Posted on: January 9, 2011 3:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Virginia Tech now has a couple of running backs it'll need to replace in 2011. Earlier this week Darren Evans announced that he'd be leaving Blacksburg to enter the NFL Draft, and now Ryan Williams has decided to give professional football a shot as well. Williams made it official on Sunday morning, letting Virginia Tech know that he was not going to return for another season.
“It came down to what I felt like was the best decision for me,” Williams said. “When they say you have the potential to be a first rounder, that’s something that’s hard to pass up. This has been my dream since I was 6 and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. This is an opportunity to help out my family and especially my brother.
“I want to thank Coach Beamer for giving me the opportunity to play. I remember when he came for my home visit with a No. 34 jersey and he told me I’d look good in it. I just thank him for the opportunity to play for his team. I also have thank Coach Hite for the opportunity to play in his backfield and for teaching my how to block and Coach Stinespring for allowing me to play for his offense.”
Williams burst on to the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2009, rushing for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns. Injuries hampered him a bit in 2010, as he finished the season with only 477 yards and nine touchdowns. Still, he's been told that he's likely to go in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, and that's a hard opportunity for anyone to pass up. Particularly when you play a position that's known to have a short shelf-life.
Posted on: January 1, 2011 7:22 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
As Virginia Tech prepares for the greatest test of their 11 game win streak against Stanford in the Orange Bowl, the last thing that head coach Frank Beamer wants to do is doubt his team's focus. ESPN.com's Heather Dinich reported Saturday that two Virginia Tech players have been suspended for the first quarter of Monday's Orange Bowl for missing their 1 a.m. curfew on New Years Eve. Running back David Wilson and safety Antone Exum will miss the first quarter of the Orange Bowl as punishment for missing curfew.
“We’re going to keep them out of the first quarter of the ball game, take some of their travel money, and that will be the end of that,” Beamer said regarding the suspensions. “The good thing is they were in their hotel, the bad thing is they were out of their room. They knew they needed to be in there.”
Wilson is a crucial part of the return game, and also the next in line behind Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. With Williams a game-time decision due to a re-aggravated hamstring, the suspension could result in a heavy load early for Evans. Wilson is expected to be replaced in the return game by talented defensive back Rashad Carmichael. Exum is listed second on the Virginia Tech two-deep depth chart, and has played in all 13 games this season.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:35 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
1. Virginia Tech clinched the Coastal Division title because of playmakers - If there is one thing that has seemed to separate Virginia Tech from the rest of the conference in 2010, it has been the weekly appearance of Hokie playmakers. Frank Beamer's roster is loaded with talent that can simply make plays when needed. Virginia Tech clinched their fourth Coastal Division title since joining the ACC in 2004 with their 31-17 dismantling of Miami in Coral Gables on Saturday. When the Hurricanes stuck VT in a corner, the Hokies always had someone to answer. Whether it was Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams, or Danny Coale, someone was always stepping up when needed. The Hokies may have the division clinched, but they'll be playing for history against Virginia next week. No team has run the table in the ACC since Florida State did it in 1999 and 2000. A win over the Cavaliers and Virginia Tech can add that to their already impressive ACC resume.
2. N.C. State on the edge of a historic season - By squeezing out a 29-25 come from behind victory against North Carolina, N.C. State has found themselves a game away from competing in their first ACC Atlantic Division title. The Wolfpack have not won an ACC Championship since 1979, and with a win over Maryland next week in the season finale, will have a chance to do so against the Hokies in Charlotte. They got it done with special teams against the Tar Heels, benefitting from T.J. Graham's 87 yard punt return touchdown to give the Wolfpack the go-ahead score in Chapel Hill. The win gave Tom O'Brien a perfect 4-0 record against North Carolina as the N.C. State head coach, an accomplishment that can keep him in good graces around Raleigh for quite some time.
3. There might not be much of a quarterback controversy in Miami - Miami chose not to play quarterback Jacory Harris against Virginia Tech despite being cleared by the doctors before the game. Stephen Morris had performed well in Harris' absence, even leading some pundits to murmur ideas of a quarterback controversy. After Morris' performance against Virginia Tech, which included three interceptions and a lost fumble, it would not be surprising to see Harris back under center for the Hurricanes' season finale against South Florida. Miami's loss ended their chances of a division tittle, and with the conference season being completed are playing for bowl stock against the Bulls next week. The Hurricanes offense finished the game with six turnovers, and Morris looked very much like a freshman against Bud Foster's defense. Harris has a knack for turning the ball over as well, but judging by how active he was on the sidelines on Saturday it would surprising not to see him take some snaps against the Bulls to warm up for the bowl game.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 1:35 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It takes a special kind of mentality to return kicks and punts. Running headlong into the football equivalent of oncoming highway traffic is not exactly written into human rationality, after all, and finding the right person with the speed to take a kick to the house and the bravery to risk injury by running at that coverage team with purpose.
Fortunately, college football players are the type of players who would at least try, because that's football and that's just the way of things. And so with Virginia Tech needing some help in the return game after losing three returners over the last couple weeks, VT coach Frank Beamer figured he could use tailback Ryan Williams back there in a pinch. And sure enough, Williams -- wait, what's that? Okay, let's just skip all that:
"Ryan decided at the end he’d rather not do that," Beamer told the Daily Press . "You want a guy back there that wants to be there. I’m not sure what Ryan’s reasoning was, but it was his decision.”
