Monday, June 30, 2008

All-Beamer Team: Defense

The concept for the All-Beamer Team was blatantly stolen from It is the best players at each position since Beamer took over in 1987. Three weeks ago, we announced the nominees for the All-Beamer Team on defense. Now, here are our picks:

DE: Corey Moore
DE: Darryl Tapp

Other Nominees: Chris Ellis, Jim Davis, John Engelberger
- It was a tough choice between Tapp and Engelberger, but Tapp had the leadership intangibles that made him a great player on Bud Foster's defense. Moore was an easy choice.

DT: J.C. Price
DT: Chad Beasley

Other Nominees: Carlton Powell, David Pugh, Carl Bradley
- Price was an anchor of the mid-90s teams that first started appearing in bowls. Beasley was a beast on the teams that followed the Vick era.

LB: Cornell Brown
LB: Vince Hall
LB: Xavier Adibi

Other Nominees: Ben Taylor, Michael Hawkes, Jock Jones
- The easiest choices to make.

CB: Tyrone Drakeford
CB: Brandon Flowers

Other Nominees: Jimmy Williams, DeAngelo Hall, Ike Carlton, Antonio Banks
- You could make arguments for all seven guys. However, I think Drakeford is the best cornerback to play for Virginia Tech and Flowers is a personal favorite, so he gets the nod over Hall.

S/ROV: Aaron Rouse
S/ROB: Keion Carpenter

Other Nominees: Willie Pile, Pierson Prioleau, Torrian Gray
- Rouse might be my favorite Hokie. Tremendous football mind and leadership ability. Carpenter had a knack for being in the right place at the right time and always seemed to have an impact on key plays.

Friday, June 27, 2008

2008 No. 7 - Soccer in the College Cup

We're counting down the Top 10 moments in Virginia Tech sports from the 2007-08 season. The moments are judged on level of pride it brought to Hokie Nation, how great the accomplishment was and how much attention it brought the Hokies.

No. 7

Virginia Tech's men's soccer team went 14-4-5, advanced to the Final Four of the 2008 College Cup and finished the year ranked No. 4 in the nation. The Hokies lost in the Final Four, 2-0, against eventual national champion Wake Forest on ESPN2.

Tech finished fourth in the powerful ACC in 2008 and laid the foundation for a bright future for the program. After dropping their season opener against VCU, the Hokies went 14 matches without suffering a defeat. They beat five ranked teams during the season, including No. 2 UConn in the quarterfinals.

Hokie all-American forward Patrick Nyarko was drafted in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire, the greatest team in the history of soccer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SMQ on the 2008 Hokies

SMQ has posted his Reasonably Anticipatory Assessment of Virginia Tech.

The Highlights:
- We have no reliable skill players and are rebuilding our front seven. That's true. But ... ouch. You've pierced my soul, SMQ.
- Maybe the benching was the best thing to happen to Glennon.
- "It's Tyrod's world, sooner or later."
- We need Ryan Williams to play a significant role.
- Our schedule is pretty easy.
- We're the favorite in the division (and possibly conference) by default.

2008 No. 8 - Football Beats FSU

We're counting down the Top 10 moments in Virginia Tech sports from the 2007-08 season. The moments are judged on level of pride it brought to Hokie Nation, how great the accomplishment was and how much attention did it bring the Hokies.

No. 8


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2008 No. 9 - Women's Track Wins ACC and Regional

We're counting down the Top 10 moments in Virginia Tech sports from the 2007-08 season. The moments are judged on level of pride it brought to Hokie Nation, how great the accomplishment was and how much attention did it bring the Hokies.

No. 9

The Virginia Tech Women's Track and Field team coasted to its second consecutive ACC Championship in mid-April and in late May captured its second consecutive East Regional championship.

Injuries kept the Hokies from making noise at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, but did not take away from their great season. Record-setting sophomore Queen Harrison (pictured) won both the 100 and 400m hurdles at the regional in Tallahassee.

She suffered a left hamstring injury at the NCAA meet and may have to miss Olympic qualifying beginning June 27 in Eugene, Ore. However, she was named Southeast Region track performer of the year and director of track and field Dave Cianelli was named region and ACC coach of the year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

All-Beamer Team: Offense

The concept for the All-Beamer Team was blatantly stolen from It is the best players at each position since Beamer took over in 1987. Three weeks ago, we announced the nominees for the All-Beamer Team on offense. Now, here are our picks:

QB: Michael Vick
Other Nominees: Bryan Randall, Jim Druckenmiller, Maurice DeShazo, Will Furrer
- This was the easiest selection to make. Vick was electrifying and lost only one game as a starter in two years with the Hokies.

