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May 12, 2009

Waldron comes out of spring in the lead to replace Dustin Keys

By: Jimmy Robertson



1 Matt Waldron (5-11, 190, r-Sr.)

48 Justin Myer (6-0, 198, Soph.)

15 Chris Hazley (6-1, 194, r-Jr.)

4 Tim Pisano (5-9, 181, r-Soph.)

23 Scott Demler (5-11, 184, r-Fr.)


97 Brent Bowden (6-3, 201, r-Sr.)

30 Brian Saunders (6-0, 197, r-Jr.)


50 Collin Carroll (6-3, 243, r-Soph.)

63 Matt Tuttle (6-0, 228, r-Sr.)

66 Jon Conlon (6-1, 228, r-Jr.)

Tech head coach Frank Beamer certainly expects much better special teams play than what occurred in the spring game.

After all, the two squads combined to miss an extra point and a field goal, and neither punter averaged 40 yards a punt. Part of that, though, went back to the snaps, which were poor at times.

“We need to have a talk with that special teams coach,” Beamer said, taking a not-so-subtle jab at himself since he handles much of the special teams. “I know it was sloppy today. What that tells me is that we need to settle on people and get them in there working. In the spring, you work everyone, but it’s not going to be that way in the fall. We’re going to make some quick decisions and go and make sure we’re better special-teams wise than we were today.”

Beamer’s main concern coming into spring practice was his placekicking situation. But coming out of spring, he felt much better mainly because of the kicking of Matt Waldron. The redshirt senior did not miss a field goal in any of the scrimmages.

“He’s been the most consistent all spring,” Beamer said. “We did a kicking contest every day in practice and he won most of them. He’s been the most consistent that we’ve got.

Matt Waldron (1) and Brent Bowden (97)
“[Chris] Hazley and [Justin] Myer have kicked the ball well at times, too. We’re fortunate to have some good kickers here at Virginia Tech. Overall, though, Waldron has been the best.”

The competition will continue into the fall, with Myer, last year’s kickoff guy, Hazley, Tim Pisano and Scott Demler in the mix. Incoming freshman Cody Journell from nearby Ripplemead, Va., figures to get a close look as well. Journell possesses a strong leg.

At punter, Brent Bowden will handle those duties. Brian Saunders will be the backup. The snappers will be Collin Carroll and Matt Tuttle.

The return game figures to be sparked by both Ryan Williams and Dyrell Roberts, who will attempt to replace return standout Macho Harris. Williams displayed an ability to make plays in the open field, which should come in handy if he gets to return punts. Roberts returned a kickoff 41 yards in the spring game, and Patrick Terry returned two for 50 yards, including a 27-yarder. Cris Hill may work himself into the mix as a kickoff returner as well.