As the Daily Press points out, Ryan Williams does have one career return in college... and zero successful returns; Williams muffed a punt that led to an Alabama field goal in a 34-24 loss for the Hokies to start 2009. Since then, Williams has stayed away from special teams, and truly, more power to the guy; if he knows he's not cut out for it, then that's that, and it's probably better for the team that he not stand back and field punts or kicks. That takes a lot of maturity to realize, and though humility doesn't necessarily make a good football player, it does make for a good teammate.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 12:01 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 12:05 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
With the return of Ryan Williams to the Virginia Tech backfield, sophomore running back David Wilson knew he would need to make the most of his few opportunities with the ball. Pushed back to third-string again, Wilson made the most of every touch. But no touch was quite as important as the 90-yard kick return for the winning touchdown with 2:23 left in the game. It was the only way to answer the 9 play, 80 yard drive by a crippled Georgia Tech offense.
One particular aspect of the Georgia Tech option-based offense is that it does not rely too heavily on any particular player. Which is why when starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt left the game after injuring his arm attempting to make a tackle, the Yellow Jackets were far from done. Nesbitt has been the center of Paul Johnson's offensive scheme for most of his career, but Thursday night called for backup Tevin Washington to step in for the second half. After he put together that drive in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 21, all momentum was swinging the way of the Jackets.
But Lane Stadium erupted as Wilson broke free up the left side, accelerating past the Yellow Jackets coverage and right into the end zone. The Hokies were able to secure the 28-21 win and improve to a perfect 5-0 in conference play. But what shook the Coastal Division the most may have been the news on injured quarterback Josh Nesbitt. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Nesbitt is out for the season with a broken right forearm. If there is any good news for the Yellow Jackets, Nesbitt believes that he would be able to play in a bowl game. Otherwise, Thursday night was a narrow escape for the Hokies, and a terrible twist in an already disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets.
Posted on: November 4, 2010 9:32 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
This Coastal Division showdown between perennial conference powers has already been as eventful as expected, and we are only done with 30 minutes of play. Georgia Tech jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to two Josh Nesbitt touchdowns, one for 71 yards. Georgia Tech's defense and special teams served up their own version of "Beamer Ball," forcing Virginia Tech into two turnovers in the first half. But Nesbitt's heroics were short lived when he threw an interception in the end zone when Georgia Tech was threatening to claim a 21-7 lead. Nesbitt got injured trying to make a tackle on the interception return. He went to the locker room and at halftime was declared out for the game.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 3:58 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 4:01 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams has not had the kind of season he was expecting after setting the ACC single-season rushing record as a redshirt freshman in 2009. A slight hamstring tear in the third game of the season has kept Williams out four games before finally returning to the field October 23 for a six carry warm up int he 44-7 victory against Duke. Williams has benefited from the Hokies' off week to continue to heal and prepare for Virginia Tech's primetime matchup with division rival Georgia Tech on Thursday in Blacksburg. After Saturday's practice, the sophomore running back announced himself "85-90 percent" healthy, but some particularly insightful analysis was offered by offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.
"I thought he made some nice cuts," Stinespring said. "He hit a gear very quickly. I thought he turned it loose a couple times. If you'd have asked me up until this week, I always thought there was a little bit of hesitation in him. But (Saturday), I thought he felt good, looked good. Looked like he had a bounce in his step out there."
Williams' only two complete games all season were the Hokies' only two losses against Boise State and James Madison. At this point in the season, that 0-2 start seems like an ancient memory in the ACC. Since the joining the conference, Virginia Tech has consistently competed for division and conference titles week in and week out. The heart-wrenching loss to the Broncos and upset at the hands of their in-state FCS rivals have no effect on Frank Beamer's pursuit of his fourth ACC title since joining the conference in 2004. At this point, Virginia Tech controls their own destiny in the conference title race. Miami and Georgia Tech are tied for second place in the division with 3-2 records, and the Hokies face both opponents in the final stretch of the regular season. A win over Georgia Tech on Thursday would create a crucial advantage over Miami, allowing some breathing room before the Hokies have to travel to Coral Gables on November 20.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:39 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Those wondering about the availability of Virginia Tech's all-conference tailback Ryan Williams may wonder no further; the all-conference tailback was ruled out of his second straight game by the Hokies today as Williams continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
Hamstring injuries have a nasty habit of lingering for indefinite amounts of time, and aside from trying to help the healing process along with therapy like ultrasound stimulation, it really does come down to nothing more than patience and careful monitoring.
Fortunately, though, there may be no position in all of college football where a certain team has an embarrassment of riches than Virginia Tech has at running back. Even without Williams, Virginia Tech can depend on Darren Evans (2nd team all-ACC rusher as a freshman) and David Wilson (Virginia Tech's most productive rusher this season). Considering QB Tyrod Taylor and FB Josh Oglesby are both still healthy, the Virginia Tech backfield is still one of the most formidable in the nation.