RB: Kevin Jones
RB: Lee Suggs

Other Nominees: Branden Ore, Shyrone Stith, Ken Oxendine, Dwayne Thomas, Vaughn Hebron
- Both members of The Untouchables get the nod. Jones was the best running back the Hokies have seen. Suggs was a consistent workhorse for Beamer during his career.

WR: Ernest Wilford
WR: Antonio Freeman

Other Nominees: Eddie Royal, David Clowney, Bryan Still, Myron Richardson
- Wilford was prolific on average teams. He put up big numbers, but will unfortunately be remembered for dropping a two-point conversion against Miami in 2001. Freeman was the first big-time player the Hokies have had in recent NFL history.

TE: Jeff King
Other Nominees: Keith Willis, Bob Slowikowski, John Burke
King was a go-to guy for the offense and developing into a go-to guy for the Carolina Panthers.

T: Eugene Chung
G: Gennaro DiNapoli
C: Jim Pyne
G: Will Montgomery
T: Duane Brown

Other Nominees: Jon Dunn (T), Dave Kadela (T), Anthony Lambo (G), Jake Grove (C), Keith Short (C), Matt Lehr (C)
Chung and Pyne were no-brainers. DiNapoli and Montgomery helped open holes for some of the best runners the Hokies have seen. Brown was a solid protector of Glennon's blind side last year and looks to have a bright future in the NFL.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Are these Tech's new jerseys?

Our friend Clark posts over at what he believes the Hokies' new uniforms will look like:

If Clark's the one posting these images, this is probably close to what they're actually going to be. Yikes. These are going to have to grow on me. It looks like they took the infamous one orange sleeve jerseys from 2005 and applied them to both sleeves. I'm not sure how good that's going to look on the field.

I'm disappointed to see the orange collars go, but I like that there's a lot less piping. Also gone are pant stripes, which I'm also not a fan of. It means the maroon jersey/white pant combo won't look very good, and that's the home look I prefer. I'm not a fan of wearing all maroon.

On the flip side, I think the away unis will look really sharp.

Be sure to check Clark's Web site. I'm sure he'll have more looks at what the unis will look like and photoshopped player photos of what they might look like in action.

UPDATE: It's pretty much official. They're available on Eastbay.

I have to admit, it looks a lot better in real life than on the drawing board. I like the new number font, too.

Three QBs, Three ACC Titles

The last three QBs to win ACC championships will be playing in 2008 in the ACC. FSU's Drew Weatherford beat Tech for the 2005 ACC title, Wake's Riley Skinner beat Georgia Tech for the 2006 title and last year, Tech's Sean Glennon beat BC for the championship.

That's three different quarterbacks with three different teams that have league titles playing in 2008. Off the top of my head, I can't think of that happening in a BCS conference. Last year, the ACC took a lot of flak for the lack of good quarterbacks. The league probably suffered because it didn't have very good quarterbacks.

It may be the exact opposite this year. With those three, as well as Duke's Thaddeus Lewis, Clemson's Cullen Harper and Tech's own Tyrod Taylor, the ACC is full of quality signal callers.

Could this mean a turn-around for the ACC? Everyone is down on the ACC as a league because of its poor performance in bowl games. But trends were made to be reversed. Everyone was down on the Big East because VT, BC and Miami left and the league has had a good three years since. However, now with a bumper crop of quality quarterbacks, maybe this is the year the ACC improves.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Great Moments in Beamerball: 2006 Gator Bowl

About this play:

Jan. 2, 2006 | Hokies vs. Louisville
Alltel Stadium | Jacksonville, Fla.

The Hokies scored the final 22 points in a 35-24 come-from-behind victory over Louisville. The game-sealing touchdown came on this 39-yard interception return by James Anderson. It was the third interception of the day thrown by Cards quarterback Hunter Cantwell. Cantwell was bruised and battered all day by the Hokie defense as he suffered a bloody nose during the game. It was a rare four-quarter comeback for the Hokies, aided by Beamerball at its finest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2008 No. 10 - 8 Hokies Go in NFL Draft

We're counting down the Top 10 moments in Virginia Tech sports from the 2007-08 season. The moments are judged on level of pride it brought to Hokie Nation, how great the accomplishment was and how much attention did it bring the Hokies.

