Sunday, August 17, 2008
Hokies plan to expand Boone's horizons
The ex-QB, who is now a tight end, is getting some looks at wide receiver, which is one of the thinner positions right now.
Virginia Tech stories
- Hokies start fresh at offense
- Hokies' athletic director requested 'night off'
- Virginia Tech fans need new tailgate tradition
Blog: Andy Bitter
- A few links: Gayle’s a freak, an Arians conversation and a potential ACC bowl lineup
- Lane Stadium video board demolition underway
- After injury-riddled rookie year, Danny Coale hoping for health in second NFL season
- Join the Hokie football conversation on Andy's blog
Twitter: Andy Bitter
BLACKSBURG -- Big Greg Boone can't wait to line up for 17th-ranked Virginia Tech at wide receiver this fall and see the stunned look on some wispy cornerback's face.
"Yeah, we're going to see some eyes pop out of their heads this year," a grinning Boone said.
No kidding. There's not a corner in captivity who would want to see Boone, much less try to jam the 6-foot-3, 280-pound junior off the ball at the line of scrimmage.
Tech's All-ACC corner Macho Harris got his look on a couple of plays in Tech's second preseason scrimmage Saturday at Lane Stadium. It was a handful.
"I just tried to beat [Harris] off the ball before he can get a chance to jam me," Boone said. "I don't know if I can run past him, but I can give him a matchup."
Obviously, Hokies offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring wasn't kidding last spring when he said he planned to install some wrinkles to augment an offense that is desperately in search of wide-receiving threats. Stinespring, who coaches the tight ends, has made good on his promise, occasionally throwing a tight end into the backfield as a H-back, as well as splitting them wide.
Boone was all over the lot Saturday, carrying three times for 12 yards. On two occasions, he plowed through defenders for short touchdowns in goal-line offense. He caught two passes for 17 yards, plus recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown.
"We can expect anything if we put our mind to it," said Boone, referring to the offense's stepped-up showing from last Tuesday's first scrimmage. "We've just got to get the ball in the end zone more often."
While quicker since losing nearly 20 pounds this summer to trim down to 280, Boone is far from your the average-sized running back or wideout. He's more akin to runaway bull for most would-be tacklers.
"Oh, I'll still always pack a load, but it's all right," said Boone, who began his Tech career as a quarterback. "I doubt you'll ever see me juke somebody."
The big fellow said he can't wait to get the ball in open field with a full head of steam.
"Something is going to happen when that happens," Boone said. "Not everybody can catch me. If they do catch me, it's going to be kind of hard for them to bring me down."
Quarterbacks Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor had more opportunities to make plays than in the opening scrimmage. Taylor was 10-for-14 passing for 101 yards, and Glennon was 11-for-16 for 63 yards . ... Junior wideout Ike Whitaker helped his case in the crowded receiving groups, snaring four passes for 39 yards. Freshmen Dyrell Roberts and Xavier Boyce had three and two catches, respectively. Tight end Andre Smith also had two catches. ... Roberts, who looks like a lock to play this year, also had a 55-yard kickoff return. ... Running backs coach Billy Hite got another long look at his six runners. Freshman Ryan Williams' 23 yards on seven carries led the group. ... The Hokies' final preseason scrimmage will be held at 3:15 p.m. Friday, and will be open to the public.