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Tag:Dominique Patterson
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Seen/Heard at Camp: Virginia Tech

Posted by Chip Patterson

Training camp is underway in college football, with teams all over the country getting a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming season. Along with the help of CBSSports.com's Rapid Reporters, here is a collection of recent observations from Virginia Tech.

- The Hokies, who seem to be dealing with injuries at key positions every year, got bitten again early with All-ACC offensive lineman Blake DeChristopher straining his left pectoral. DeChristopher's expected recovery time was initially announced as 4-6 weeks, which would make him available sometime in September. DeChristopher was already back on the practice field this week, but wearing a blue non-contact jersey. Running back Dominique Patterson is out "a couple weeks" with a sprained ankle, quarterback Mark Leal (groin) and wide receiver D.J. Coles (hamstring) have been held out of practice and are "doubtful" for Saturday's scrimmage.

One point of concern from the injury reports are in regards to star cornerback Jayron Hosley. Hosley participated in Tuesday's practice, but was wearing a non-contact jersey. CBSSports.com's Sean Bielawski reports that the injury is "not considered serious." [Rapid Reports]

- Speaking of Hosely, his presence on the field will be a necessity for the Hokies defense. The lockdown corner is coming off a fantastic 2010 campaign, and will have an impact when every opposing quarterback drops back to pass. First-year starting cornerback Kyle Fuller knows that playing opposite Hosley will lead to plenty of looks his way.

"Teams aren't going to want to throw to Jayron [Hosley]," Fuller said. "So I think I'm going to have a lot of opportunities to make some plays this year." [Rapid Reports]

- Obviously the top question for the offense for many is how Logan Thomas will perform stepping in to a position that ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor had his hands on for four years. Beamer offered some early comparison that should encourage doubting Hokie fans.

"I think he's got a lot of the same qualities as Tyrod," Beamer said. "I think he's smart. He's competitive. He works hard. I think he's a very natural leader, great character. So, he's got a lot of the same things as Tyrod, except about four inches taller." [Rapid Reports]

- Beamer also weighed in on the Twitter debate, explaining why he will not follow the likes of Boise State, South Carolina, and Kansas in banning Twitter use during the season.

"I think you educate your kids, and then they're responsible for their actions," Beamer said. "People have got to make good decisions. Part of us as coaches is to help kids get to the position where ether make good decisions." [Rapid Reports]

For more daily updates from Virginia Tech training camp follow Sean Bielawski's Rapid Reports and the ACC Blog.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 2:48 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Texas A&M

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Texas A&M, who started spring practice on Tuesday. 

Spring Practice Question: How exactly does a team go about replacing Von Miller?

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about 2011 in College Station. After starting the season with a pedestrian record of 3-3, the Aggies reeled off six straight victories before falling to LSU in the Cotton Bowl. Those wins weren't over pushovers, either, as they included victories against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas. The Aggies were also a team that could win in a multitude of ways.

If they had to outscore an opponent, they did, as in a 42-30 win over Baylor. Then there were the defensive struggles like the 9-6 barnburner against Nebraska.

What's even better for the Aggies? Seventeen returning starters -- nine on offense, eight on defense -- which is more than anybody else in the Big 12 can lay claim to. All of which means that 2011 should be a good season for Texas A&M, but even though seventeen players return, there is one glaring absence in the Aggies defense that ranked second in the Big 12 with points allowed last year.

How exactly does a team replace a player like Von Miller?

Many eyes will be on Ryan Tannehill this spring as he enters practice as the team's starting quarterback after supplanting Jerrod Johnson last season, but I don't see any possibility of Johnson taking the job back barring injury this year. To me, the big thing to watch with the Aggies this spring will be on the defensive side of the ball where the team looks to maintain the momentum it regained last season.

Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter did an excellent job of re-establishing the Wrecking Crew in 2010, and ignored flirtatious advances from Tulsa during the offseason. Still, this year will prove to be a tougher task since he no longer has a talent like Miller around.

Miller was one of those talents that doesn't come around very often. Playing the Joker position, Miller could sometimes be found at defensive end or outside linebacker. He probably could have kicked extra points if the team had asked him to. The truth was, no matter where he lined up, all you had to do to find Miller was follow the football. He'd be there sooner rather than later.

Spring Practice Primers
The key for Texas A&M will be to make sure it realizes it can't just plug somebody in Miller's place and expect them to produce the same type of results. Which is what Damontre Moore, Miller's likely replacement, will have to tell himself as well.

Of course, there's the possibility that Moore will be used exclusively as a defensive end. Entering his sophomore season, Moore is already 6'4 and 248 pounds. Should he continue to grow into his frame, he may end up too big to play linebacker.

Which is where guys like Dominique Patterson and Kyle Mangan will come in to play as well. Mangan didn't play all that well during the Cotton Bowl when he was forced into duty, but with an entire spring to work and months to prepare for the season, he may grow into the role.

As for Patterson, like Moore, he'll be a sophomore in 2011. Is he ready to make an impact this quickly? He may have to. After all, Miller isn't the only linebacker that the Aggies lose, as Michael Hodges has moved on as well.

Odds are that in order to replace Miller, it's not going to take one player. Instead the entire Aggies defense will have to step up its game to replace its leader.

Whether it can do that will likely go a long way in determining whether the Aggies are bound for another nine-win season, or if they'll be hoisting up a Big 12 Championship trophy come the end of the year.

College Station starts to learn the answers to these questions this week.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com