No. 10

Virginia Tech had eight players selected in the 2008 NFL Draft, the second-most for any school behind USC. It spoke to the level of athlete Virginia Tech has and how well the coaching staff prepares its players for the NFL.

The Hokies had one first-round selection in 2008. Offensive tackle Duane Brown was the 26th overall pick by the Houston Texans. In the second round, cornerback Brandon Flowers was taken by Kansas City and wide receiver Eddie Royal was taken by Denver.

Brown was the seventh player in Virginia Tech history to go in the first round of the draft, the sixth under Coach Beamer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

All-Beamer Team: Special Teams Nominees

The idea for the All-Beamer Team was blatantly stolen from Simply, it's the best players at Tech since Frank Beamer became head coach in 1987. Here are the nominees on special teams. If you have an opinion on who should be named to the All-Beamer Team, fire away in the comments or E-mail me.

Kicker (1)
The two most clutch kickers in Hokie history (Kinzer and Graham) lead this group of nominees.
- Brandon Pace
- Shayne Graham
- Mickey Thomas
- Chris Kinzer

Punter (1)
For almost a decade, the Hokies featured a left-footed punter as Kibble beget
Burns, who beget Schmitt.
- Nic Schmitt
- Vinnie Burns
- Jimmy Kibble
- Robbie Colley

Punt Return (1)
Beamerball has produced some spectacular and game-changing punt returns. This will be a tough call.
- Eddie Royal
- DeAngelo Hall
- Andre Davis
- Antonio Freeman

Kickoff Return (2)
Some often over-looked players on this list. Imoh was a solid running back who was an excellent kickoff return man. Bryan Still is better known for his punt return for touchdown against Texas in the 1995 Sugar Bowl, but was better returning kickoffs.
- Eddie Royal
- Mike Imoh
- Bryan Still
- Jon Jeffries

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hall of Fame: Miracle in Morgantown

Shortly after Shayne Graham's kick sailed through the West Virginia night, split a pair of uprights and pierced the hearts of Couch Burners everywhere, I started calling New Orleans hotels.

Nov. 6, 1999, was a great day to be a Hokie. First, Minnesota traveled to No. 2 Penn State and shocked the Nittany Lions, 24-23. Gopher freshman kicker Dan Nystrom booted a 32-yard field goal as time expired to hand Penn State its first loss of the year and clear the way for No. 3 Virginia Tech to control its own destiny for a Sugar Bowl bid.

Just as Nystrom was making his kick and getting mobbed by his teammates on ESPN2, the Hokies were kicking off in Morgantown on CBS. If the Hokies won out, they would most likely earn a berth in the national championship game. But their biggest test would come before they were even handed the No. 2 ranking.

Tech appeared to have the game in hand when Shyrone Stith scored from six years out to give the Hokies a 19-7 lead with under five minutes to play. However, several bounces went West Virginia's way in the next few minutes.

The Mountaineers fumbled the ensuing kickoff but recovered, returned it deep into Tech territory and were the beneficiaries of a late hit call. West Virginia quickly scored to cut Tech's lead to five. On the second play of Tech's next drive, Stith fumbled and West Virginia was again in business deep in Tech territory.

Brad Lewis found Khori Ivy in the end zone four plays later to give West Virginia the lead and leave the Hokies stunned. Their perfect season appeared lost. But the two-point conversion failed, leaving it a one-point game and hope for a final, desperate drive.

The next 1:15 went like this:

The final five minutes of that game saw at least four complete nervous breakdowns on my part. And who knows how many more in the state of Virginia. But Michael Vick and Shayne Graham were able to save the season. I knew after that game this team wasn't going to get beat. By the end of the night I had my hotel and flight reserved for New Orleans. A few weeks later, the Hokies beat BC and clinched a spot in the Sugar Bowl.

As for that Sugar Bowl, let's just pretend it didn't happen. At least not the fourth quarter, anyway.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Future All-Name Teamer Commits to Tech

You won't see a lot of recruiting news on this blog, but this tidbit caught my eye. The fine folks at are reporting Nubian Peak from Pulaski County (VA) High School has given a verbal commitment to the Hokies.

That's a helluva name. He's a tailback for the Cougars, so the quicker we can get him in the same backfield as Jahre Cheeseman, the quicker the Hokies can have the best-named backfield tandem in the nation.

Looking at his YouTube highlight reel, Peak looks a bit undersized for college football right now, but follows his blocks and changes direction well. He also appears to be a threat as a receiver. Peak also serves as point guard for Pulaski County's hoops team.

