Pry hopes to make them tougher
By Marty Gordon
Virginia Tech jumpstarted its spring football practice this past week with second-year Coach Brent Pry looking to make his players tougher against all competition.
Matter of fact, he told reporters that might include bringing in a special consultant to instruct the team on hand-to-hand combat.
He might not have to look too far down the hallway as basketball Coach Mike Young has signed a new guard with lots of experience in dealing with much larger people, or at least his father has.
Brandon Rechsteiner is a 6-1 guard from Acworth, Ga. His game resembles current Hokie Sean Padulla as he averaged 22 points a game this past winter.
He chose the Hokies over Gonzaga, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), LSU, Xavier, Clemson and Notre Dame.
His father is “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner, who spent a career beating up people in the squared circle of professional wrestling.
The 6-1, 220 Steiner is perhaps best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and has also wrestled for Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/WWE), Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA, later Impact Wrestling), and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). He is a four-time world champion in wrestling, being a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWA World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion and a one-time WWA World Heavyweight Champion (Indianapolis version). He is the eighth WCW Triple Crown Champion.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Steiner wrestled alongside his older brother Rick as The Steiner Brothers. He has won several tag team titles, including the WWF Tag Team Championship, WCW World Tag Team Championship, IWGP Tag Team Championship, and the TNA/Impact World Tag Team Championship. He headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WCW and TNA.
On the practice, Pry said the Hokies’ roster will look a lot different.
“The investment and sacrifice are much better,” said Pry. “We’re now heading into phase two, which is really good for us. It’s taking everything we did in phase one into phase two, which is spring. We are really excited about that. The roster looks completely different, and we got some new coaching changes.”
“Watching the guys work this morning, they’re really efficient and smooth in what they’re doing,” Pry continued. “I’m fired up we got an open practice for everybody on March 25. We did this last year and have another one this spring, which will be in Lane Stadium. I believe that’s our fifth practice. It will be a chance for everybody to come out and see what we’re about.”
Tech added 19 newcomers for the spring semester, with 13 of the players being on offense, five on defense and one specialist. Wide receiver was the position group with the most influx (5), while offensive line was a close second (4).
Of course, two new assistants had to jump into the deep end of spring ball. Pry called it a crash course.
“There’s some familiarity, right? Through the interview process you have a lot of discussions on Zoom. You can talk multiple times and talk technique and fundamentals. Where we’re at. What they believe in. Philosophies. And then familiarity with the offenses they’ve been around. That was important in the process. It sure makes the transition better when there’s a lot of familiarity,” he said.
Virginia Tech recently announced the addition of Ron Crook as offensive line coach. Crook’s career has spanned three decades and includes stops at Cincinnati, West Virginia, Stanford, Harvard and Illinois, while spending the previous season at South Dakota.
Maryland’s Elijah Brooks was named running backs coach, following a successful run with the Terps and powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School.
The Hokies will hold their annual Spring Game, presented by PMSI, in Lane Stadium on Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. More specifics about that day’s events will be released when finalized.
Registration is also now open for Virginia Tech’s annual 3.2-mile Run in Remembrance, which will take place that Saturday, April 15. The event will begin with a moment of silence at 9 a.m. to honor and remember the lives of the 32 students and faculty who were tragically taken from us in 2007. The event’s 3.2-mile loop around the Blacksburg campus begins and ends on the Virginia Tech Drillfield near the April 16 Memorial and passes by landmarks such as the Duck Pond, the Grove, the Virginia Tech Pylons and will take runners and walkers through Lane Stadium.
Visit RecSports.VT.edu/RunFor32 for registration details, T-shirt purchasing options and event updates. For more information on Day of Remembrance activities, visit WeRemember.VT.edu.