The Hokies practiced indoors for the second straight day because of flash-flood warnings in the area. For all the incredible new facilities Tech has built recently, it’s just bout time for an updated indoor practice space.
Once a cutting-edge building, Rector Field House is now too small for the Hokies. Kicking and punting, thanks to low ceilings, is nearly impossible. And the walls are just a few feet from the sidelines. I’m sure coach Frank Beamer, who has said that a new indoor facility is the last item on his wish list, is eager to get back out into the open air.
As it was, Tech shared the cramped quarters with us hacks and at least a half-dozen NFL scouts. Representatives from the Eagles, Ravens, Colts, Jaguars, 49ers and Chargers were in town. A cluster of them spent a good bit of time watching defensive line drills today. I’d imagine senior DT John Graves, a hulking fellow, was the main attraction there.
Former Hokies corner Stephan Virgil stopped by, too, and maybe he put a bug in the scouts’ ears that he’s available.
Now for the latest injury update, which I’ll kick off by saying that despite some message-board chatter about whip LB Zach Luckett maybe suffering an injury in Saturday’s scrimmage, he was practicing today. He limped a little with that repaired knee, but that isn’t new. Now the rest of the bumps and bruises ...
* LT Nick Becton (turf toe) is still not practicing, although he did go through a few light drills Tuesday with a steel shank (for reinforcement) in his cleat. One worry Tech athletic trainer Mike Goforth has for Becton is that he is overcompensating and “walking too much on the outside of his foot, which could lead to other problems.” The training staff is trying various massages and stimulation of the injured toe to get Becton accustomed to feeling pressure on it. “It’s going to be tough for somebody his size to do what he’s got to do,” Goforth said, adding that while he thought he’d have a timetable pinpointed for Becton’s return by now, he still does not. More than likely, Becton is going to have to play through some pain whenever he gets back. “As soon as he gets functional and comes to grips with that, he’ll be able to get back out there.”
* Mike LB Barquell Rivers, last year’s starter who tore his left quadriceps during winter weightlifting, is still not participating in any contact drills. He’s not even in pads or a helmet, doing only light running. The Hokies must be happy that Bruce Taylor seems like a steady replacement and that Telvion Clark has emerged as a viable backup this camp, because Rivers could be unavailable until deep into the season. “I was really hoping the first or second game, we could at least get him back out there doing some things, but it hasn’t happened,” Goforth said. “It’s a tough injury.”
* Anyone worried about what seems to be a string of nagging injuries for CB Jayron Hosley ... don’t sweat it. That’s Goforth talking. Hosley had groin issues during spring practices and has missed time this camp with tweaks to both hamstrings. Said Goforth: “It’s kind of a typical defensive back. His game is speed, so there’s a little bit of a track mentality to it. (Being 100 percent) is not always going to happen in camp.” So why not worry about his missed practice time? “Because when it comes time for game time, he seems to be in pretty good shape,” Goforth said.
* Backup C/OT Michael Via (ACL) is beginning to get light contact practice work and will be full-contact very soon. ... LB Chase Williams (hamstring) has finally resumed practicing, as has backup whip LB Lorenzo Williams (calf). Fellow whip LB Alonzo Tweedy (groin), who was at least going to be No. 2 at the position and probably share time with Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, still has not participated in a full-contact practice this camp.
* On the laundry list of players who sat out Saturday’s scrimmage, Goforth said most of them were out because they’d participated in a mini-scrimmage just three days earlier. “Those kids could have practiced that Saturday but not scrimmaged. A lot of people getting alarmed over nothing.”
* One other injury note: DT Joe Jones, who was battling to be Graves’ backup earlier in camp, is apparently hurt and not currently on the 105-man roster. I asked when I saw him walking around campus in street clothes just before practice this afternoon. A team spokesman did not know the nature of Jones’ injury and I didn’t get the information in time to ask Goforth. More on that later.
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