The streets of Blacksburg are starting to fill up with burnt orange and maroon and the RVs have begun to file into the parking lots around Lane Stadium, which can only mean one thing: We’re less than 24 hours away from some actual football.

But the waiting, as Tom Petty likes to say, is the hardest part. So here are some odds and ends from my notebook to keep you busy until Saturday’s kickoff, which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. sharp.

Also at the end of this post, you’ll find Virginia Tech’s official two-deep chart heading into the season.

***The Hokies will dress 24 players Saturday who have never played in a college football game before, including seven true freshmen. Coach Frank Beamer said this week he expects freshmen Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall, the team’s two primary backup defensive tackles, to see the most playing time of the bunch.

Maddy’s rise up the depth chart has been well chronicled. The two-star recruit has impressed coaches throughout training camp with his quick burst off the line of scrimmage. Marshall, the Hokies’ top in-state recruit last year, switched from end to tackle in the middle of training camp and moved ahead of redshirt junior Isaiah Hamlette on the depth chart.

The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Marshall said he’s been surprised at how quickly he acclimated to the new position, but “how this year goes may push me heavily inside or I may stick to the outside. They told me already in the spring that they want to move me to defensive end, but it’s all heavily on how I perform from this position.”

***Freshman tight end Ryan Malleck also made the dress list and will play on the Hokies’ kickoff team. But position coach Bryan Stinespring said the bigger reason why Malleck will be on the roster is he’s shown enough promise as a pass catcher and blocker to potentially start next year when Chris Drager’s eligibility runs out.

“I’m determined to try and play him,” Stinespring said. “Chris Drager has missed some games in the past. [Backup] Eric Martin has missed some games in the past, so I think we need to have a viable answer if we’re to lose one of those two.”

***Both Beamer and Appalachian State Coach Jerry Moore emphasized special teams will be critical this week, and both should know from experience.

As ESPN Blacksburg’s Sean Bielawski pointed out on twitter today, in Virginia Tech’s past three season openers there have been a combined five missed field goals, three blocked punts, two blocked extra points, two fumbled kickoffs, a muffed punt, a kickoff return touchdown.

Meanwhile, when Moore’s Mountaineers upset Michigan in 2007, they blocked two field goals in the fourth quarter, including one in the final seconds that’s replayed all the time. Six-foot-5 wide receiver Brian Quick blocked the other kick. He also happens to be the only player on this year’s Appalachian State roster to play in that huge upset four years ago.

***Speaking of Quick, Beamer and the rest of the Hokies’ defensive coaches offered plenty of praise for a prospect several experts expect to be the first FCS player chosen in the 2012 NFL draft. Quick’s matchup with Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley should be something to watch on Saturday.

But it was field cornerback Kyle Fuller that offered the most interesting tidbit about Quick, who normally lines up on the boundary side of the field. From watching film, Fuller said any time Quick switches up and lines up on the field side of the formation (farther from the sidelines), “he’s the guy they’re looking for.”

***Last, but not least, the official two-deep chart.



r-Sophomore Logan Thomas

r-Freshman Mark Leal

Running back

Junior David Wilson

r-Senior Josh Oglesby


r-Junior Joey Phillips

r-Junior Martin Scales

Split End WR

Senior Jarrett Boykin

Junior D.J. Coles

Flanker WR

Senior Danny Coale/R-Junior Marcus Davis (tied)

Senior Dyrell Roberts

Tight End

r-Senior Chris Drager

r-Junior Randall Dunn

Left Tackle

r-Senior Andrew Lanier

r-Junior Nick Becton

Left Guard

r-Senior Greg Nosal

r-Junior Courtney Prince


r-Sophomore Andrew Miller

Freshman Caleb Farris

Right Guard

r-Senior Jaymes Brooks

r-Sophomore David Wang

Right Tackle

r-Senior Blake DeChristopher

r-Junior Vinston Painter


Defensive End

r-Sophomore James Gayle

r-Sophomore J.R. Collins

r-Sophomore Tyrel Wilson

r-Freshman Zack McCray/r-Freshman Duan Perez-Means (tied)

Defensive Tackle

R-Junior Antoine Hopkins

Sophomore Derrick Hopkins

Freshman Luther Maddy

Freshman Corey Marshall

Middle Linebacker

r-Junior Bruce Taylor

r-Senior Barquell Rivers/r-Sophomore Jack Tyler (tied)


r-Sophomore Tariq Edwards

r-Sophomore Telvion Clark

Whip Linebacker

r-Junior Jeron Gouveia-Winslow

r-Junior Alonzo Tweedy

Boundary Cornerback

Junior Jayron Hosley

r-Freshman Detrick Bonner

Field Cornerback

Sophomore Kyle Fuller

r-Senior Cris Hill


Senior Eddie Whitley

Freshman Boye Aromire

Free Safety

r-Sophomore Antone Exum

r-Sophomore James Hopper



r-Junior Scott Demler

Senior Danny Coale

Place kicker

r-Sophomore Cody Journell

Senior Justin Myer (will handle kickoffs)

Long snapper

r-Junior Collin Carroll

r-Freshman Joe St. Germain


r-Freshman Trey Gresh

r-Freshman Mark Leal

Kickoff Return

Junior David Wilson and Senior Dyrell Roberts

r-Sophomore Tony Gregory and Junior Jayron Hosley

Punt Return

Junior Jayron Hosley

Senior Danny Coale

If you can’t make it to Lane Stadium Saturday, be sure to follow me (@HokiesJournal and @mgiannotto) on twitter because I’ll be live tweeting some thoughts during the game. Also, check back here on the blog for postgame notes and quotes.

Until Saturday, that’s all from me. Enjoy the tailgate.