Joe Pa out, Cardinal vs Ducks and Logan Thomas is the BIG man on Campus

There is so much to talk about in the college football universe. Between the firing of the legendary Joe Paterno to this weeks monster matchup in the PAC 12 this week, 4 Stanford vs 7 Oregon and even the Hokies win on Thursday night and the career nights of RB David Wilson and QB Logan Thomas. We’ll start with the hot button topic of Joe Pa’s exit at Penn State.

Paterno and Sandusky

For 46 years Joe Paterno has not only been the face of Penn State football but also one of the great figureheads in college football. He is up there with Bear Bryant ,Bobby Bowden, and Woody Hayes on the Mount Rushmore of College Football coaches. He has 409 wins overall as head coach and has built  a  prestigious program out of nothing. But it has all been overshadowed by one bad decision that he made or one that he didn’t make when he knew of longtime assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s behaviors and horrific actions with little boys no older than 10 years of age. I won’t go into detail with the story because it seems to be changing every minute and it is also known by everyone. But the real question with the whole mess lies with the board of trustees’ (Who were appointed by Paterno) decision to relieve Joe Pa of his duties is justified. There are two ways to look at it… He did do the right thing according top the law by reporting it to his superior but morally he failed miserably and is now paying the price for it, granted that Paterno was close to retirement anyways being 84 years old and having to coach from the press box over looking the field of play. This incident will have an impact on the athletics of Penn State and the university as a whole this whole event deeply saddens everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific event.

On a happier not we now move to the monster game tonight in the PAC 12 between the only 2 teams of relevance in the conference, the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks. These two teams are complete opposites of each other in the way they play the game, the types of players that they recruit and in their mentalities. The Ducks are a fast paced team that runs the spread offense. Everything from their erratic style to their endless number of uniform combinations makes them an exciting team to watch especially with QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James in the backfield. The team in the opposite side , Stanford is based on power and traditional football. The star power of QB Andrew Luck (who will be a future 1st overall selection in the NFL draft either this year or next) and the use of big physical TE ‘s  like Coby Fleener who measures up at 6’6 244lbs has 8 TD’s this season. This game will be close (tonight on ABC @  8pm eastern time) but like Lee Corso I think that Stanford’s experience and leadership will payoff and get them a home victory over the Ducks.

Fear the Tree

 

And now for the Hokie topic of the post… Coming into the season people of Hokie natoin didn’t know what to expect from 1st year starting QB Logan Thomas. Would he live up to his 5 star recruit hype ? or would he be a total bust and be forced back to a TE or WR role ? The answer has been yes to the 1st statement has Thomas has passed all tests (with the exception of Clemson) with flying colors. throwing for over 2000 yards and having a QB rating of 140.3 Thomas is showing why I made suck a big deal about him back when I used to do “Hokie Updates” in 2008 (https://mattburrill.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/hokie-update/). Lets look at Thomas from a defense players perspective. He stands at 6’6 weighs 260 lbs and runs a 4.6 40 ?!?! Impossible is usually the explanation when these stats or attributes get put together but not for Thomas who is only in his Sophomore year giving him up to 2 more years as a Hokie! His size and speed has made him a running threat an automatic go to guy in 3rd or 4th and short situations. To back it up Logan has rushed for 335 yards (3.4 yard average) and scored 8 times by using his legs this season .The other reason for Thomas’ success is the other guys around especially RB David Wilson who like Thomas had a career night in Atlanta.  Wilson who got virtually no carries a season ago splitting time with now NFL players Ryan Williams and Darren Evans has shown that he belongs here. Rushing for 1360 yards so far (175 on Thursday). David Wilson is getting some Heisman Trophy looks as maybe a 3rd or 4th candidate, his chances will depend on the Hokies success moving into critical matchups with ACC opponents UNC and UVA to end the season. The Hokies will next play on Thursday Night Football this week on ESPN @ 8 pm in the Hell Hole they call Lane Stadium.

I have found highlights of Tech’s Triumph over the Yellow Jackets courtesy of thePhreakofVT on youtube… enjoy !

 

 

Hokies Preview 2011

Another college football season in upon us. It feels like just yesterday I was blogging about the Hokies 2010 preview and saying what high expectations the veteran team led by a star senior QB, Tyrod Taylor had coming for them. The team started out the year losing a close game to Boise State and then getting upset big time by James Madison in Blacksburg. But boy oh boy did the Hokies turn their 2010 campaign around. The team would go on to win 10 straight games including their 4th ACC Championship since joining the conference in 2004. The season would however end in a terrible fashion with a beating from the Stanford Cardinal and QB Andrew Luck in the Orange Bowl.

