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Offseason/preseason Updates

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

August 25, 2003

  • One of the factors Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster took note of in preseason practice was weight — who had gained it and who needed to lose it. Freshman linebackers Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall seemed to be on either ends of the scale. Adibi reported at 6-2 and 209 pounds, about 20 pounds less than desired. Hall reported at a hefty 6-0 and 255 pounds, about 20 pounds more than needed. The weight troubles didn't appear to hamper the newcomers' preseason workouts, though, as both were impressive and could claim top backup spots early in the season. Junior linebacker Mikal Baaqee also packed on some weight in the offseason, jumping up 25 pounds to 240. It served him well in the preseason, when he said he noticed he was getting the better side of high-speed collisions more often. On the offensive side, junior tailback Kevin Jones added 15 pounds to 221. Coaches hope the extra weight will help with his durability.
  • Don't expect to see him with a lead role in Swan Lake anytime soon, but junior cornerback DeAngelo Hall picked up a new, well, training technique in the offseason. He took ballet classes to fulfill what he called “a class requirement.” He said the extra work for muscles he “didn't even know I had” could pay dividends in a long season.
  • It's hot outside. The season is just getting started. The recall on the plays and schemes and routes isn't coming as quickly as it should. It's the perfect recipe for some temper tantrums, and it didn't take long for a big one to flare up. On Aug. 9, the third day of practice, a scuffle that embroiled well over half the team halted afternoon practice for a few minutes. Coach Frank Beamer, who doesn't subscribe to the “boys-will-be-boys” mentality and didn't see any humor in the situation, singled Jones and Hall out of the fracas and kept them after practice for some brief attitude adjusting and conditioning exercises.
  • Sophomore Chris Clifton had a tough time making the transition from quarterback to split end last season. However, it has started to come together this year. After a break-out spring practice session, Clifton carried his success over to the preseason. In the Hokies' first scrimmage, he hauled in a 36-yard reception from freshman quarterback Marcus Vick. Clifton, who also serves as the team's No. 3 quarterback, added a 63-yard option run for a touchdown in the scrimmage.
  • Only a handful of them are expected to see the playing field this fall, but some of Tech's freshmen made impressions in the weight room right away. On Aug. 8, one day after reporting to Blacksburg for the first time, defensive tackle Carlton Powell and non-scholarship defensive end Omar Hashish both bench pressed 390 pounds. Tight end John Kinzer benched 380 and logged a vertical leap of 32 inches. Of the high school players in Tech's top-30 recruiting class, those given the best chance of seeing live action in 2003 are Adibi, Hall, surprising receiver David Clowney and safety Corey Gordon. Juco transfer James Griffin, who like Gordon got a head start on his fellow signees by enrolling in January, definitely will see a lot of action at rover.
  • Running back Antoine Rutherford and defensive back D.J. Walton, both reserves, were dismissed from the team over the summer after they encountered criminal charges. Rutherford was arrested May 3 and charged with three counts of felonious assault and brandishing a firearm. Walton was arrested March 29 and charged with a second driving under the influence violation. Walton ultimately was given 90 days in jail, with 85 of the days suspended from his sentence.