Coach: Frank Beamer
107-65-2, 15 years
2001 Record: 8-4
at Rutgers WON 50-0
at West Virginia WON 35-0
at Pittsburgh LOST 7-38
at Temple WON 35-0
at Virginia WON 31-17
Florida State LOST 17-30

2001 Final Rankings
AP-18, Coaches-18, BCS-UR

2000 Big East Offensive Player of the Year Lee Suggs is returning from a knee injury that sidelined his Heisman campaign last fall.
2002 Outlook

Could Hokie fans be getting spoiled from years of success under Coach Beamer? Well maybe, but that's not such a bad thing in the sense it usually means your program has been at the top for a while. The short-term prognosis doesn't look extremely rich. If you could move time back about ten years ago, 2002 would look pretty promising. But this is now, and there are holes everywhere in the lineup due to graduation, as roughly only ten starters will be coming back. VT will still be operating without a proven QB. Grant Noel looked to return as the starter until the knee injury thing came about, but it is imperative that his offensive line gives whoever is at the helm some time in the pocket instead of outside the pocket. The entire functional equation of the offense will be about as difficult to digest as the engineering school weed out courses, as the entire starting receiving corps has been dismantled including all of the reliable tight ends. But there is a bright beam of hope shining through all of the departures, as the running backs are as deep and plentiful as has ever been. Last year's Preseason Heisman Candidate, Lee Suggs, should return after a devastating knee injury forced him to sit all of 2001. During that time, sensational freshman Kevin Jones stepped in to rush for nearly 1000 yards. The Hokies had a great defense last fall finishing at the top of the charts in many of the national statistics. But again there are many holes that need filled. The pass coverage needs to tighten before the early season begins as some big guns finally fill the Hokie schedule. Folks can't say this years non-conference schedule is light with LSU, Marshall, and Texas A&M. However, this no longer gives Coach Beamer and his staff the luxury of sure wins. Looking at the entire schedule, the Blacksburg faithful may have to be a little more patient as another Gator Bowl invite just might be a good thing this time around. In all honesty, Virginia Tech is very tough to get a read on, and that is probably why many fans around the nation will find the Hokies landing anywhere from #6 in the early polls to #22. The returning starters factor is way outside of the norm, but Frank Beamer coached teams never seem to falter from season to season when it comes to placing a quality product on the field in Blacksburg. They are still going to get after people in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains this fall…that you can count on much like the leaves changing to maroon and orange.

Projected 2002 record: 9-5

RB Lee Suggs played a limited role in the spring and played only one play in the spring game. Suggs is already close to 100 percent, and the coaches didn't want to risk another injury. Senior quarterback Grant Noel injured his knee during spring practice. He has decided to pass on surgery and is questionable for the fall.
QB - 2.5 DL - 3
RB - 5 LB - 2.5
WR - 3 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Grant Noel, 146-254-11, 1826 Yards, 16 TD's

Rushing: Kevin Jones, 175 att., 957 yds., 5 TD's

Receiving: Shawn Witten, 16 rec., 161 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Carter Warley, 11 FG, 44 PAT, 77 pts.

Punting: Vinnie Burns, 59 punts, 37.8 avg.

Kicking: Carter Warley, 11-21 FG, 44-44 PAT, 77 pts.

Tackles: Willie Pile, 94 tot., 53 solo

Sacks: Jim Davis, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Willie Pile, 4 for 77 yards

Kickoff returns: Richard Johnson, 12 ret., 22.2 avg.

Punt returns: Eric Green, 2 ret., 21.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Jarrett Ferguson-FB, Andre Davis-WR, Emmett Johnson-WR, Bob Slowikowski-TE, Browning Wynn-TE, Steve DeMasi-C, Matt Wincek-OT, Keith Burnell-RB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Chad Beasley-DT, Derrius Monroe-DT, David Pugh-DT, Dan Wilkinson-DT, Jake Houseright-LB, Brian Welch-LB, Ben Taylor-LB, Larry Austin-CB, Kevin McCadam-SS

STRENGTHS: Yo! This is running back heaven. The tailback spot is a two-headed operation that demands certain respect. If you do not appease them with respect, we shall say Ni to you. Whoa is the day where a team can bring back such runners as Big East Rookie of the Year Kevin Jones and 2000 Big East Offensive Player of the Year Lee Suggs, who is returning from a knee injury that sidelined his Heisman campaign last fall. Suggs seems to have made a remarkable recovery. The depth at the position is so solid that Keith Burnell has decided to transfer to an I-AA school. A workhorse for the Hokies is gone in fullback Jarrett Ferguson. His replacement Doug Easlick is a strong blocker with excellent hands. Shall we just say the double barrel is loaded? Somebody needs to pack the gunpowder, and that somebody looks to be a steady offensive line. A couple of bodies have moved on which caused some shuffling this spring, but the nucleus up front still remains pretty well intact. Jake Grove will make the move from guard to center after starting ten games just right of center. Senior Anthony Davis returns to anchor the left side of the line after starting all eleven games last season at the position. As a run blocking unit, the grunts in the trenches have shown a nice ability to get things moving. However the pass blocking last year was atrocious. When you added in the mobility at quarterback factor, the final outcome spelled trouble. Coaches need this unit to stand up and hold the pocket better if Virginia Tech is to make any strides in the air.


