgomery-OG, Reggie Butler-OG, Jason Murphy-OG, Marcus Vick-QB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Darryl Tapp-DE, Jonathan Lewis-DT, Tim Sandidge-DT, James Anderson-WHIP, Jimmy Williams-CB, Justin Hamilton-FS

Hopefully sophomore Sean Glennon paid close attention to detail during his redshirt year in 2005, because he will have first crack at the suddenly vacant starting quarterback spot. He asked for the redshirt barring an injury to starter Marcus Vick (not counting the obvious sprained brain he suffered) and could now have three years as the starter if he can hold off fellow sophomore Corey Holt. Both players are similar in physical stature but have different skill sets. Glennon appears to be the more poised field general with the most accurate arm. Holt is a more aggressive playmaker who is a dangerous runner, but not as good at improvising as Vick. Neither quarterback will make fans forget Vick, but they should at least steer clear of the local police. Don’t rule out a one-two punch that could even incorporate Ike Whitaker and/or Cameron Chancellor, both of whom possess the throwing ability of Glennon with the play-making feet of Holt. The possibilities and combinations are open-ended until spring ball (and possibly summer) reveals which direction Beamer & Co. will go.

Running Back
Branden Ore has also received playing time ahead of schedule. As a redshirt freshman in ‘05, Ore filled in well when seniors Mike Imoh and Cedric Humes battled injuries. The Hokies didn’t miss a beat as they usually don’t—whichever backs line up for Tech will still be productive. Ore averaged nearly six per carry and scored six touchdowns in only 98 rushing attempts. Coach Frank Beamer usually likes to spread out carries among his running backs, but Ore will receive more than his fair share. He is a dual-threat as a runner and receiver and his 4.44 speed gives him the ability to break a big gain at any time. More important in Tech’s system is his ability to plug away with four, five, and six yards a pop. Sophomore George Bell will do the dirty work on short yardage. He is a strong runner inside the tackles and a good compliment to Ore. Fullback Jesse Allen needs to get the rock more with his surprisingly quick feet. Allen will lend leadership as likely the only senior in the backfield, but could also tally quite a few yards if given the touches (has no carries in his career at VT, but ran for 2300+ his senior prep campaign). Elan Lewis heads a group of worthy underclassmen waiting in the wings, so expect new names to reflect continued productivity.

Virginia Tech possesses one of the most talented and deepest receiving corps in the nation, led by senior David Clowney and junior Eddie Royal. It seems like a waste, for these guys need to see the ball more (Tech ran it 66% last campaign). When the Hokies do look down the field, Clowney will remain their “big” play man. He caught a pass for at least a forty-yard gain in five different games last season, effectively utilizing his blazing (4.35) speed. Royal will graduate from the slot and become even more of a possession receiver, but is also a threat on reverses with two career rushing touchdowns to his credit. Then there are the “triple Js” – juniors Justin Harper, Josh Morgan and Josh Hyman (listed in order descending size) – for proven depth. All three are deep threats and each will have to fight off Todd Nolen and the other hungry underclassmen.

Offensive Line
Beyond the quarterback position, the offensive line is Virginia Tech’s biggest area of concern. The Hokies have to break in three new starters alongside senior center Danny McGrath and junior tackle Duane Brown. McGrath just moved into the starting lineup and fared well, only allowing one sack all of ‘05. Brown is only entering his second year as tackle after converting from tight end just before the 2005 opener. He is very athletic. Senior Brandon Frye, one of the strongest players on the team, will fill the other tackle slot. Senior Brandon Gore should get first crack at one of the guard positions, but he is recovering from a broken ankle and won’t be ready until summer camp, if then. This group will again utilize its smaller-but-quicker tactic, relying on superior footwork to string blocks out laterally for leverage. Their startling lack of game experience and a failure to gel would bring the Hokies’ offense to a screeching halt. Still, Beamer has done more with less.

Tight End
Junior John Kinzer has the unenviable task of trying to replace Hokies’ star Jeff King. The ex-FB saw plenty of playing time in two tight-end sets and is already a solid receiver. But due to a size difference with King (he is smaller), he does need to improve his blocking, and he has the strength to become a good one. There is almost a total lack of experience behind Kinzer. Yet Beamer always finds that next unknown TE and makes him a star in his scheme(s), so expect nothing less (Ed Wang, a Virginia prep Gatorade Player of the Year).

