Thomas, Hosley shine in Hokies' spring game

Thomas, Hosley shine in Hokies' spring game
April 23, 2011, 9:37 pm
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Saturday, April 23, 2011 5:45 p.m. By Rich Tandler
CSNwashington.com
BLACKSBURGVirginia Tech held its sometimes entertaining and sometimes sloppy spring football game at Lane Stadium Saturday.Head coach Frank Beamer jokingly estimated the crowd on a warm and partly sunny afternoon to be 41,266. It keeps going up, he said.As one would expect in a spring game, the quality of play was not even in early regular season form. The Maroon and White squads combined to give up nine sacks, commit nine turnovers (four interceptions and five lost fumbles) and commit 13 penalties. And the quarters were only 10 minutes long.Beamer said that you couldnt really evaluate the efficiency of the Maroon or of the White team. You have to look at individuals and how they played, he said.The Maroon team, which had starting quarterback Logan Thomas and seven members of the starting defense, posted a 24-0 win over the White.The man who many of the fans came to see was Thomas. He is in the unenviable position of replacing Tyrod Taylor, the winningest quarterback in Virginia Tech history.Thomas did not disappoint, completing 10 of 21 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 37 yards, including a 31-yard scamper that set up the Maroon teams first touchdown. He did throw two interceptions but both of them bounced out of the hands of receivers and were snared by defenders.I just knew I had to get a lot better, Thomas said of his mindset coming into spring practice as the starter. I had to get the confidence of my teammates and have them believe in me. I think I did so.Here are some of the highlight plays:First quarter--Chris Hill intercepted Thomas first pass. It wasnt a bad throw but cornerback Detrick Bonner knocked the ball away from Marcus Davis and Hill came up with a pick. His 25-yard return gave the White great field position at the 12.--Derek DiNardo, however, picked off Ju Ju Claytons pass on the first snap for the White. He tried to hit D. J. Coles on a slant in the end zone and didnt see DiNardo.--Thomas got the games second first down with a 31-yard scamper out of the pocket. He possibly benefitted from his yellow no contact jersey as it appeared that James Gayle had a bead on him and let up. No whistle blew, however, and Thomas took off and cut across the field to the 26. He followed up with a 26-yard strike to Marcus Davis for the touchdown. Davis caught the ball in stride on a slant.Second quarter--Jarrett Boykin took a short slant to convert a third and five. He dodged a couple of tackles and cut across the field for 39 yards to the White 35.--A couple of plays later, Thomas hit wide receiver Corey Fuller right in the hands with plenty of yardage to convert a second and 21. Fuller, however, dropped the pass.--Linebacker Tariq Edwards broke in and batted down a Mark Leal pass. Edwards is very athletic and has a chance to be a big-play guy on the defense.--Jayron Hosely fielded a nice Scott Demler punt, spun around, and returned it for 24 yards.--Following a wicked pump fake that froze cornerback Detrick Bonner, Thomas found a wide open Davis in the end zone for 21 yards and another Maroon touchdowns. It capped a 49-second touchdown drive following Hosleys return. Thats something we worked on in practice, Davis said. We had run that play for a touchdown in the previous scrimmage and we knew how quick it had to happen.--The next time Hosley got his hands on the ball, he scored himself. After Danny Coales 37-yard punt, Hosely went up the middle, broke to the sideline and flashed 61 yards for a touchdown. I went to each player on the punt return team and told them if you give me a block, Im going to take it home, Hosley said. I paused to set it up, to get my position, set up the wall. After that it was just making guys miss.Third quarter--Whip linebacker Alonzo Tweedy made a nice breakup of what would have been a third Thomas-to-Davis touchdown connection. Thomas threw back across the field and Tweedy darted in front of the receiver in the end zone at the last moment to bat the ball away.--Kyle Fuller intercepted a badly overthrown Clayton pass and made a nice return into White territory at the 42. Clayton now has thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns in two scrimmages and this game combined.Fourth quarter--Wiley Brown picked off another bobbled Thomas pass, but he fumbled on the return. Thomas recovered and the Maroon got the ball right back.--About 50 players who the Hokies are recruiting were visiting today. According to reports, they got a verbal commitment from running back J. C. Coleman of Oscar Smith High School in the Tidewater area.--Starting TE Chris Drager was a late scratch from the game. Starting running back David Wilson was not present as he was competing in the ACC track and field championship.--The game was played in 10-minute quarters. All aspects of the game, including special teams, were live with the exception of contact with Thomas. He was the only player in a yellow dont tackle jersey. No trick plays were allowed and the defense was allowed to rush a maximum of five.--At halftime, cornerback Jayron Hosley received an award for winning the College Football Performance Award at defensive back for his performance last year. He led the nation with nine interceptions in 2010. Other awards were given to the top newcomers, Andrew Miller and Derrick Hopkins, leadership to Danny Coale and Eddie Whitley, most improved to David Wang and Tariq Edwards, hustle to Andrew Lanier and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, exceptional spring performance to Jarrett Boykin and Hosley, spring MVP to Logan Thomas and James Gayle, and spring workouts award to Blake DeCristopher and Barquell Rivers.You can reach Rich Tandler by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler