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Jayron Hosley: Cornerback of the Future

Jayron Hosley

Jayron Hosley

How does a second coming of Brandon Flowers sound to you Hokie fans?

With the recruitment and signing of cornerback/kick returner Jayron Hosley, that is what some are saying.  The Hokies defense is sure to be set at cornerback for another four years.

Hosley comes from Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, Fla., the same high school that former Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers went to.  It was no coincidence that both are Hokies.

“Brandon brought him (Hosley) up by himself,” said defensive backs coach Torrian Gray.  “From a personnel standpoint, Brandon was always sharp.  He would tell me, ‘Coach you have got to recruit this guy.’”

Flowers informed Gray that Hosley is the exact same as him, except only faster.

“That’s a heck of a compliment coming from a player like him (Flowers),” Gray said.  “If Hosley can be anywhere close to that, we will be more than pleased with him here.

“Brandon and I have similar playing styles,” said Hosley.  “To hear him comparing me to him at the level he is at, I think that’s great.”

Tech was late to begin recruiting Hosley in January but it didn’t matter.  Hosley had been waiting for an offer from Tech for a while.

“I wanted a Virginia Tech offer,” said Hosley.  “If I got an offer from them, that’s where I was going.  After my visit, it sealed the deal.  They showed me around campus and the area.  It’s a nice campus with the scene.  The locker room was nice and the facilities were really good.  The coaches were really down to earth and the players were really cool.”

On Feb. 6, Hosley finally made his commitment to the Hokies.  With spring camps just around the corner, what can Hokie nation expect from the incoming freshman?

“He’s an explosive player,” said Santaluces Community High School football coach, Paul Meunier, a rival school to Atlantic.  “We were always cognoscente of where he was.  On special teams we tried to kick away from him because of that explosiveness.”

“He has the tools to be very good,” said Gray.  “He has instinct and play-making ability that will be a real asset to us.”

With the Beamerball philosophy of score on offense, defense, and special teams, Hosley will fit right into that.

“He had a lot of long plays and interceptions,” said Gray.  “The ball seemed to be a magnet to him.  The ball just seems to find this guy.”

When on the field as cornerback, Hosley doesn’t necessarily feel he is on defense.

“I always like to have the ball,” Hosley said.  “When the ball is in the air, it’s anybody’s ball.”

Hosley enjoys playing his part and being a good teammate.  No unnecessary flashy type moves after a play.

“I’m a laid-back player that likes to be aggressive,” said Hosley.  “Not so much an angry player.  I just like to make plays.”

That kind of attitude stems from Hosley’s family life.  He is extremely close with his family and the trip to Virginia from Florida won’t change anything.

“My family is number one for me,” said Hosley.  “They keep me focused and I like to spend time with them.  We are going to stay in contact and talk every week.  It won’t be too hard knowing they are behind me.”

Being a family is something the Blacksburg and Virginia Tech community knows all about, which is why it was taken into account during recruiting.

“The kid is very close with his family,” said Gray.  “I was impressed with how tight-knit they were.”

Hosley will soon become apart of the family and quickly get acquainted with the intensity of college level football.  The speed and complexity of the game is something both Gray and Meunier agree will be Hosley’s biggest challenge.

“For any high school player, the toughest task is adjusting to the speed of the game,” said Meunier.  “Even playing in the speed of varsity football here in south Florida wasn’t enough.”

“(First-year production) will depend on how well he can pick up the playbook mentally and translate that onto the field,” said Gray.

Hosley knows the challenge ahead of him and is ready to start.

Jayron Hosley

Jayron Hosley

“(I’ve got to) adapt to the college level, work hard and stay focused,” said Hosley.  “I expect to be great and get better every year, and be the top guy coming out of college to further my career.”

Expectations are something Hosley is ready to make a reality.  Those include continuing to be a great defense and winning a national title.

“It’s a really great defense now,” Hosley said.  “I’m a good player coming in, and we have more good layers coming in so we can be really great.  We have great potential and I think we can win one, two, or three (national championships).”

With all of the Brandon Flowers comparisons, let’s hope Hosley can help bring Hokie nation what it wants and what Flowers never could: its first BCS national championship.

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NHL 2008-2009 Predicted Final Division Standings

Ray Nimmo Nathan Skytta
Atlantic Division

Ray Nimmo Nathan Skytta
Northeast Division
Ray Nimmo Nathan Skytta
Southeast Division
Ray Nimmo Nathan Skytta
Central Division
Ray Nimmo Nathan Skytta
Northwest Division
Ray Nimmo Nathan Skytta
Pacific Division

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lace ’em up: The 2008 NHL season begins Saturday

Lace up your skates and hit the ice — it’s hockey time.