Nubia is a region in southern Egypt that used be an independent kingdom. Since it's in the desert, it isn't exactly mountainous. The only Nubian peaks I could find are these pyramids...

...and the ones on the goddess Isis:

Monday, June 9, 2008

All-Beamer Team: Defense Nominees

The idea for the All-Beamer Team was blatantly stolen from Simply, it's the best players at Tech since Frank Beamer became head coach in 1987. Here are the nominees on defense. If you have an opinion on who should be named to the All-Beamer Team, fire away in the comments or E-mail me.

Defensive End (2)
The Hokies have always had good defensive ends. However, only recently have they had success in the NFL. Corey Moore was beast as a defensive end in college, but was undersized in the NFL. Moore is almost assured of one of the two spots on our All-Beamer Team.
- Chris Ellis
- Darryl Tapp
- Jim Davis
- Corey Moore
- John Engelberger

Defensive Tackle (2)
It's an often over-looked position on the football field, but defensive tackle is especially important to the Hokies, who focus on taking away the oppositions ability to run the ball.
- Carlton Powell
- David Pugh
- Chad Beasley
- Carl Bradley
- J.C. Price

Linebacker (3)
No shortage of great Hokies to choose from at the linebacker spot. This will be the hardest call to make on the defensive side.
- Xavier Adibi
- Vince Hall
- Ben Taylor
- Michael Hawkes
- Cornell Brown
- Jock Jones

Cornerback (2)
Another tough call. There's a lot of NFL experience on this list and a lot of great shut-down corners. And if this list were being compiled next year, you could probably add Macho Harris to it.
- Brandon Flowers
- Jimmy Williams
- DeAngelo Hall
- Ike Charlton
- Antonio Banks
- Tyrone Drakeford

Safety and Rover (2)
The most important position on Bud Foster's defense. The guys who call the formations and audibles and are an extension of Foster on the field. These guys were not just important on defense, but also on special teams.
- Aaron Rouse
- Willie Pile
- Keion Carpenter
- Pierson Prioleau
- Torrian Gray

Friday, June 6, 2008

Great Moments in Beamerball: Wayne Ward

About this play:

Oct. 12, 2000 | Hokies vs. West Virginia
Lane Stadium | Blacksburg, Va.

Andre Davis scored three touchdowns on three touches in the third quarter as the Hokies rolled the Couch Burners, 48-20. Davis scored on a 30-yard run, a 64-yard reception and this 76-yard punt return. The key to the play was the devastating block Wayne Ward laid on an unsuspecting Couch Burner at the 28 yard line.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goin' Clubbing: Hockey Player on Journey of Hope

Goin’ Clubbing is a regular feature on Gobbler Country. Each edition is an in-depth look at a different club sport at Virginia Tech. While these athletes aren’t on scholarship, they are still proud to play and represent the university.

Ryan Cole's summer vacation will be more arduous than most among Virginia Tech students. The former hockey player isn't celebrating his graduation by going to the beach or backpacking through Europe.

Instead, he's biking across the United States to raise money for people with disabilities as a part of Journey of Hope.

Cole's fraternity Pi Kappa Phi and its foundation, Push America, are sponsoring several bike rides this summer to help those with disabilities. Cole's ride begins in San Francisco June 14 and concludes in Washington, DC, Aug. 16. Along the way, he'll participate in events that improve the lives of those with disabilities.

"I know the reason why we do this is for people with disabilities and not myself," he said. "I have a lot of fun seeing people with disabilities' faces light up. They are always excited for us to come hang out and talk with them and it really is a great time. Many people along the Journey of Hope say it’s the one day they always look forward to when we ride through their town."

Cole needed to raise $5,000 to be able to participate in the ride. To date, he's raised over $7,500, in part thanks to the Virginia Tech hockey team. On Cole's senior night, the team held a fundraiser for his effort that contributed $250.

The experience will allow Cole to see the country and have an effect on the lives of many. He said he isn't sure what he will learn, but is sure the ride will have a positive impact on him.

"Parents of friends that have done the ride before always say there is something different about their child," he said. "They don’t really know what it is but everyone seems to change. Whether that is we gain a greater appreciation of life, of people with disabilities, I’m not really sure but I’m excited to find out."

The Cannonburg, Pa., native graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in architecture. He will start a job with The Design Alliance Architects in Pittsburgh after his cross-country journey. While his hockey career is over, his summer will be filled with the same camaraderie he experienced with the team.

