By Norm Wood">

Friday steps up at defensive end

As if earning the praise of

Virginia Tech


Frank Beamer

throughout spring practice wasn't enough, defensive end

Steven Friday

provided another glimpse Saturday of the transformation he has made.

Friday, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior from Phoebus High, had two sacks in the spring game. His biggest sack came in the third quarter when he blew past left tackle

Andrew Lanier

and hit quarterback

Logan Thomas

in the end zone for a safety.

"I think it's his time," Beamer said. "He's playing hard. He's playing fast. Being at that position for a while, I think he understands his role a little bit better. I'd like to see him get just five, six or seven pounds heavier, but you notice the guy. ... His speed off the edge there has become a factor."

Friday had a special message to deliver to former Tech defensive end

Jason Worilds

, who bypassed his senior season at Tech to declare for the


draft. Worilds was selected in the second round by the

Pittsburgh Steelers


"I feel like it is my time," said Friday, who is No. 1 on the depth chart at Worilds' former spot. "I feel like I've been here long enough. ... Congrats to Jason Worilds for going to the league and giving me an opportunity to play. I've got to make the most of it."

Up to his old tricks

Running back

Darren Evans

, who missed last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, didn't make much of an impact on the final stat sheet, with just five carries for 8 yards. Yet he still managed to make his presence felt on his first carry.

After taking a handoff from

Tyrod Taylor

, Evans ran to the right before dipping a shoulder and plowing through free safety

Antone Exum

, who made the tackle flat on his back. Evans gained 4 yards, and a standing ovation from the crowd.

"I guess that was me just trying to get myself back into it," Evans said. "My style is just basically to try and challenge people. (Exum) was the first person I saw."

Evans drew a lot of attention in the backfield because

Ryan Williams

sat out the scrimmage with a minor knee bruise.

Spring awards

The Peninsula District was well-represented when Tech's spring practice awards were announced at halftime of the game.

Redshirt freshman defensive end

James Gayle

, a Bethel High product, earned the defensive

Paul Torgersen

Award, which is given to the top newcomers during spring practice.

Taylor, a Hampton High alum, was given the offensive President's Award for players who demonstrate the most outstanding leadership during the off-season program and spring practice. He also won the offensive

George Preas

Award, which goes to the most valuable spring practice performers.

Friday picked up the defensive

Dr. Richard Bullock

Award, which is awarded to the players who show the most improvement during spring practice.

An NFL who's who

In addition to

Philadelphia Eagles


Michael Vick

, Tech introduced at halftime 12 other Hokie football alums who are currently playing in the NFL.

Among the defensive guests were

Houston Texans

linebacker and Phoebus product

Xavier Adibi


Buffalo Bills

defensive end and Bethel alum

Chris Ellis


Kansas City Chiefs


Brandon Flowers

, Eagles defensive back

Victor "Macho" Harris

, Eagles defensive end

Darryl Tapp


Tennessee Titans

defensive back

Vincent Fuller


New Orleans Saints

defensive back

Pierson Prioleau


From the offensive side,

Miami Dolphins

offensive lineman

Jake Grove


New York Jets

wide receiver

David Clowney


Washington Redskins

offensive lineman

Will Montgomery


Baltimore Ravens


Justin Harper

were introduced. Free-agent kicker

Shayne Graham

also was honored.


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