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Wednesday links

ATLANTA -- Good morning from the Marriott Marquis, where there is Chick-fil-A Bowl paraphernalia all over the place and Virginia Tech players, coaches and school officials in the lobby, on the elevators and in the workout room.

Here are some links to start your Wednesday.

When Virginia Tech is mentioned, so is Beamer Ball. And because the Tennessee, which meets the Hokies at the Georgia Dome on Thursday, does not place the same emphasis on special teams, there seems to be some concern about how the third facet might affect the game. Just how stark is the disparity between the emphasis on special teams? Virginia Tech's units are coached by Frank Beamer. Tennessee currently does not have a special teams coach, after Eddie Gran left Knoxville last month for an associate head coaching position at Florida State.

In the lead up to Thursday's game, there has been plenty of talk about Volunteers safety Eric Berry. He is only a junior, but he is one of the best players in the nation, and he seems destine to be NFL material. Berry says he has made up his mind about whether to leave Tennessee a year early for the draft, but he will not announce his decision until after the game.

Meanwhile, Randy King of the Roanoke Times writes about a name that has not received much mention here, or even in Blacksburg. The veteran Virginia Tech scribe did a piece on Hokies fullback Kenny Jefferson. Although Jefferson is not in the limelight -- he has not scored a touchdown -- his role is unquestionably important. Running back Ryan Williams is so grateful he said he would give anything to give him one of my touchdowns."

By Mark Viera  |  December 30, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
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