User ID: Password:

November 13, 2012

News & Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

McCray to move to tight end

Zack McCray, a highly touted recruit out of the 2010 football recruiting class, agreed to a position change shortly after the Hokies’ loss to Miami in Florida. The 6-foot-5, 256-pound redshirt sophomore, will spend the rest of this season at tight end after spending the bulk of nearly three seasons on the defensive line.

McCray spent his first two seasons at defensive end (one was a redshirt year) and this season at defensive tackle, as defensive line coach Charley Wiles and defensive coordinator Bud Foster thought McCray fit in better at defensive tackle. Unfortunately, the move hasn’t worked out for McCray, who has barely played this season. Most of his reps have come on special teams.

“Tackle wasn’t really a good position for me,” McCray said. “I think it made me better in a lot of ways playing defensive tackle, but right now, I’m not at the size to play there, and it’s just not a natural fit for me.

“I talked with the coaches, and we thought it would be best for me to move, with a couple of tight ends leaving after this year. It’ll be better for me to move now and learn some of the stuff and then battle at the position in the spring.”

The Hokies lose three tight ends after this season – Eric Martin, Randall Dunn and George George. McCray played tight end at Brookville High School in Lynchburg, Va., catching passes from current Tech quarterback Logan Thomas during McCray’s junior season. Thomas, a year older than McCray, led Brookville to the state title game his senior season.

McCray will be battling Ryan Malleck, Duan Perez-Means, Darius Redman and Dakota Jackson for playing time next spring. None of those will be a senior next season.

“It’s been frustrating for me because obviously you want to be on the field playing,” McCray said. “Obviously, I think this move is for the better. I try to be optimistic about things, and I believe God has a plan. This is a learning lesson. I wouldn’t change anything about my career at Tech – from redshirting to playing at end and then moving to tackle. I think all those things have made me better in some aspect, and I think that will help me further down the road in my career.”

Former player gives back

Nick Cullen, a former Tech wide receiver in the late 1980s, and his family came back to Blacksburg for the Tech-Duke game on Oct. 13, and the athletics department recognized him for making a major donation to the Tech football program. As a result of his generosity, a position meeting room – fittingly, the receivers meeting room – has been named in Cullen’s honor and features an artist’s drawing of Cullen from his playing days at Tech.

“I’m really proud of Nick, and I really appreciate him giving back,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “That’s what makes it all worthwhile is to see guys like him be successful and giving to the university. We really do appreciate that so much.”

Cullen, who was lightly recruited out of Upper St. Clair High School near Pittsburgh, went on to become a very good receiver at Tech. During his senior year in 1990, he tied a school record for receptions in a game when he caught 13 passes against Southern Miss (Donald Snell caught 13 in a 1985 game vs. Cincinnati) for 170 yards – a record that still stands. For his career, he caught 70 passes for 946 yards, including five for touchdowns.

Cullen works as the managing director at Goldman Sachs in New York City. He graduated from Tech with a degree in finance in 1991 and later got his master’s of business administration from Northwestern University.

Tech golfer competes at World Am

Virginia Tech golfer Scott Vincent, a sophomore from Harare, Zimbabwe, competed in the World Amateur Team Championship held Oct. 6-7 in Ankara, Turkey, and Vincent’s home country of Zimbabwe finished in 17th place in the team competition.

Vincent came in 32nd in the individual race at the weather-shortened event held at both Cornelia Golf Club and Antalya Golf Club. The event featured three-man teams representing 72 different countries, with the top two scorers in each round counting toward the team total. Vincent shot a 3-under-par 68 in the final round and mixed in rounds of 70 and 74 to finish with a total of 212. He paced the three-man Zimbabwe team in the tournament.

The United States team won the event with a record-setting score of 24-under-par 404, five strokes better than Mexico.