Virginia Tech report
Hokies uncertain about Hall's availability for Tuesday
Posted: Monday January 03, 2000 10:15 AM
Hokies coach Frank Beamer hopes returner Ricky Hall can make a miraculous appearance in the Sugar Bowl. Doug Pensinger /Allsport
NEW ORLEANS (CNN/SI) -- The last thing one wants before a national championship game is a freak injury. But there was Virginia Tech senior wide receiver Ricky Hall on crutches at the Hokies' practice Sunday afternoon.
Hokies coach Frank Beamer said Sunday that he will wait until shortly before game time to decide if Hall can play.
"I don't know if he'll be able to play or not," Beamer said. "It doesn't look great."
Hall, who is second on the team in receiving with 25 catches for 398 yards and three touchdowns, broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during a routine passing drill at practice at Tulane Friday.
The injury wasn't thought to be serious at the time, but Hall was clearly upset about it Sunday as he asked not to be interviewed.
"I'm not talking about it," said Hall, who had a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Hokies' 43-10 victory over Miami.
Hall had his foot at a bad angle during the drill.
"I rolled it," he said in an earlier interview on Saturday. "I was standing wrong and the pass was behind me. This is real disappointing, but stuff happens for a reason. I need to play and I want to play. I just have to keep rehabilitating and get ready to go. I'll wear a splint and see what I can do. I have to suck it up if at all possible and help this team. It's all a matter of what I can handle."
Virginia Tech trainer Mike Goforth said Hall will be given a custom-molded plastic splint for inside his shoe should he play.
"Chances are that he won't play," Goforth said.
If Hall does not play, sophomore Emmett Johnson is expected to replace him at wide receiver. Johnson caught 10 passes this season for 147 yards and one touchdown.
Cornerback Ike Charlton will return punts whether Hall plays or not.
Junior tailback Andre Kendrick said it will be a large loss if Hall can't play.
"He's one of our top receivers and our best kick returner," Kendrick said. "Some of our other guys are just going to have to step up. But if I know Ricky, he'll be out there if it's medically possible. If they have to shoot him up (with cortisone) he'll be out there playing."
Beamer continued his support of defensive end Corey Moore, whose profanity-laced comments attracted a lot of attention at Media Day Friday.
"Corey Moore is one of the most competitive people I've ever seen," Beamer said while his team practiced at Tulane Sunday. "He does everything full speed. One thing I do know about him is that he's always got the heart of this football team as his top priority. He wants what's best for this football team. What happened puts him in a bad light, but I know he's a good and caring person who's going to law school."
Practice report: Only wide receiver Ricky Hall (foot) missed practice Sunday.
Big Easy Lifestyle
The City That Care Forgot has had its effect on some Hokie players.
"Actually, some of the guys who usually drink a lot aren't down here," tailback Andre Kendrick said. (But) I've seen a couple of new faces drinking."
Virginia Tech will work out in the Superdome for the first time Monday afternoon after practicing at Tulane for the last week. But the workout will be only a walk-through. The only other time the Hokies were in the Superdome since their arrival was for Friday's Media Day.
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