Hokies in Orange Bowl

Now for 2011…. The Hokies have a veteran Offensive line that features 4 seniors who are all massive in size, an exciting RB that may have a chance at the Heisman depending on how the team does as a whole and most importantly a young up and coming QB that has the experts’ mouthes watering with his size, speed and amazing arm. It also helps that the Hokies have an All-American corner who led the NCAA in interceptions a year ago and 7 starters overall returning on defense.  Now lets break this down piece by piece starting with the big boys on the O-Line.

  1. The Hokies O-line is a group that possesses great size, speed and strength but aside from those obvious attributes the big boys for the Maroon and Orange have a very special characteristic that many people just flat don’t have. That characteristic is leadership the group is led by 4 seniors, in particular the big boy you see wearing number 62 in the snapshot below who is Blake DeChristopher. DeChristopher has been a key player up front playing in 37 games since arriving in Blacksburg. Blake stands at a towering 6′ 5 and weighs in around 311 lbs. The other 3 seniors on the line are guards Greg Nosal (6’6 291 lbs) and Jaymes Brookes (6’2 304 lbs) and left tackle Andrew Lainer (6’5 305 lbs). The lone junior on the line is center Andrew Miller who is also a veteran in the college ranks.The Hokies front 5 is also ranked number 8 in the nation by Rivals.com.  

Blake DeChristopher

2.        Next on my list of key factors is the speedy RB David Wilson. Wilson who is entering his junior year is the last remaining member of a 4 headed running attack that featured two former RB’s (Ryan Williams and Darren Evans) and a speedy QB (Tyrod Taylor). Known for his clutch play on special teams, Wilson will be a major player in the backfield getting almost every carry as the feature back of the Hokie offensive attack. The speed of number 4 is unmatched with almost any one in the ACC, his 4.3 second 40 Time is nothing to mess with and to back it up he also runs track and field in the spring where he helped lead the Hokies to a National title in the triple jump that he was named an All-American. David combines his explosive speed with great instinct and a unique personality to boot which is huge in the huddle and in the locker room. Look for Wilson to make a push in the Heisman race and be a threat all over the field on Special teams and in the tech offense.

David Wilson

3.       The last key factor of the list of 3 that I’ve got for you all today is the one that every college football fan has been talking about… the one the only LOGAN THOMAS. We at the Haven 1st started blogging about the now QB of the Hokies back in 2008 (November 8th to be exact) in a post title “Hokie Update” (The Link is at the end of the paragraph). I said that kid from Brookville who was recruited as a TE/WR at the time was going to be next big thing and how he was the 1st bigtime 5 star prospect the hokies had signed since Tyrod Taylor two years prior. Thomas was also mentioned in a post earlier this year titled “In Logan we Trust” when I compared the QB to Cam Newton in size , speed and overall ability. Thomas has all the pieces from the line to the backfield and even has a veteran recieving core that will catch anything within their reach. Sky’s the limit for Thomas for both this year and years to come.
 
 
As far as the schedule for the Hokies this it doesn’t look too bad. With the opener being a home game against Appalachian State who is definitely not a team to sleep on but shouldn’t be that tough of a game. After that the Hokies have 3 more non conference games beginning with a trip to @ECU followed by a home matchup with Arkansas State and a trip to @Marshall. The the ACC portion of the schedule for Tech begins with visits from Clemson and Miami. Next is a trip to @Wake Forest and a home game with the Eagles of BC followed by a trip to @Duke then a BYE week in week 10. Then come two Thursday night primetime games, The 1st being a trip to A-Town against @ Georgia Tech then a classic thursday night in Blacksburg with the UNC Tarheels on ESPN. And to end the 2011 regular season the gobblers will travel to Charlottesville to beat @UVA for an 8th straight year.
 
When all is said and done I say that the Hokies will be a 11-1 team heading into the ACC Championship game taking on Florida State.
 
Tech’s season kicks off this weekend with Appalachian State @ 12:30 on the ACC Network (or for those who are like me outside of ACC Country it can be found on ESPN 3.com)
 

In Logan we Trust

Over the last 15 years in Virginia Tech Football history the Quarterback position has been played by several talented athletes. From the cannon arm of Jim Druckenmiller back in 1995 to the speed and elusiveness of  Tyrod Taylor in recent years and everyone in between. position of Quarterback has been a major strength for the Gobblers and will continue to be an exciting area to watch when Tech takes the field.