CONCERNS: Who will fill-in for Michael Vick? Wait, that was last preseason. But the question never got answered if you ask a Hokie fan. The job appeared locked up once again by the 2001 starter, senior Grant Noel. Then the unfortunate knee accident came about in spring training. Some are holding out hope that Grant can make a return in his last season. Obviously, he holds the key to the experience chest. In steps Bryan Randle, who many Hokie faithful practically screamed for last fall. Bryan played the spring game as quarterback for both squads and came away with a few positives. The battle looks to get interesting when August starts up again as Michael's little brother, Marcus comes to Blacksburg. Whether he will take a redshirt year will be determined week by week. Another injury and he will have to go. The Hokies took a hard hit in the receiving department and must replace the great André Davis and steady Emmett Johnson. Shawn Witten, who missed the second half of last season with a broken leg, will be the new baggage handler. He is joined by Ernest Wilford; who has the frame to be an outstanding receiver. Dealing with the loss of both tight ends is another huge concern. Slowikowski and Wynn have been constant staples over the past three seasons. Much work needs to be done.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Grant Noel-Sr Bryan Randall-So
FB Doug Easlick-Jr Josh Spence-So
TB Lee Suggs-Sr Kevin Jones-So
WR Shawn Witten-Sr Richard Johnson-So
WR Ernest Wilford-Jr Terrell Parham-Sr
TE Keith Willis-Jr Jared Mazzetta-So
OT Anthony Davis-Sr Reggie Butler-Fr
OG James Miller-So Curtis Bradley-Fr
C Jake Grove-Jr Robert Ramsey-So
OG Luke Owens-Sr Will Montgomery-Fr
OT Jon Dunn-So Jacob Gibson-Jr
K Carter Warley-Jr Jon Mollerup-Sr



STRENGTHS: Holes exist everywhere on defense. Determining the strongest link may prove to be a little difficult. Coaches are not short on talent, just playing experience, as the returning starter numbers are extremely low. One would more than likely start looking on the outside of the haystack at defensive end, where Cols Colas had a remarkable spring. His play is sure to boost the depth and quality on the outside. Returning with him will be Nathaniel Adibi, who has started in 21 games and Lamar Cobb who has started in 20 games. That is almost more PT experience than the whole defensive unit combined. These three teamed to combine for the jest of the 30 sacks VT put together last fall. Rushing the quarterback won't be a problem. All Big East player, cornerback Ronyell Whitaker, returns to help form a solid group in the secondary. Coaches need to find a new starter at rover. The top candidate is senior Billy Hardee. The backfield looks to be the most experienced of all the defensive units. Although the Gator Bowl from last January was a large disappointment here, rebounding logistics point towards a step forward in 2002. There is plenty of depth, some young and some more experienced, but all seem to possess a great deal of athleticism.


CONCERNS: Squaring up on starting linebackers is going to be a tiresome job. The team lost seniors Ben Taylor, Jake Houseright, and Brian Welch from the middle and the whip spot has been decimated with injuries and transfers. Piecing a depth chart together prior to the spring was next to impossible. Some light does shine through at the end of the tunnel as Vegas Robinson looks to be the gem fans dreamed of just a season ago. Coaches received some descent playing time from a number of incumbents through April as guys like Mikal Baagee and Alex Markogiannakis saw more action on the field due to the vacancies. When you take a look at some of the heavies in the middle of the front line that not only departed, but also got drafted, it's not hard to conclude work needs to be done in the heart of the famed Hokie defense. Teams just do not replace kids of this caliber without traveling through the learning curve. This team is really hard to get a read on. So many voids and so many new faces appear through out the entire defensive lineup.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Cols Colas-Jr Nathaniel Adibi-Jr
DT Kevin Lewis-So Tim Sandidge-Fr
DT Mark Costen-Jr Jason Murphy-Fr
DE Jim Davis-Jr Lamar Cobb-Sr
OLB Mike Daniels-So Brandon Manning-So
ILB Mikal Baaqee-So Alex Markogiannakis-Sr
ILB Vegas Robinson-Jr James Anderson-Fr
CB Ronyell Whitaker-Sr Eric Green-Jr
CB Garnell Wilds-Jr DeAngelo Hall-So
SS Billy Hardee-Sr Michael Crawford-Jr
FS Willie Pile-Sr Vincent Fuller-So
P Vinnie Burns-So Robert Peaslee-Jr
Cornerback Ronyell Whitaker returns to help form a solid group in the secondary. (AP Photo)