BLACKSBURG - If you want Virginia Tech football players to get excited, put 'em in the ring. More specifically in the 'Bull in the Ring' drill. Two players square off against each other inside a circle spray painted onto the grass practice surface. Coach Frank Beamer refers to it as T-time because the drill focuses on toughness. In addition to that, it's about putting your one-one-one opponent to the ground without using any methods that would get flagged as a penalty on Saturdays.
Dan River H.S. product Trey Edmunds won one of the five pairings, beating Deon Clarke. "I'm always down to go with anybody. I like that drill. I did it in high school a little bit but we do that drill with the running backs with coach Shane so I was kind of used to it. Going with Deon Clarke. He's a guy that's very tough. He got low. We both got after it and I was and I just so happened to come out on top so I'm kind of excited about that," Edmunds said after practice.
New offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler was demonstrably just as excited as the players during that drill. "Enthusiasm is contagious. We're trying to build a mentality to play really really hard. Have great effort, have enthusiasm, encourage your teammates and encourage your teammates when things are really really hard," he said.
Beamer easily recognizes what Loeffler brings to the field. "I think you got to coach who you are. That's what I tell our coaches and there's different ways of getting things done but he brings excitement and emotion."
In the other one-one-one match ups:
Brent Benedict beat Kris Harley
Jonathan McLaughlin beat DE DeWayne Alford
Joel Caleb beat Desmond Frye
Seth Dooley beats Ryan Malleck
With the story about Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice surfacing, the topic was brought up at the football coaching staff meeting. Shane Beamer said, "Nothing really needed to be said. We always talk about treating players with respect here at Virginia Tech. We're a family and we're going to treat everyone with respect on and off the field. They know that we have their best interests at heart. It's an issue that didn't need to be addressed because that's not the way we do things."