Maintaining a productive offense (even with Marcus Vick) would have been a challenge for the Hokies. Without him, it likely won’t happen quite as soon. After having playmakers Bryan Randall and then Vick at quarterback, Tech will begin anew with the situation of just hoping their QB doesn’t screw up, but pedigree says developments will soon follow once the lumps have been absorbed. The backfield is filled with the same type of productive runners the Hokies usually have, but unless they learn how to fly or jump really, really high they won’t have as much room with which to work. The strength of the offense, the wide receivers, will also be largely negated by issues along the OL and at quarterback, which will allow opposing defenses to play closer to the line and stack up the running game until forced to play back. Improvisation has been a key element for success as of late – look for Beamer to adopt a genuine “playmaker” at the helm and not just a sound technician. Playing in a league that has been stocked with strong defenses the past couple of seasons will only more greatly expose such weaknesses.


K Brandon Pace


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Sean Glennon-So (6-4, 215) Cory Holt-So (6-4, 222)
FB Jesse Allen-Sr (6-0, 243) Carlton Weatherford-Jr (5-9, 220)
TB Branden Ore-So (5-11, 207) George Bell-So (5-10, 220)
WR Eddie Royal-Jr (5-10, 171) Josh Hyman-Jr (5-11, 189)
Justin Harper-Jr (6-3, 210)
WR David Clowney-Sr (6-1, 175) Josh Morgan-Jr (6-1, 215)
TE Sam Wheeler-Fr (6-3, 240) Ed Wang-Fr (6-5, 262)
John Kinzer-Jr (6-2, 245) (inj.)
OT Duane Brown-Jr (6-5, 278) Aaron Brown-Fr (6-6, 290)
OG Sergio Render-Fr (6-3, 300) Matt Welch-So (6-4, 290)
C Danny McGrath-Sr (6-2, 287) Ryan Shuman-So (6-3, 301)
OG Nick Marshman-So (6-5, 346) Robert Norris-Fr (6-4, 338)
OT Brandon Frye-Sr (6-4, 302) Eric Davis-Fr (6-7, 315)
K Brandon Pace-Sr (5-10, 196) ..



Defensive Line
The Hokies’ defensive line was dominant last season in ranking 8th as a run-stopping unit, and will be dominant again in 2006 despite losing two starters. Junior end Chris Ellis ranked second on the team behind only all-world Darryl Tapp in both tackles-for-loss and sacks, and Ellis will fill the role of the new “Mr. Penetration” (keep any comments to yourself). Senior Noland Burchette will start at the other end, but Orion Martin has enough experience that he will push Burchette through the summer for that role. Burchette was slowed with a bad shoulder last year, but when healthy, his quickness and agility make him a threat (18 QB-hurries). Juniors Carlton Powell and Barry Booker will step into starting roles at tackle. Powell was also slowed by injury last year, but will use his strength to bottle up the middle of the field. Booker has gained 40 pounds since arriving in Blacksburg and moved inside from end, but is still a very agile and aggressive playmaker. The Hokies will again be a physical mismatch for most opposing offensive lines with superior quickness and agility. The last two recruiting classes have been weighted heavily by highly-touted DLmen, so expect healthy rotations of new blood to keep the upperclassmen rested for when most needed.

Junior Xavier Adibi is (ready to become) the next Virginia Tech defensive star. There are stronger, more athletic linebackers than Adibi, but he uses his speed and football IQ to be in the right position to consistently make plays, both in defending the run and in pass coverage. He will play next to fellow junior Vince Hall, who was the Hokies’ leading tackler. Though a bit small, Hall is a strong, sure tackler who seldom misses an opportunity to make a play. The “whip” position is up for grabs, and there is very little experience behind Adibi and Hall, but, as is the norm at Tech, defensive coordinator Bud Foster has a knack for developing previously unheralded linebackers that can make plays. Brett Warren has waited patiently, but hungry newbies also seem imminent on breaking out, so developments throughout the summer will tell all.

