** First things first, place-kicker Cody Journell, who was allowed back on the team this summer after his arrest last December, won’t be speaking to the media this preseason. He did offer a statement, though: “I want to apologize to my family, the university, the athletic department and my teammates. I am ready to move forward with the season and want to thank Mr. [Jim] Weaver and Coach [Frank] Beamer for the opportunity to rejoin the program. This will be my only comment with regards to this situation.”
** As for practice, all the players listed as injured the other day were out there in some capacity today. That includes linebacker Tariq Edwards (leg) and wide receiver D.J. Coles (knee), who both wore braces on their legs and looked to be moving gingerly. My guess is once the contact portion of camp begins, you’ll see less of them out there.
** Other freshmen who had hamstring issues — CB Davion Tookes, DE Jarontay Jones, RB Trey Edmunds and S Zach Snell – were all participating as well.
** We reporters got our first glimpse of the new punters and both looked fairly comfortable on the first day. Hunter Windmuller, who is listed atop the depth chart, was fairly consistent with his kicks, getting good loft and distance on them. A.J. Hughes, a lefty, had some nice ones as well. It’s clear to see why they’re the top two on the depth chart at this point.
** Your punt returners today: Dyrell Roberts, Kyle Fuller, Demitri Knowles, Willie Byrn, Joshua Stanford, Desmond Frye and Kyshoen Jarrett.
** Tech is allowed to have 105 participants in practice right now. That expands to 120 once class begins.
** Place-kicker Conor Goulding is one player who chose not to come back this season.
** Your order at the whip linebacker spot tonight: Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, Alonzo Tweedy, Ronny Vandyke. That’s how they’re currently listed on the depth chart too.
** Your dreadlock all-stars so far: Tookes and receiver Mark Irick. Both had pretty long dreads down their back.
** Two freshmen receivers looked solid. Joel Caleb made a nice diving snag during a drill on an out pattern near the sideline. Stanford made a good grab on a deep ball from Logan Thomas after getting by Desmond Frye in a drill.
** Hokies basketball coach James Johnson was out at practice today. I don’t recall seeing Seth Greenberg ever doing that. Then again, I wasn’t around very long for Seth.
** The highlight of the day was probably running backs coach Shane Beamer knocking a ball loose from Michael Holmes with his boxing glove contraption. He seemed pretty excited to actually jar one loose after failing to do so in the spring.
I missed the play where Shane punched one out, but here’s some video of the drill:
I’ll have more later after we talk to some players and coaches, but it might be late, since I have to file a story tonight as well.