User ID: Password:

September 9, 2013

News & Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

Tech Hall of Famer passes away

Jack Prater, a former Tech football player, assistant coach and director of the Hokie Club, passed away on Aug. 27 in Christiansburg at the age of 82 after a long bout with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Prater played on the 1950 and 1951 football teams before leaving school for two years to serve in the U.S. Army. He came back to Tech in 1954 and played on the team that went undefeated – 8-0-1- under head coach Frank Moseley. That team marked the school’s last undefeated squad.

He was a co-captain on the 1955 team and earned All-Southern Conference honors as a center. Following the season, he was chosen to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic, a game of former college all-stars that is played in Mobile, Ala., around Christmas.

Prater spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, William & Mary and Miami. He came back to Blacksburg in 1968 to work as the field secretary in the Student Aid Association (which later became the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, or Hokie Club) before getting back into football as an administrative assistant under Charlie Coffey.

In 1978, after leaving Tech for several years to work in the private sector, he returned to work as an assistant AD under then-AD and football coach Bill Dooley. In 1979, Prater became the executive director of the Student Aid Association.

In 1988, the university tabbed Mike Carroll to be in charge of the Hokie Club, but Prater remained on the staff as the assistant director of development for athletic programs. He stayed in that role until he retired in 1994.

For all his contributions to Tech athletics over the years, Prater was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Nine true freshmen play in opener

Nine true freshmen played in the football season opener against Alabama in the Georgia Dome, marking the most true freshman to play under coach Frank Beamer since 2002. The 2002 group included guys like Darryl Tapp, Jimmy Williams and Jonathan Lewis.

This year’s group included cornerback Kendall Fuller, cornerback Brandon Facyson, defensive tackle Woody Baron, safety Chuck Clark, left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin, fullback Sam Rogers, tailback Jerome Wright, receiver Carlis Parker and kicker Mitchell Ludwig. Facyson, Baron, Wright, McLaughlin and Parker all enrolled this past January and participated in spring practice.

Fuller, Facyson and McLaughlin played the most against the Crimson Tide. Tech’s coaching staff credited Fuller with five tackles and an assist, while crediting Facyson with a solo tackle. McLaughlin played in 60 plays from his left tackle spot.

A year ago, Tech played eight true freshmen. Here’s a look at who has played as true freshmen back to 2001:

2012 – J.C. Coleman, Josh Stanford, A.J. Hughes, Donovan Riley, Desmond Frye, Donaldven Manning, Deon Clark, Brooks Abbott

2011 – Ryan Malleck, Luther Maddy, Corey Marshall, Caleb Farris, Boye Aromire, Kyshoen Jarrett, Michael Branthover

2010 – Derrick Hopkins, Kyle Fuller

2009 – David Wilson, Jayron Hosley, D.J. Coles

2008 – Jarrett Boykin, Dyrell Roberts, Justin Myer, Eddie Whitley, Jake Johnson, Xavier Boyce

2007 – Davon Morgan, Tyrod Taylor, Chris Drager

2006 – Nekos Brown, Kam Chancellor, Jason Worilds, Sergio Render, Stephan Virgil

2005 – Macho Harris

2004 – Eddie Royal, Justin Harper, Josh Morgan, Sean Glennon, Brett Warren, D.J. Parker, Jared Develli

2003 – David Clowney, Ryan Hash, Thomas McClelland

2002 – Darryl Tapp, Mike Imoh, Jonathan Lewis, Jimmy Williams, Cary Wade, Jimmy Martin, Danny McGrath, Reggie Butler, John Candelas

2001 – Bryan Randall, DeAngelo Hall, Kevin Jones, Jim Miller, Jeff Werner

(NOTE: some of these players redshirted later on in their careers. Also, Stanford, Drager, Worilds and Boyce all played as true freshmen, but received medical hardship waivers after getting injured that year.)

Malleck the latest out for the season

Tech tight end Ryan Malleck became the third Virginia Tech football player to suffer a season-ending injury after suffering a labral tear in his left shoulder in an Aug. 20 practice that required surgery. Malleck, who did not redshirt his first two seasons at Tech, will use this upcoming season as a redshirt year to recover from the injury.

Malleck, a native of Point Pleasant, N.J., joined tailback Tony Gregory (knee) and whip linebacker Ronny Vandyke (shoulder) on the list of players lost for the season with injuries. Gregory, a redshirt senior from Virginia Beach, Va., saw his career end with his third ACL tear, while Vandyke, a redshirt sophomore from Lorton, Va., will return next season for his redshirt junior year.