Defensive Back
Senior Aaron Rouse will anchor the Hokies’ secondary from the rover position. He has NFL size (6’2”, 220 pounds) and speed (4.45 in the 40) and used it to lead Tech in interceptions and finish third on the team in tackles. Rouse is one of the more disruptive defensive backs in the ACC. Junior free safety D. J. Parker will fully make the transition from cornerback. He has great speed for a safety but will need to add weight to his 180 pound frame to be effective in run support. Roland Minor, a junior, will take Jimmy Williams’ spot at the lockdown cover man this season. Sophomore Brandon Flowers will move over from nickel back to the other starting corner, and special teams ace Victor Harris, also a highly-anticipated sophomore (five-star recruit), will fill the nickel spot. The Tech secondary will have a lot of speed as usual, which is needed in their one-on-one coverage scheme, but they could also take a while to come together as a unit. There may be a few statistical drop-offs, but the prowess of last year’s second-rated pass efficiency defense (3rd in total pass defense) will be just as feared and/or respected.

The Hokies don’t make as many spectacular plays in opponents’ backfields as some do, but they control the line of scrimmage with optimal effect. There are several potential stars in the defensive lineup this year, but enough newcomers to think that this will not be the best unit in the nation as it was in 2005. Still, it will be balanced – strong against both run and pass, any opposing OC’s worst-case scenario for game planning. Coordinator Bud Foster is one of the recognized gurus in his field. His defenses aren’t very flashy; they simply stop opponents from gaining yards. In 2005, Tech allowed only three yards per rushing attempt and just over five yards per pass. They will have the same approach of keeping the play in front of them, but while players acclimate themselves into new roles, the defense (if so) will be vulnerable early. If the line starts out as anything less than totally dominant, there will be holes in the back seven for opponents to attack. Tech usually shuts all but a few foes down for the entire 60-minutes, and it is usually those few foes who have enough success to trip the Hokie’s season up for any BCS presence. Tech’s stoppers need to stay consistent from game-to-game and not let teams like Miami and FSU again ruin nine (or so) superior defensive efforts.


ROV Aaron Rouse


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Noland Burchette-Sr (6-2, 260) William Wall-Fr (6-4, 253)
DT Barry Booker-Jr (6-4, 279) Hivera Green-Fr (6-3, 277)
DT Carlton Powell-Jr (6-2, 292) Kory Robertson-Jr (6-2, 331)
DE Chris Ellis-Jr (6-5, 250) Orion Martin-So (6-2, 240)
ILB Xavier Adibi-Jr (6-2, 224) Purnell Sturdivant-So (5-9, 214)
ILB Vince Hall-Jr (6-0, 236) Brett Warren-Jr (6-0, 229)
WHIP Brenden Hill-Sr (6-1, 197) Corey Gordon-Jr (6-2, 228)
CB Brandon Flowers-So (5-10, 187) Jahre Cheeseman-Fr (5-9, 184)
CB Roland Minor-Jr (6-0, 205) Victor Harris-So (6-0, 186)
ROV Aaron Rouse-Sr (6-4, 221) Cary Wade-Sr (5-10, 178)
FS D.J. Parker-Jr (5-11, 184) Cam Martin-Fr (6-0, 192)
P Nic Schmitt-Sr (6-2, 273) ..




Brandon Pace returns for his third year as the Hokies’ placekicker. He is one of the more consistent kickers in the country, connecting on 19-of-22 FGAs last season, including 6-of-7 from beyond 40 yards. Junior Jared Develli will handle kickoffs. He has a very strong leg and nearly 50% of his kicks will go for touchbacks.

Senior Nic Schmitt will again handle Tech’s punting chores. At 6’2”, 273 pounds, Schmitt more closely resembles a defensive lineman than a kicker. He is a good one, though, averaging over 43 yards per, and his size means there are 11 defenders after the boot. And though Schmitt had only 18 kicks returned last season, coaches would like to see his numbers be more consistent from game to game.

Return Game
Eddie Royal will handle both the punt and kickoff return duties for the Hokies for the third straight year. Royal’s numbers were down sharply in 2005 from his freshman season, but he remains a breakaway threat with his 4.4 speed. Look for Josh Morgan and perhaps at least one other wide receiver to share duties with Royal this year to insure he doesn’t get worn down.

Kick coverage for Tech is always either good or great and this year will be no exception. The Hokies blocked three kicks last season, a good number, but actually low for “Beamer Ball” (108 blocks in 226 games under Beamer). With 36 special team TDs, to boot, this is one phase within which you can bet only an exceptional team will outshine them. Blocked kicks will rebound this season.