- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 17, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va. — In a press conference yesterday for the upcoming Chick-fil-A Bowl, Virginia Tech fifth-year senior linebacker Brenden Hill said a lawsuit filed this week against former teammate Marcus Vick was without merit.

The $6.3 million suit claims Vick, a rookie receiver for the Miami Dolphins, engaged in a nearly two-year sexual relationship with a minor. An all-ACC quarterback for the Hokies, Vick — now 22 — was dismissed in January for persistent legal problems. He and Hill, who were teammates at Warwick High School, were roommates in September 2004 when they, along with then running back Mike Imoh, were convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for reportedly supplying underage girls with alcohol and encouraging them to strip.

The plaintiff identifies herself as the victim in the 2004 incident, when Vick confessed to police that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with the minor. The suit reportedly states the Christiansburg girl, now 17, also was persuaded to have sex with one of Vick’s teammates.

“We both feel like it’s … going to be gone,” said Hill, who still speaks to Vick on a daily basis. “It’s not a threat — it’s a threat because the media makes it a threat and things like that. But the logistics is I don’t think it has any merit to it at all.”

In the original criminal case, Vick received a 30-day suspended sentence, along with community service and a fine, and was ordered to have no contact with the victim. Criminal consequences could accompany the lawsuit.

“When it comes right down to it, we live in a very sick world,” Hill said. “People will do whatever they can to make something and try to get something from someone. Us being as close as we are, it hurt me just as much as it hurt him. … I think I’ve distanced myself enough that I won’t get dragged back in, but the thing about it is me and Marcus are very close.”

Ready for Ore

Standout redshirt sophomore tailback Branden Ore has almost fully recovered from a high ankle sprain suffered Nov. 18 in a win over Wake Forest and should be close to full speed for the Dec. 30 game against Georgia.

“The running’s not causing me the problem right now,” Ore said. “It’s more after the running and me sitting down for a while and the ankle getting stiff on me, that’s when the problems start. But as far as me running and cutting, things like that, I’m back to doing everything as normal. It’s just afterwards that’s causing the problems right now.”

Starting offensive guard Ryan Shuman, who has been out with a left knee injury since Oct. 26, also should return to action in time for the bowl game.

Shuman — a redshirt sophomore — underwent surgery to repair a partially torn ACL and will share time with redshirt senior back up Brandon Gore throughout this week’s practice.

“When it happened I was really scared; I was really flustered,” Shuman said.

“But the MRI, it panned out, so I’m feeling great about it.”

Lone All-American

Redshirt sophomore Brandon Flowers was the only Virginia Tech player named to the Associated Press All-America team this season.

The cornerback from Delray Beach, Fla., was awarded third-team honors, but even that was difficult for him to believe when assistant sports information director Bryan Johnston called to let him know.

“B.J. just called me and said congratulations. I went to Hokiesports and looked real quick … just to make sure. And then I called my family and let them know,” Flowers said.

The youngest of the five Virginia Tech corners to be named to an All-America team, he also earned all ACC honors. Barring a meltdown in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Hokies defense should finish as the best in college football for a second consecutive season.

“Our whole defense could have been All-American,” Flowers said

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