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April 7, 2011

Gayle the top performer in strength and conditioning testing

By: Jimmy Robertson

2011 Spring Testing
Strength & Conditioning

Bench Press (lbs.)
1. Vinston Painter (465)
2. Nick Acree (430)
3. James Gayle (420)
4. Tyler Barfield (420)
5. Courtney Prince (410)

Front Squat (lbs.)
1. Derrick Hopkins (485)
2. Vinston Painter (485)
3. Tyler Barfield (475)
4. D.J. Coles (450)
5. David Wilson (445)

Push Jerk (lbs.)
1. David Wang (370)
2. Tyler Barfield (363)
3. Josh Oglesby (361)
4. Vinston Painter (360)
5. Andrew Miller (358)

Power Clean (lbs.)
1. David Wang (380)
2. Jaymes Brooks (375)
3. Joey Phillips (370)
4. Andrew Miller (351)
5. Michael Via (285)

Vertical Jump (In.)
1. Marcus Davis (44)
2. David Wilson (40)
3. Jarrett Boykin (40)
4. Alonzo Tweedy (38.5)
5. Ricardo Young (38.5)

40-yard Dash (sec.)
1. David Wilson (4.29)
2. Mark Carter (4.33)
3. Alonzo Tweedy (4.33)
4. Corey Fuller (4.36)
5. Marcus Davis (4.37)

10-yard Sprint (sec.)
1. David Wilson (1.63)
2. Kyle Fuller (1.67)
3. Danny Coale (1.68)
4. Mark Carter (1.68)
5. Jayron Hosley (1.68)

NFL Shuttle (sec.)
1. David Wilson (3.85)
2. Mark Carter (4.02)
3. Kyle Fuller (4.02)
4. Alonzo Tweedy (4.03)
5. Willie Byrn (4.04)

Mike Gentry, Tech’s associate AD for athletic performance, and his staff conducted strength and conditioning testing for the football team before spring break, and James Gayle earned the highest honor handed out by the staff.

Gayle, a rising redshirt sophomore from Hampton, Va., earned an Excalibur Award, which takes into account a composite look at the four major lifts (bench press, front squat, power clean and push jerks) and the five conditioning tests (40-yard dash, 10-yard sprint, NFL shuttle run, sit-reach test and vertical jump). Gentry and his staff put together a scale based upon certain criteria used by Nebraska and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys to come up with the Excalibur Award.

Gayle, a 6-foot-4, 251-pound defensive end, recorded a 420-pound bench and a 420-pound front squat. He finished with a 341-pound push jerk, and he set the defensive ends record in the power clean with a 366-pound lift. He had a 38-inch vertical jump and ran the 40 in 4.45.

“He’s a motivated kid,” Gentry said. “He’s always shown that he wants to be good. He asks a lot of questions, and he’s always serious. The strides he made were a little surprising, but his maturity caught up with him. We always say that as you get stronger, you’re going to get faster. That’s been the case with James.”

Gayle was one of 11 Hokies to earn Super Iron status in the strength and conditioning program. In fact, Gentry and his staff recognized 70 award winners in all – the most in recent memory.

“I thought this was one of our better offseasons, not just in terms of performance, but also in terms of improvement and attitude,” Gentry said. “We had a group of willing workers who wanted to get better. That we honored 70 players tells you that the group was focused and that they bought in to what we were trying to do.”

The rest of the Super Iron Hokies include Vinston Painter, David Wang, Josh Oglesby, Riley Beiro, Joey Phillips, Mark Carter, D.J. Coles, Marcus Davis, Telvion Clark and Wiley Brown. Wang, Painter and Phillips all came up just a tad short of joining Gayle as winners of an Excalibur Award.

Gentry also pointed out several other tremendous performers in the program, even though they didn’t quite reach Excalibur or Super Iron status. That list included Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale, J.R. Collins, Chris Drager, Jayron Hosley, Alonzo Tweedy and Logan Thomas.

Carter named ACC co-rookie of the year

Tech wrestler Devin Carter, a freshman from nearby Christiansburg, Va., went farther than any Tech wrestler at the NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 18, but came up a win shy of earning All-America honors. Carter fell 10-3 in the round of 12 to Bernard Futrell of Illinois at the 133-pound weight class, but he still won three matches in his first NCAA appearance.

A few days later, Carter was named the ACC’s co-rookie of the year in voting conducted among the league’s head coaches. He shared the honor with Maryland heavyweight Spencer Myers.

Carter finished the year with a 35-7 record overall, including a 21-3 dual match record. After going unbeaten against five conference foes in regular-season matches, Carter was ranked ninth nationally in his weight class and captured the 133-pound title at the ACC Championships.