Vick sits out Hokies practice, but runs on trampoline

Thursday, November 2nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ Michael Vick, despite exercising his injured ankle on a trampoline, failed to meet his own deadline for returning to football practice in time to expect to start when No. 2 Virginia Tech plays at No. 3 Miami on Saturday.

But Vick, recuperating from a sprained right ankle suffered last week against Pittsburgh, still hasn't been ruled out as the starter.

``We haven't named a starting quarterback yet,'' coach Frank Beamer said before his quarterback skipped practice Wednesday. ``We're planning on Dave Meyer being our quarterback, but we'll have to wait and see.

``I think Michael is getting better, but I don't know if there's enough time. He's still questionable, and it is going to be a last-minute decision.''

Vick, whose game centers on speed and elusiveness, got his first chance to try a special brace molded to his foot Wednesday, and he used it while jumping on a mini-trampoline. He also threw lightly.

``I'm better, but I'm still not able to do what I do,'' he said.

Earlier this week, Vick said he thought he would have to return to practice by Wednesday if he expected to start against the Hurricanes.

Beamer has said all week the Hokies have to plan as if Meyer will start their toughest game of the season, a game likely to decide the conference title and knock the loser from the national championship race.

Meyer, a fifth-year senior, was 7-for-13 for 114 yards in the 37-34 victory over Pittsburgh, driving the Hokies to a last-minute field goal.

But the Hokies, winners of five straight against Miami in one of the college game's growing rivalries, would love to have Vick, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate and one of football's most exciting players.

``He's still improving day to day, ... but it's a long way from doing what he needs to do in a game,'' trainer Mike Goforth said. ``We're going to have to see how he looks in warm-ups.''

With Vick's availability in question, the Hokies have second-string tailback Andre Kendrick taking some snaps at quarterback as an emergency third-stringer behind Meyer and Grant Noel. Kendrick was an all-state high school quarterback at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va., in 1995.

Also Wednesday, three other Hokies nursing injuries returned to practice, but wide receivers Andre Davis and Emmett Johnson and linebacker Ben Taylor all were restricted to limited contact.

Davis, who has missed 1 1/2 games with bursitis in his left ankle, is still listed as day-to-day, Goforth said, while the other two should be ready Saturday. Taylor sprained his right ankle in practice Tuesday, and Johnson has a bruised right quadriceps and strained left shoulder.