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Spring Game Offers An Early Peek At The Hokies

By Zach Rice
April 21, 2011

The Hokies kick off their 2011 Spring Game Saturday at 2 p.m. in Lane Stadium.

The theme this year will be change. Gone are the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. Enter QB Logan Thomas and running back David Wilson. There are other changes. Coach Mike O’Cain will now call the plays, instead of offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.

Also former players Shane Beamer and Cornell Brown are now back as assistant coaches. The Hokie football team looks to show the rest of Hokie Nation what it can expect to see this fall.

While Wilson will not participate in next week's spring game due to his participation in the Atlantic Coast Conference track championship, he'll still keep an eye on the proceedings and try to build confidence for a new slate of teammates. “I just want to have my team feel secure in the running back,” Wilson said.

Logan Thomas is looking forward to showing his confidence and accuracy. “I would probably just say being more confident, being more composed and working on my accuracy, and just getting the trust and stuff from my teammates,” Thomas said when asked about his goals.

Thomas also said that he wanted to have a better spring game then last year. “Last year I didn’t have the greatest experience," he recalled. "But it was great experience first time playing in front of I guess 40,000 or whatever it was. But I am excited to go back and show them that I have made progress since last year.”

Thomas says experience is the biggest difference between last spring and this year. “Just know what I know from the fall," he explained. "Having that extra year under my belt has helped out tremendously. I haven’t had to worry about learning the plays. I know the plays already. It just going out there and making the plays.”

One of the biggest moves in the coaching staff this off season was bringing back former player Shane Beamer, son of the program's iconic head coach. The younger Beamer joined the staff in February shortly after landing one of the nation's top recruits for coach Steve Spurrier at the University of South Carolina.

“It’s neat," Shane Beamer said of his return. "It’s kind of like a normal spring practice anywhere I’ve been. Coaches have been working hard, trying to learn what’s going on and everything. From my standpoint it hast been any different. In the offices it’s been a normal type deal. Everything has been really fun and exciting. I am excited to be back at this point.”

He says he still gets a charge out of the environment he knew as a player. “It’s neat, you know, to walk through that tunnel," he siad. "You walk through it so much as a player, and now to walk through in a new role. Every time—I don’t care how old you are—you still get excited as soon as you walk through the tunnel and things like that. It’s been really neat. Once you're out there you get tuned in and hone in on practice and coaching your guys. You really don’t get time to sit around and reflect.... It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s been business as usual for right now.”

Even though Wilson is missing the spring game, the coaching staff still has things it wants to see from the running backs. When asked what he wanted to see, Frank Beamer replied, “You know really just competing. Getting out there, you want them to be sharp assignment wise, you want to see them compete, and protect the football. And really just get out there and play hard and have fun. That’s all that I ask is, to compete, have fun, and be the most physical guy out there. As long as they do that I’ll be happy.”

The spring game takes place Saturday at Lane Stadium. Admission is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.