"That is one thing that is so hard about leaving the hockey team, those guys are my best friends and I know I can call on them anytime I want," Cole said. "You spend so many days a week practicing and working your butt off for a common goal and that is exactly what I expect Journey of Hope to be like. Spending hours and hours every day on the bike you get to know your team very well and I’m assuming some of my best friends will also come out it."

Like many Hokies, Cole will be enjoying his summer outdoors. However, instead of tending to pools and flower petals, he'll be pushing pedals toward a town near you along his journey of hope.

More Information
Ryan Cole's Web site
Push America
Journey of Hope video

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Early-season Game Times Announced

Game times and TV coverage for five of Virginia Tech's 2008 football games were announced today on The game time for the opener against ECU (the worst kept secret of the last few weeks) will be at Noon at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. It's just as well. With the game being at a pro stadium with all the big parking lots, tailgating won't be as good as if it were on either campus.

Last year's home game against ECU was also at Noon. However, the Hokies didn't wake up until about 2:00 and needed a tremendous defensive play from Macho Harris to beat the Pirates. Hopefully the Hokies will be prepared from the start for this one. With all the new starters, they can't afford to come out sluggish.

Game 1 - Aug. 30 - ECU (Charlotte) - Noon - ESPN
Game 2 - Sept. 6 - Furman - 1:30 - TBA
Game 3 - Sept. 13 - Georgia Tech - 3:30 - ESPN/ABC
Game 8 - Nov. 6 - Maryland - 7:30 - ESPN
Game 9 - Nov. 13 - at Miami - 7:30 - ESPN

Monday, June 2, 2008

All-Beamer Team: Offense Nominees

The idea for the All-Beamer Team was blatantly stolen from Simply, it's the best players at Tech since Frank Beamer became head coach in 1987. Here are the nominees on offense. If you have an opinion on who should be named to the All-Beamer Team, fire away in the comments or E-mail me.

Quarterback (1)
This may be the easiest pick to make, but they players below not named Vick all played key roles in Tech's success under Beamer. While Furrer never led the Hokies to a bowl, he was a prolific passer. Druckenmiller and Randall were skilled passers who led the Hokies to conference titles. DeShazo was a precursor to Vick and led the Hokies to their first bowl appearance under Beamer.
- Bryan Randall
- Michael Vick
- Jim Druckenmiller
- Maurice DeShazo
- Will Furrer

Running Back (2)
A solid running back is key to Virginia Tech's offense, so this will be the toughest decision to make. Most Tech running backs haven't had great NFL careers, but the names below all had outstanding college careers.
- Branden Ore
- Kevin Jones
- Lee Suggs
- Shyrone Stith
- Ken Oxendine
- Dwayne Thomas
- Vaughn Hebron

Wide Receiver (2)
Three of the players below (Royal, Davis, Still) were known more for their special teams prowess, but were also skilled receivers.
- Eddie Royal
- David Clowney
- Ernest Wilford
- Andre Davis
- Bryan Still
- Antonio Freeman
- Myron Richardson

Tight End (1)
Tight ends aren't always featured as pass catchers in Beamers offense, but the four below were noted exceptions. King looks like he will have a solid NFL career as well.
- Jeff King
- Keith Willis
- Bob Slowikowski
- John Burke

Offensive Line (5)
The Hokies have had a history of having offensive linemen taken in the NFL Draft since Beamer became head coach. Eugene Chung started the tradition by having a long career with the New England Patriots. Duane Brown is the latest, taken in the first round of the 2008 draft by Houston.
- Duane Brown (T)
- Will Montgomery (G)
- Jon Dunn (T)
- Jake Grove (C)
- Dave Kadela (T)
- Keith Short (C)
- Anthony Lambo (G)
- Matt Lehr (C)
- Gennaro DiNapoli (G)
- Jim Pyne (C)
- Eugene Chung (T)

Gobbler Country Summer Schedule

Here's what you can expect from this blog over the three most grueling months of the year leading up to football season:

All Summer
- Great Moments in Beamerball
- Goin' Clubbing features
- Hall of Fame inductions
- Random statistical breakdowns
- Random lists
- Analysis of breaking news

- Top 10 Hokie Sports Moments of 2008
- Year in Review for most sports
- All-Beamer Team (The best players for Tech at each position since Frank Beamer became head coach. This idea was blatantly stolen from

- Hokie football previews by position
- ACC football unit rankings

- ACC football team-by-team previews
- ACC week-by-week predictions
- National predictions