by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com
Virginia Tech has played five seasons in the ACC, and their three ACC Championships are evidence that they've had a lot of good players. For the next two weeks, we'll take a look the All-VT team over the ACC era. All players from 2004 through 2008 are eligible, and this week we'll start with the defense.
|All-VT Defense, ACC Era|
Let's start up front, where football games are won and lost. It's tough to not have guys like Darryl Tapp and Jonathan Lewis on this list, but the Hokies have had a number of very good defensive linemen since joining the ACC.
Jason Worilds is arguably the best defensive end in the ACC. As a sophomore in 2008, he had 18.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks, despite playing with just one healthy shoulder all season. Worilds is poised to have a huge junior season in 2009.
On the other end is Chris Ellis, Tech's First Team All-ACC defensive end in 2007. Ellis had nine tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, but he also had 37 quarterback hurries. He was constantly in the backfield making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. He went on to be a third round pick of the Buffalo Bills.
On the inside, Jim Davis makes the list at tackle for his impressive 2004 season. He made 12 tackles for loss from his defensive tackle position. He came up with a huge sack against UNC quarterback Darian Durant, and who can forget the passes he batted down in Miami's final drive in the game that clinched Tech's first ACC Championship? Davis was also one of the team leaders of the 2004 Hokies, who reversed a three-year slide in Hokie football and served notice that Tech was going to be a force in their new conference.
Carlton Powell gets the nod for the other defensive tackle spot. Powell is perhaps the most underrated defensive tackle of the Beamer Bowl Era. He had 7.5 tackles for loss in 2007, and was unblockable by most ACC offensive linemen. He was a fifth round pick of the Denver Broncos.
Vince Hall makes the list at mike linebacker for his junior season in 2006. Hall had 128 tackles that year, including 10.5 tackles for loss. Arguably the best linebacker in the ACC that season, he anchored a defense that finished #1 in total defense.
Xavier Adibi is included at the backer position for his impressive senior season in 2007. In 2007, Adibi led the team with 115 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and three sacks. He is the most athletic inside linebacker the Hokies have ever had. He came up with huge plays throughout the 2007 season, and he is now a starting linebacker for the Houston Texans.
There have been more physically gifted whip linebackers than Cody Grimm, but none can match him for production. Despite starting just one game in 2008, Grimm finished with 71 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He was a playmaker all year for the Hokies, and he is perhaps the best blitzing whip the Hokies have ever had.
There are plenty of players to pick from in Tech's secondary. Brandon Flowers is the best cornerback the Hokies have ever had. He was a lockdown corner in 2006 and 2007, but we'll give him the nod for his 2007 season. Flowers finished that year with 86 tackles and eight tackles for loss. He also had five interceptions, and he broke up nine more passes. He now starts for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The other cornerback spot goes to Jimmy Williams for his 2004 season. In 2004, Williams was arguably the best defensive player on Tech's team. Playing the boundary corner position, he was outstanding against the run. He made huge plays against UVA in 2004, stopping a run by quarterback Marques Hagans near the goal line, and saving a touchdown on a long run by Alvin Pearman. He also had five interceptions and broke up 14 passes.
Vincent Fuller had a great 2004 season as Tech's free safety. He had three interceptions, but he was much more important than his stats indicated. Fuller was the leader of the secondary, and his speed allowed him to get from sideline to sideline. He currently plays for the Tennessee Titans.
Finally, Aaron Rouse gets the nod at rover for his 2005 season. He finished with 77 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. Rouse also led the team with four interceptions. He was equally effective against the run and pass. Rouse now plays for the Green Bay Packers, where he has starting experience in the secondary.