Tuesday, December 1
Regular Season Wrap Up Part 1 - The Superlatives
Team MVP: Cody Grimm
Some are going to argue with me here and say Ryan Williams deserves this award, and really he does but what we were able to accomplish on defense this year all centered around the play of Cody Grimm. Grimm leads the nation in forced fumbles and tied a Virginia Tech record with three forced fumbles in one game against NC State. That was his MVP moment this season. If it wasn't for his play in the first quarter of that game, the NC State game would have been too close for comfort. Instead it forced the RB's and Russell Wilson to think about keeping two hands on the ball, forcing them down on first contact. I'm going to save the majority of the stats for part two of this article but I also wanted to point out here that Grimm leads the team in tackles with 99, tackles for loss with 9.5 (tied with Jason Worilds), and of course leads the team (and nation) in forced fumbles with 7. Impressive for a kid who decided to walk-on at Tech, turning down a few scholarship offers to do so.
Offensive MVP: Ryan Williams
The old saying "you can never have too many running backs" really rang true for the Hokies this season. Exit Darren Evans, who set a school freshman rushing record last season with 1265 yards, and enter Ryan Williams, who easily broke that record in two less games. Ryan was the heart of our offense this year and without him, I'm not sure I want to speculate at what our record would be. Williams set a school and ACC record this year, rushing for 100 yards in 9 of the 12 games this season. Also, if Williams can grind out 111 yards in the bowl game, he will break Kevin Jones single season rushing record he set back in 2003.
Defensive MVP: Rashad Carmichael
This is the first time since 2003 that I have a hard time choosing who else on defense is really worthy of winning this award. Our defense was really average this season, in 10 of the 11 spots. Worilds had good numbers but didn't do anything eye-popping this season, same with Chancellor, Rivers, and Brown. Rashad Carmichael is the only one I can truly say had a better year than I was expecting. Replacing Macho Harris at the boundary is a tall task, especially when you practice all spring and all summer at the field corner position. Carmichael made the best of it though, leading the Hokies with five interceptions, one of which led to the Hokies only defensive score this season. Carmichael went from a truly unknown against Alabama to quite possibly the next in a great line of cornerbacks here at Virginia Tech.
Team Freshman of the Year: Jayron Hosely
After Ryan Williams muffed the first punt return of the year, Hosely replaced Williams and never relinquished the job. Hosely finished the season with a 10.9 yards per return average and took one back to the house against Marshall. While he mostly starred on special teams, Hosely also saw some action at cornerback in five games this season. In those games, he registered 8 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and two pass deflections.
Most Improved Player: Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden infuriated me at times last season due to lack of consistency and ability to shank punts. This year was a completely different story as Bowden seemed to find his consistency and is one game away from setting a new Virginia Tech record for punting average. The record is 43.1 and Bowden is setting at 43.9 heading into the bowl game. If you were to ask me who our punter is going to be next season, I would probably shake my head and reply with "I really don't know." But, after watching Bowden reel off booming punt after punt, I'm really going to hate having to hold my breath every time we call out or punting team next year.