Ron Cortes/MCTPittsburg Penguins’ Sidney Crosby celebrates a goal by Ryan Malone during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The NHL season starts Saturday in Prague, Czech Republic, with the New York Rangers taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning. This season begins after numerous offseason signings and trades that are sure to shake up the standings. Will the Detroit Red Wings repeat? How will the local teams, Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, do? Which team is the dark horse? Which team will tumble into the depths of last place? Those questions will all be answered.

Following their Stanley Cup Finals victory, the Red Wings decided it would be best to sign another sniper — Marian Hossa. Surely, this will keep Detroit in the upper echelon of the Western Conference, but things will not be as easy this year. Goalie Dominik Hasek finally retired and defenseman Nick Lidstrom is one year older, as is Chris Chelios. Age has always been a factor for Detroit but they are winners in Hockeytown. However, the Central division, which Detroit is a part of, has been retooled and looks very formidable for the defending champs.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the team to watch in this division, and in the whole NHL. With their two young stars, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (both could be sophomores or juniors with us here at Virginia Tech), Chicago could easily challenge Detroit for the division crown. Its defense has been bolstered with offseason acquisition Brian Campbell, bringing offense to their blueline. The question mark for Chicago is its goaltender, Cristobal Huet. If he can match his second half of last season with Washington, Chicago will be in tremendous shape.

Let’s head back east and take a look at the defending Eastern Conference champions — the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens lost quite a few players in the offseason, namely Gary Roberts, Ryan Malone and, of course, Marian Hossa. This is going to hurt them this year. They are in one of the most difficult divisions in hockey, the Atlantic.

Philadelphia is the main opponent for the Pens. There was not much movement by the Flyers except a huge contract extension for young franchise man Mike Richards. The past year allowed Richards and Briere to gel, and let Braydon Coburn break out into a top defenseman.

The Rangers lost a lot with Jaromir Jagr going to Russia. All of that experience and scoring is now halfway around the world. The pressure now solely rests with centers Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, both entering their second year in Madison Square Garden. The Rangers front office did help the loss of Jagr by bringing in Markus Naslund and blueliner Wade Redden. It will be a three-team race for the Atlantic title, but all three will end up in the playoffs. That means the Devils are out.

We will stay in the Eastern Conference and look at the Southeast division, won last year by Washington. Alexander Ovechkin proved again why he is one of the best players in the game, every bit as good as Sidney Crosby. There is a problem for the Capitals, though — the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa yanked Barry Melrose away from ESPN to be head coach, and with a slew of signees things look bright for the Lightning. This is the dark horse for the NHL. It would not be surprising for them to make it to the Eastern Conference finals, if they can sure up the goaltending.

Wrapping up the east is the Northeast division. Montreal goalie Carey Price, said to be the second coming of Patrick Roy, proved his worth last year. The Canadians dumped some useless salary and are still attempting to bring in will-he-or-won’t-he free agent Mats Sundin, your Roger Clemens of hockey. They should finish first in the division.

Montreal’s archrival, Boston is going to turn some heads this year. Barring any more injuries, they will be contenders, along with Ottawa and Buffalo in the division. Ottawa is going backwards, and Buffalo is at a stalemate. Now is the time for Buffalo to make its move. Watch for a big trade deadline deal for the Bruins.

Back out west, we find the Northwest and Pacific divisions. In these two, you will find some of the best goaltending and defense in the NHL. It’s all about hardnosed hockey here, with the occasional sprinkling of offensive firepower in San Jose and Detroit. The Northwest division lost a lot of talent and players shifted around to teams in the same conference. Anybody can win the Northwest — it’s that simple. Every team has a solid defense backed by exceptional goaltending.

The Pacific division is home to a perennial regular season powerhouse, the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks’ problems come in the playoffs, and that is why they fired their coach Ron Wilson last year and brought in one of Detroit’s assistant coaches, Todd McClellan, to give the team a new, winning attitude. This coupled with the addition of a revamped blueline — Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich — means the pieces are once again in place for a deep playoff run.

The Stars and Ducks are going to give the Sharks everything they can handle, though, especially with goalies like Marty Turco and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Anaheim did not make any huge moves in the offseason, and Dallas lost a few key players from their Conference Finals run. That will not stop them from competing though. Both teams have superior coaches.

With all of that said, this looks to be another fantastic hockey season. More and more fans are tuning in and attending games, bringing back the love for hockey in America. It is truly a great and exciting sport. There is nothing more emotional in sports than seeing players lift the Stanley Cup after a strenuous eight-month journey. That journey begins tomorrow.

– Ray

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment