ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Virginia Tech won't be thinking only about football when the Hokies take the field during the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday.
The team will also have the victims of the mass shooting in Connecticut in mind, by honoring them with a special helmet decal.
Hokies players will wear the decal on the side of their helmets this week during practice in place of their usual helmet logo.
It features an orange and green folded ribbon, and includes ``VT'' and ``SH'' for Sandy Hook on opposite ends. It also includes the number ``58'' under the word ``Prevail.'' A smaller version will be worn on the back of their helmets during the game.
``It's just one of those things where we've been through what those people up in Sandy Hook are going through,'' Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. ``We got 58 on the helmet there - the number of guys between us and them that was needlessly killed. We prevailed in Blacksburg, and I think, if anything, it brought us closer and more determined. The same thing is going to happen there. I can just tell that community is coming together.''
Beamer said the decision to wear the decal during Friday's matchup with Rutgers was made because Virginia Tech - the site of a 2007 mass shooting - feels a kinship with the victims of the Dec. 14 shooting in which 20 children and six adults were killed.
The coaching staff will also honor the victims by wearing an orange, white and green ribbon, held together by a Virginia Tech pin on the side of their hats.
Thanks to his illustrious career at Miami, Sean Taylor caught the eyes of Joe Gibbs and the Redskins heading into the 2004 NFL Draft.
Not surprisingly, though, Washington wasn't the only franchise interested in adding a do-it-all, safety-in-a-linebacker's-body prospect to their defense.
In a terrific look-back at that draft from Sports Illustrated — a draft in which a record six Miami products went in the first 21 picks — you'll find this excerpt:
But at the last minute, the Browns, owners of the No. 7 pick, called asking to trade up. Butch Davis, Cleveland’s coach and EVP, had previously been the head coach at Miami and had recruited all six of these Hurricane prospects out of high school...
[Vinny] Cerrato says the Browns were coming for Taylor. Davis is more diplomatic about it: “It was probably about 60-40 that we would’ve taken Sean [over Winslow],” he says. He wanted to know what it’d cost to get Taylor. But Washington wasn’t budging. “There was no interest whatsoever,” Cerrato says. “We wanted Sean Taylor.”
Cleveland also reportedly contacted the Giants about their fourth overall selection so they could skip the 'Skins entirely, but New York ended up orchestrating their own deal to land Eli Manning.
Fortunately, the Burgundy and Gold stayed in place and got Taylor despite the calls. Often times, trading back in the draft is an attractive option. This time around, however, that option paled in comparison to the opportunity to acquire Taylor.
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Were the countless mock drafts not enough? Do you need a little more explanation before the nail-biter that is Round 1? NBC Sports has you covered.
Representatives from every branch of the NBC Sports Regional Network will be breaking down the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25th just hours before one of the most anticipated and nerve-wracking shows in all of sports. Beginning at 3 p.m. ET, experts and insiders will preview Round 1 and the draft needs of their network's respective teams.
So obviously, we've got Redskins insider JP Finlay on set and ready to discuss what's in store for the 2019 Burgundy and Gold.
<<CHECK OUT NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S LATEST NFL MOCK DRAFT>>
The special will be available exclusively on the MyTeams by NBC Sports App. If you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.
How to watch NBC Sports's 2019 Draft Preview Live Stream
When: Thursday, April 25th
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Who: JP Finlay and team-specific NFL experts across the Regional Sports Network
Steam: MyTeams App
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