This year the Hokies will continue their tradition of  athletic quarterbacks with the beginning of a new era in Hokie Football… “The Logan Era”. Back in the summer of 2009 at Brookville High School, Lynchburg, Virginia a star was born. Then ranked the number 1 wide receiver in the 2009 recruiting class by Rivals.com Logan Thomas, A young and athletic 6’6 monster had all the coaches in ACC country  drooling over his size, speed  and overall potential . In combines and summer camps Thomas worked out as everything from a WR to a QB.  No matter what the drill the 4 star prospect displayed both amazing skill and awareness with and 4.6 second  40-yard dash and an amazing 3.4 GPA in all testing areas. Out of the 10 schools the Logan Thomas had shown a major interest in, from the beginning it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would end up in Blacksburg which was made official on November 6th of 2008.  Logan Thomas was only 1 small piece of a larger recruiting class that included now RB David Wilson and CB Jayron Hosley in addition to another 19 players (9 who currently start).

Logan Thomas started out his career with the Hokies in 2010 after redshirting his freshman season. Thomas immediately contributed to Tech’s efforts as a giant 6’6 deep threat target for Tyrod Taylor and served as his backup. Even though he only made 1 reception for a TD in 201o Thomas still made his presence felt but even more so in the backfield. While serving as the backup QB Thomas had many opportunities and made the most of them with 46.2% cmpletion rate and just over 100 yards passing(most of his playing time came during blowouts which led to more rushing attempts than passing attempts in the later parts of the game ).

 What LT brings to the table is the perfect combination of size (6’6,  233 lbs) ,agility(4.6 40 yd dash) and potential (#1 ranked Va prospect, #1 TE prospect Rivals and # 19 overall by Rivals). With these tools the Hokies QB is getting a lot of attention and praise as the  next “Cam Newton” in college football. Heres a little comparison of Thomas and Newton side by side….

                   Logan Thomas                                             Cam Newton

                                                                                               

  Size:                           1.   6’6 233lbs                                                                              1. 6’5 248 lbs

Speed:                         2. 4.6 seconds 40 yd dash                                                      2. 4.5 seconds 40 yd dash

Throwing motion: 3. Over the top (Gunslinger)                                                      3. Over the top (On the run ; Scrambler)

Strengths:               4. Potential and mechanics with good running ability      4. Potential , leadership and just flat-out raw power and skill

 As you can see from the comparison above young Logan has a lot in common with Cam Newton who very well could be the number 1 overall selection in this 2011 draft by the Carolina Panthers. The one major difference that I see between Thomas and Newton is the character of the two. On the Newton side of things we all have heard the controversy and all the nonsense that came up halfway through his Heisman season this year at Auburn. On the flip side of Thomas this kid has all the opportunity in the world with an experienced receiving core and a great and explosive back (David Wilson) in the backfield.

 With that being said as a Hokies fan and a College Football fan in general I am really excited and am looking forward to watching the development of a young 4 star recruit into the latest and greatest Hokie and NCAA QB and premier player. 

Hokie Update

To think two weeks ago I didn’t want to talk Hokies but now I can’t stop talking about them. And I am not just talking about the amazing performance against Maryland on Thursday 11/6 for those of you who don’t know just hours before the game Logan Thomas the 6-6 265 lb TE out of Brookville High School in Lynchburg, Va commited to Tech. Thomas is the Hokies 1st 5 star recruit since Tyrod Taylor 2 years ago. I have seen several videos on this kid and boy oh boy is he special. But as you all know I got give some props for Darren”Get the hell out of my way”Evans. I still can’t believe we’ve got this kid for 5 more years. Next year we should also get to see a little bit of current Redshirt Ryan Williams (RB) and recruit  David Wilson (RB). Now this is gonna be the 17th straight season that the Hokies will get a Bowl invitation and all they need to do is win 2 of the next 3 and then they go to Tampa ,Fla for the ACC Championship game. I am really looking forward to next season when Tyrod is a junior so he has some expierence under his belt and so we have a couple of go to guys at reciver. What scares me to death is the thought of Bud Foster leaving for the Clemson job because all of you guys know as soon as he is offered a head coaching job he is packing his bags and leaving. Everybody vote on the poll for who you think should win the Heisman.Peace Out Homies 🙂