There's plenty going on around Virginia Tech in the early part of 2010. Just when we started dissecting the season that was, Jason Worilds announced he is heading to the NFL. That news came as a shock to most Hokie fans, but it's one we're going to have to live with. And before we could finish talking about Worilds' decision the Hokies men's basketball team dive right into its ACC schedule with a road trip to Chapel Hill. There's plenty to get to after the jump.
Worilds Walks Away (Kyle Tucker)
"Jason Worilds, star defensive end for the Hokies, is skipping his senior season and heading for the NFL. Whoa. And again, I say, Whoa. I didn’t see this one coming. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I don’t think the coaches did, either, judging by Charley Wiles’ reaction below. And why would they?"
Hokies’ Worilds bolts for NFL (Randy King)
"In a development that best could be classified as somewhat surprising, Tech standout defensive end Jason Worilds announced Thursday that he was forgoing his senior year of college to enter April’s NFL Draft. A month after telling reporters he had unfinished business and wasn’t thinking about leaving Tech early, Worilds said he decided to leave for the NFL in the past week since the Hokies’ 37-14 New Year’s Eve rout of Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Bowl."
Worilds declares for NFL draft (Nathan "Tommie Frazier" Warters)
"Worilds, a Carteret, N.J., native, said back in December that he didn’t send his paperwork into the NFL’s draft advisory committee to get a projection on his draft status. He later changed his mind and received an evaluation. He did not disclose where he was projected. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr., doesn’t have Worilds listed on his Big Board, and he is not among the top five underclassmen at the defensive end position."
Worilds to enter NFL draft (Mark Viera)
"The announcement by Worilds, a junior, came as something of a surprise. Although Worilds, already a star, would have been the most obvious of the underclassmen to enter the draft, he seemed to have his mind set on coming back. Before the Hokies' win over Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31, he told reporters that he planned to return for his senior season because there has "unfinished business." He was referring to winning a national championship."
Jason Worilds is leaving early for the NFL (Darryl Slater)
"Wiles said Worilds spoke to him twice about leaving early—briefly after the bowl game and for 15 minutes Monday. "I wasn’t going to talk him out of anything," said Wiles. Part of that conversation involved Wiles telling Worilds about the insurance policies that players who consider leaving early take out when they decide to play their senior year. At that point, Wiles said, Worilds was still waiting to hear back from the committee. But Wiles didn’t get the sense that the committee’s estimate would play a major role in Worilds’ choice.
Worilds to enter NFL Draft (Collegiate Times)
"Although he has not hired an agent yet, Worilds made it known that there would not be any second guessing as to whether or not the move is the right one and that his declaration is "final." The junior said that he was "anxious" about beginning the transition into a pro career but that he was unclear in terms of the specific details concerning the next steps of the process.
VT's Worilds to enter the NFL draft (Annette)
"He said it was an "extremely difficult" decision, and it's also one that is a change of heart from about a month ago. He said he expects the Hokies to be able to go on and win a national championship without him. He said he expects to be a first-day guy, but wouldn't go into details about his draft status. He said he is "a couple papers away" from graduating."
Worilds Declares for 2010 NFL Draft (Tech Sideline)
"Without Worilds, the Hokies will have to replace both starters at defensive end heading into the 2010 season. Candidates are rising r-senior Steven Friday, r-junior Chris Drager, r-sophomore Isaiah Hamlette, r-freshman James Gayle and r-freshman J.R. Collins. Gayle and Collins redshirted in 2009, and have never seen game action. Hamlette played in just two games, against Marshall and Boston College, and had no tackles."
Worilds is going pro (The North End Zone)
"New out of the 'Burg today is that opposing offensive players are taking a deep breath of relief. Jason Worilds is going into the NFL. To be completely honest, this sucks. Not going to sugar coat it. It blows. We have a lot of people leaving from our awesome defense, but Worilds is different than all of them. He's leaving as a junior. We could have had him for another year."
Hokies at Tar Heels
Sprained ankles are epidemic for VT and UNC (Norm Wood)
"So, let's see...that means the Hokies must go on the road against a wounded bunch of Tar Heels, and Tech will likely be without the services of guard Malcolm Delaney, its best player who is still recovering for a sprained left ankle. Hmmm...can't UNC just go ahead and pull those 12, 23 and 52 jerseys down from the rafters of the Dean Dome, suit up Phil, MJ and Worthy and really stack the deck against Tech?"
Virginia Tech’s ACC lid-lifter (Darryl Slater)
"Despite the Greenbergs’ concerns – Paige’s dad is a sleepless worrier himself – the Hokie’ non-conference performance set them up to make a run at making the NCAA tournament, which they missed the past two seasons. How they handle their 16 ACC games – "16 root canals," as Seth Greenberg called them – will determine how they feel on Selection Sunday, March 14."
UNC ripe for another upset? (Mark Viera)
"But that was before North Carolina lost to Charleston on Monday. Now, as they prepare to host the surging Hokies (12-1) on Sunday, the Tar Heels are reeling and on guard for another upset."
Root Canal (Kyle Tucker)
"The good news? For the first time in my six years covering the Hokies, my bosses have left me out here in Blacksburg for the hoops season. The idea of touring around the ACC’s storied gymnasiums (starting with UNC tomorrow) is a pretty big thrill. Since our technology apparently can’t sustain two different blogs with my picture at the top (it’s probably something about a hazard involving my hair gel), I’m going to be dropping in here on the "football blog" to give you some round-ball news and notes and quotes."
