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Rookie Camp Odds and Ends: Who Are These Guys? Gobbler Country Gives Us Some Inside Information on New Faces.

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As the Buccaneer's rookie minicamp continues, it seems like a prudent time to check in with someone who can give us a little bit of inside information on some of the new guys donning pewter and red.  Since the Buccaneers have taken a particular interest to so many former Virginia Polytechnic Institute Hokies, Gobbler Country was kind enough to give us a little inside information on how these guys performed at Tech.  Without further ado, I yield the floor.....

P Brent Bowden: Really, really high on him. He improved every year he was at Virginia Tech and we got spoiled by him. In college football you're not supposed to assume that your punter is going to boom one out of your own territory or pin the other team inside the 20 every time. We won't realize how much we miss him until whatever young punter we stroll out this year shanks one. As far as being a sixth round pick? I don't know. I'm in the camp that says you never spend ANY draft pick on a kicker, but hey, whatever.


S Cody Grimm: Everyone loves the guy. His nickname over at my blog was "The Deathbacker". This started out as a nickname for his position (Whip LB), but Grimm played the position so well, it became more his than the position's. At Tech, the whip is a hybrid linebacker/defensive end whose often times asked to blitz and create chaos in general. Grimm was extraordinary at it and his masterpiece was the NC State game last year. He forced three fumbles on the Wolfpack's first four plays from scrimmage. We recovered two of them, one by Grimm (on the very first play). In the NFL, he may be a tweener, but he'll be a boon for special teams at the very least. We've had a few tweeners stick around in the NFL for a while, including Kevin McCadam, who may be a good comparison to Grimm.

G Sergio Render: Best pulling guard I've seen at Virginia Tech. Coming into the year, Phil Steele had him at or near the top (I'll have to check) in his guard rankings for the whole country. He had a weightroom injury in which in injured a pec muscle prior to the Georgia Tech game. I think this effected him the rest of the season and probably hurt his draft stock. I don't know how he'll be in the NFL because I don't know what the differences are between NFL guards and college guards, but at our level he was really good.

LB/DE Nekos Brown: Benefited from having Jason Worilds on the other side of the field, but was still a very capable pass rusher for the Hokies.

TE Greg Boone: Another guy Hokie fans loved. He came to Blacksburg as a quarterback before moving to tight end. He's pretty athletic for as big as he is, but was another guy who had an injury that plagued him throughout the year. He injured his collar bone/chest in our first game against Alabama, which kept him from getting any of the carries out of Tech's version of the Wildcat that people saw in 2009.
Craig T: Although I didn't see Greg Boone's name on the list of camp invitees, the remainder are in Tampa right now trying to impress enough to get an invite to training camp in July.  When you compare these players' listed positions with the areas of need on the Buccaneers' roster, there's no doubt there is at least a slight window of opportunity there for some of these guys.  Render is a guy who could be a bargain and a surprise player....at a position that the Buccaneers need help, no less.  Brown is a tweener who looks to be more of a natural fit as a 3-4 OLB based on his size and pass rushing skillset.  Bowden will almost certainly get some competition, but I like his combination of a consistent big leg and touch to drop the ball inside the 20.  Grimm seems like a ball of hustle and grit who, if he sticks around, could be a contributor on special teams.  He certainly defied the odds and expectations by walking on, patiently waiting his turn, securing the starting position, and putting up significant numbers for the Hokies last season.
A big thanks to Gobbler Country.  Make sure to check them out for all of your Virginia Tech needs!