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Virginia Tech spring football practice: John Graves earns lunch pail

Virginia Tech prides itself in having a defense so tough it is symbolized by a lunch pail carried by the player considered the leader of the unit. It is a high Hokies honor, and in 2010, the lunch pail will be carried by tackle John Graves.

"That's a very honorable thing in our eyes," defensive coordinator Bud Foster said of being selected to carry the lunch pail. "That tells you how I feel about John."

Graves is a rising fifth-year senior and the anchor of the Hokies' depleted defensive line, on which he will be the only starter returning.

He started in only eight games last season because of a sprained ankle, which limited his quickness and his strength at the line of scrimmage. Graves finished with 15 tackles, 10 quarterback hurries and a sack.

Graves is considered a consistent, hard worker and also performs well in the classroom. He was named to the 2009 ACC all-academic team and is graduating this summer with a double major in psychology and sociology.

By Mark Viera  |  April 1, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
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