UNC Preview (Tech Hoops)
"While the Hokies need Delaney more than unc needs Ginyard or Graves, Tech has to have confidence coming off their OT win over seton hall without him. In fact, the Hokies have produced two of the last four ACC Players of the Week and neither of them have been named Malcolm Delaney. Jeff Allen won it a month ago and Dorenzo Hudson, fresh off his 41 point game against seton hall, won it last week. That is diversity and that is VT basketball right now. That said, the Hokies need Delaney’s ballhandling skills (and scoring) to win this game."
A Brief Look at Virginia Tech (Carolina March)
"I didn't have many strong opinions about the ACC coming in to the season, but I did have one belief. Virginia Tech will do better in the conference than everyone was thinking. Some of that will be due to their conference schedule, the easiest in the league. If the Hokies, voted to finish eighth, only beats the four teams below them and loses to all seven teams above, they'll still finish 8-8."
#9 UNC vs Virginia Tech (Tar Heel Fan)
"Virginia Tech is a team that, as of late, knows how to play UNC tough. The Hokies have enough balance to give UNC issues, even if PG Malcolm Delaney does not play. The Hokies general struggle to win games they are supposed to win prior to the conference slate which has always left them fighting for an NCAA berth later on. That has not been the case this season with VPI off to a 12-1 start and coming off an impressive win over Seton Hall."
Virginia Tech Football
Looking ahead to next fall's Boise State game (Mark Viera)
"While the Broncos' Fiesta Bowl win on Monday came in a sloppy affair, they showed they have more than just the razzle-dazzle of the Statue of Liberty play to beat Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or the fake-punt pass, on fourth down on Monday. Boise State will almost assuredly finished in the top five and became the second team in modern history to go 14-0, joining Ohio State in 2002. The Broncos return 21 of 22 starters next year and are two-deep at many positions."
Strong finish makes 2009 one of the most memorable (Bill Roth)
"Such is the reward for soundly beating an SEC team in prime time, as Tech did on New Year’s Eve when it toppled Tennessee 37-14. Never mind that the Vols, like half of the SEC, finished 7-5. Put a whipping on an SEC team, especially one of the league’s traditional powers, and the voters notice."
If College Football Had a Playoff: Hokies are the Champions (Mountain West Connection)
"Yes, this was a fan vote and some Alabama fans may have had better things to do then vote in a silly playoff poll, but the Hokies winning on the grid iron would not be a major upset. Way back on opening weekend Alabama and Virginia Tech did play with a 34-24 win by the Tide. The Hokies did end the season well in their bowl win over Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-a bowl."
Ho hum... we finish in the Top 10 (The North End Zone)
"So we continue with our pattern of finishing in the final ranking top 10 every other year. Could have seen this coming. Just another day in Hokieland."
Virginia Tech 2010 Recruiting Class (VT Fan)
"In this series of articles, we will examine each member of this 2010 recruiting class individually, discussing their strengths and weaknesses while also exploring how they will impact this Virginia Tech Hokie team in the future."
Bowl Collusion Series 4 Year Do-Over (Beer Control Offense)
"Ok, lets get some things out the way. I like the bowls, I somewhat like the playoffs. I personally don't think the no. 8 team should have the right to play for it all. I do think the top 3-5 teams can usually make a case. In my perfect college football world, a plus one is the way to go. I think it would be a HUGE $ generator and why they morons that be can't see that, is beyond me (and you.)"
Mike Patrick Zombified My Brain During the Alamo Bowl (College Game Balls)
"Because an interest in pirates is childish, right Mike? Maybe he should take up a more adult hobby like smoking or alchemy."
Around the ACC
Florida State Introduces Jimbo Fisher (Tomahawk Nation)
"Fisher then paid homage to all the players who made Florida State the great program it is today. He said that while he wasn't their coach, he was their fan, and that they are all now part of the same family. He said that they are always welcome back whenever they want. FSU fans who follow the program closely know that relationships with many former players have been strained due to some morons working in the athletics department."
'09 in the books, '10 to be written (AllCanes)
"The Harris you saw against the Noles and Yellow Jackets was a first-year starter who was running plays from a first-year coordinator. Nobody had film on Mark Whipple. Nobody knew what the Canes were running, so defending it was no easy task... and let's be honest; nobody had seen an aerial attack from Miami since the 2002 season."
Kuiper Predicts The ACC (ACC Sports Journal)
"7) Virginia Tech. I like how hard this team plays. The Hokies reflect Seth Greenberg’s fearless attitude. They play excellent defense, but are not very big on the inside."
Checking in on the Rest of the ACC (Testudo Times)
"VT has to have one of the weakest schedules in the nation. Their best opponent? Penn State? Seton Hall? The Hokies really don't deserve to be 12-1. They are, though, thanks to Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen. Allen isn't All-ACC level (and will always have a tough time wearing away the finger stigma) but few guards in the ACC are better than Delaney."
Abbreviated ACC preview, part 2 (From Old Virginia)
"Most of VT's scoring comes from neither the post nor three-point land, which is the same model as UAB. That's the kind of team I think we match up with best. Could we sweep the season series? I think of the teams we play twice, this is where we have the best chance of doing that. A split is much more likely, though."
Frozen Fenway and the Big Finish (BC Interruption)
Brian will someday have to tell me what he did or said to convince Mrs. Brian to let him go to Frozen Fenway. Apparently he didn't share the secret with Jeff. "I'm considering myself very lucky to be able to go to the game in Fenway Park, not only because games like these are such a rare occurrence (only the third in the modern era), but because it's not just an outdoor hockey game. It's an outdoor hockey game between BC and BU. I can't imagine a scenario more perfect than this."