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Posted at 2:51 PM ET, 12/29/2010

RB Ryan Williams nursing a hamstring injury again

By Mark Giannotto

The Virginia Tech football team held its first practice in South Florida Wednesday afternoon at Nova Southeastern University, and the big news (other than the great weather) was the blue jersey donned by running back Ryan Williams. That means he's only available for limited action at practice right now.

During his chat with reporters, Coach Frank Beamer said Williams tweaked the same right hamstring injury that sidelined him for four games earlier this season during the Hokies pre-bowl practices in Blacksburg. Wednesday's practice was open to reporters for about 15 minutes and over that period, I didn't see Williams taking part in any drills. He did seem to walking with a slight limp as well.

"We’ll see what happens today and tomorrow and we’ll move from there," Beamer said of the situation.

If there's one position group where the Hokies can lose someone, it's at running back. Junior Darren Evans and sophomore David Wilson were already splitting carries with Williams in a running back rotation, and the two have combined for 1,433 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground this year.

Williams, meanwhile, has rushed for 473 yards and nine touchdowns. He's scheduled to speak with reporters Thursday morning, so we should have an update by then.

More news and notes

*I'll have more on this for a story in Friday's paper, but defensive coordinator Bud Foster has yet to inform his linebackers who will be starting in next Monday's game now that Lyndell Gibson is out with a shoulder injury. The only thing for certain is that sophomore Bruce Taylor will start, but it's unclear whether he'll play his normal middle linebacker position or Gibson's outside linebacker spot.

Redshirt freshmen Tariq Edwards and Jack Tyler and redshirt junior Barquell Rivers could all see action as well. Edwards, who had a nice interception during the open portion of practice, told me he thinks Foster is waiting to see how each player does this week before making a decision.

*Beamer confirmed that no players are academically ineligible for next Monday's game. He has, however, been adamant that while this trip is a reward for a great season, it is a business trip. Curfew during the week is midnight, except on New Year's Eve when it will be extended to 1 a.m.

"I think to have a good practice the next day, you need to be in getting your rest and I think the players certainly agree with that," Beamer said. "You want them to enjoy the week, but it’s a serious bowl game that we’re getting ready to play in.”

*One reporter joked with Beamer that the Hokies certainly aren't traveling incognito this week. Their team buses are plastered with a picture of the team's seniors posing with Beamer during a photo shoot before the season. Given how this team rallied around its seniors to recover from such a disastrous start this year, "it's kind of fitting," Beamer said.

*Virginia Tech will wear orange helmets and all white uniforms for the first time ever in next Monday's game. Many players were wearing those helmets during practice today. In the past, Beamer was against much orange in the Hokies color scheme during game days, but he's changed his mind with the helmets.

"I think the kids like to change up the uniform and I kind of like it," he said. They’re gonna be different when you see them out there in the white uniforms.”

By Mark Giannotto  | December 29, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
 
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Comments

Fridge coming to Blacksburg. Bank on it. And he will be very well received. Class act.

Posted by: hokiescott | December 29, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

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