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May 12, 2009

A big, fast and talented receiving group continues to improve

By: Jimmy Robertson


Split ends

81 Jarrett Boykin (6-2, 213, Soph.)

29 Xavier Boyce (6-4, 223, r-Fr.)

7 Marcus Davis (6-4, 231, r-Fr.)

35 Austin Fuller (6-2, 207, r-Fr.)

87 Prince Parker (6-5, 235, r-Jr.)


19 Danny Coale (6-0, 205, r-Soph.)

11 Dyrell Roberts (6-1, 192, Soph.)

83 Patrick Terry (5-11, 194, r-Soph.)

9 Tony Gregory (6-0, 181, Fr.)

80 Brandon Dillard (5-11, 177, r-Sr.)

86 Ben Barber (5-10, 208, Fr.)

The Hokies are starting to stockpile some weapons at the receiver spots, and the only thing a few of these younger guys need is a little more seasoning.

Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale came out of the spring at the top of the depth chart at split end and flanker, respectively, and that comes as no surprise considering both started last season. Those two, Xavier Boyce and Dyrell Roberts serve as the top four receivers – right now. Boyce and Roberts enjoyed fine springs, with Roberts capping his spring by catching four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the spring game.

“He’s got to be a difference maker for us and he’s got that ability,” receivers coach Kevin Sherman said. “He has some explosiveness. I think he could be a really good player for us.

“Xavier was able to get a lot of reps, which he needed. He improved a lot and now he needs to work hard this summer and continue to get better.”

Xavier Boyce

The guy who opened eyes was Marcus Davis. The staff moved Davis from quarterback to receiver with three practices remaining in the spring and Davis, all 6-foot-4, 231 pounds of him, caught three passes for 48 yards in the spring game.

“He’s certainly going to bring competition to our [receivers] room,” Sherman said. “He’s a big, tall athlete with speed. He’s raw and talented. I’ve got to get him playing a little faster, but with his size and athletic ability, he can do anything.”

The remainder of the group consists of Tony Gregory, who enrolled in January, Patrick Terry, Brandon Dillard, Austin Fuller, Ben Barber and Prince Parker.

Gregory can really run, but needs to learn the playbook a little better, and Sherman has been preaching consistency to Terry on a daily basis. Dillard labored through the spring while recovering from a torn Achilles suffered last summer.

“He battled through it,” Sherman said of Dillard. “He came back faster than I expected. He needs to rehab this summer. I still think he can help us.”