Wednesday, July 2, 2008

following sun tzu: where have all the receivers gone?

Confucius say, Know thine enemy. Or maybe it was Sun Tzu. Or Lao Tzu. Or Shih Tzu. Whoever said it*, it was wise advice and it caused head coaches the world over to do their part to bring down unemployment by hiring fresh-outta-the-mortarboard kids with dreams of rising to head coach possibly as soon as next year to edit long hours of videotapes. It also brings us this blog post.

But first, a nice little bit of fluffy fluff from the CDP on freshman baller Assane Sene.

Now for the enemy-camp thing. Brandon Dillard, a walk-on wide receiver at Tech who the Hokies were counting on considerably to fill their void at WR, blew out his Achilles tendon and will miss the '08 season. Why is this important?

Tech was already staring down the loss of their 5 leading receivers from last year. Harper, Morgan, Royal, and Hyman made a dependable foursome and Brandon Ore, the fifth-leading receiver, stuck his tongue out at the coach one too many times and was sent packing. Ore's departure doesn't hurt so much at his actual position, where Tech has straight-blingin' Ryan Williams coming in. The shine coming off of Williams' star-rankings is rivaled only by the glare from the massive gemstones on his ears and heavy metal on his neck.

So they're set at RB. The problem is, just who does Sean Glennon throw the ball to? Hopefully Ras-I Dowling, early and often, but what about when they're not playing us? The aforementioned players caught 166 of Tech's 219 completed passes last year, which leaves not a lot for the rest. #'s 6 and 7 on the receptions list are Sam Wheeler and Greg Boone, and they're also tight ends. And they're also practically 300 pounds, so they're not going to run the fly pattern real soon.

The article above is from the Virginian-Pilot and has this to say:

So when camp starts in August, the Hokies will be looking at a new crew of talented freshmen. Smithfield's Dyrell Roberts and Ocean Lakes' Randall Dunn, along with Jarrett Boykin from North Carolina, seem to be the top candidates for
immediate playing time. All were top recruits.

Well, they're decent recruits, but Jarrett Boykin was the top recruit in the state of North Carolina if you ignore the 25 guys in front of him. Decent, yes. Future contributors, probably. Top recruits, no - they're run-of-the-mill class depth, not Lemming bait for recruiting rankers to slobber over.

What this adds up to is that Tech is going to be severely receiver-less next year. Now does that look familiar? Yes, and therein lies the problem: we saw our boys go 9-4 last year with a cadre of receivers that thought defensive backs were their buddies. Sam Wheeler is no Heath Miller (hell, he's no Jon Stupar either) so their TE's aren't really there to pick up the load. But Tech has this annoying habit of beating us year after year, and winning a lot of other games besides, which tends to happen with handy contributions from a great number of non-wide receivers. In short they are well-equipped to win quite a few games even assuming they won't have a particularly dependable WR corps.

*Sun Tzu, sort of.

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