Thoughts after Digesting the "Spring Outlook"

BREAKING: SPRING PRACTICE STARTS TODAY. HokieSports.com posted the "Spring Outlook" yesterday. It contains good information from the coaches about what to expect this spring. My thoughts follow, please leave your's below. Football season, if only for a month, is here.

Offensive Line

The coaches are depending on Nick Becton, "coaches want him to be the catalyst for the offensive line," and Vinston Painter, "a key part of Tech's plan along the offensive front," to bookend an inexperienced group. I'm probably reading into things, but it's curious that Michael Via is listed as the third center. I know he's injured, but other players, Bruce, Hop, G-W, etc... are in the order you'd expect them to be.

Brent Benedict is the starter at right guard for now, but the position is "wide open". As I said before, I think the favorites are Benedict and Laurence Gibson, but I wouldn't count out backup left guard Matt Arkema or backup center Caleb Farris.

Coach Newsome makes a great point, "Competing every day against a defensive line that has all its players back will help us." Unlike the last few years, I hope we see ones versus ones in the Maroon-White game so we have a more realistic understanding of where the o-line is at.

Receivers & Tight Ends

One of: Corey Fuller, E.L. Smiling (happiest football name ever?), Kevin Asante, Christian Reeves or Demitri Knowles need to get that fourth receiver spot on lock-down. Otherwise, we're going to have to depend on Joel Caleb being six-feet and two-inches of magic come fall.

Demitri Knowles in on the fast-track (oh, you better believe pun intended) to being a return man this fall.

Randall Dunn got name dropped all over the place. Stinespring, "We would like to get Randall Dunn in a position where he will help us every down, that he will be a catalyst in our offense." He's described as having, "the ball skills of an H-back". Interesting. Dunn is athletic, and could create a mess of matchup problems in "spread" formations.

Running Backs & QBs

Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman are listed as co-starters in the two-deep. Holmes doesn't have a minute of playing time under his belt, and Coleman hasn't taken a single carry in practice. They're both talented backs, and their skill sets should compliment each other. I'm not worried about them making plays with the ball, they'll do that just fine. However, I'll be paying attention to how block in pass protection and pick up the blitz.

If there's ever been a necessary statistic absent from a media guide, it's how many fools Logan Thomas trucked in 2011. We have a 6-6, 262 pound wrecking ball at quarterback, can we celebrate that a bit more?

Defensive Line

The entire two-deep returns. #Pray4Hokies2012Opponents

Coach Wiles, "We want to get a two-deep where there is not any drop off, and we can just roll guys in there." Even my wife doesn't talk that dirty to me.

Like Atlantic teammate Luther Maddy, will Dadi Nicolas be another diamond in the rough? Problem, "He has the skill set to become a top newcomer. The redshirt freshman works hard and plays like everything is on the line. He's hungry and the only thing missing is reps. Solution, "Will get as many reps as possible".

Antoine Hopkins is listed on the depth cart at 318 pounds, he opened last year against Appalachian State at 302.

Linebackers

Reps, on reps, on reps, on reps for Jack Tyler at Mike and Chase Williams at Backer.

Ronny Vandyke redshirted and practiced at Rover in the fall. Now he's listed as the co-backup at Whip with Alonzo Tweedy, ahead of Nick Dew. Vandyke is 6-3, 215. Cornell, "The main focus is going to be on coverage and the ability to not only cover receivers, but also tight ends and running backs. There will be more emphasis placed on that than in the past." Vandyke's a load, wouldn't be overpowered by a tight end and can move around the field. The move makes a little more sense now.

Defensive Secondary

Y U NO HAVE MORE CORNERS DB-U? Kyle Fuller, Antone Exum and Donaldven Manning are the only ones profiled. Walk-on Carl Jackson is the 4th man on the two-deep.

If Michael Cole or Boye Aromire, backups at safety and Rover respectively, have a breakout spring it could push either starter Kyshoen Jarrett or Detrick Bonner back over to corner.

Will Jarrett and Bonner be able to make all the calls, and orchestrate the secondary?

There isn't a lot of depth, but there are a lot of interchangeable parts, and that can be just as valuable.

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Comments

I think you're reading the guide wrong. The individual player descriptions seem to be ordered by class, not by the 2-deep, which only seems to be represented on the first page. Holmes is listed as the starter in the 2-deep, with JC Coleman as the backup along with Scales, not as a costarter. Via is not listed as the 3rd Center, nor are Bruce or Hop listed in the 2-deep (JGW is, which seems to be a mistake... it says later that he's still out for the spring as expected and that Tweedy is the spring starter).

That's a lot of weight on Hop. Hope he's in good playing shape come the fall.

ok, ignore the comment about individual players ordered by class... don't know what I was thinking there. They only seem to be doing that where there's no clearer ordering, which makes more sense.

I can picture someone in the media office laughing at our attempts to filter through contradictory clues (aka mistakes) in this guide...

Tony Gregory

"could be tried in the secondary when he returns to action"... really?

well, he sure as hell isn't a running back

Viva El Guapo

um

correct.

#vtarch

but to move a guy to a completely new and unrelated position his senior year, especially when he's out for the spring... did he play corner in HS or anything?

I believe he's a redshirt junior, not senior. Realistically speaking, if he we practicing this spring he'd be behind Holmes and Coleman. Then he'd have to compete with highly rated group of backs coming in this summer. I'm not saying he couldn't earn carries, but he's tall and very fast, why not give him a shot a corner? What's the downside? If he shows something and can provide depth, great, otherwise he goes right back to tailback.

man, I'm really off today. You're right, he's a r-Jr. Makes a lot more sense in that case.

I'm sure he saw the writing on the wall

Wouldn't be shocked if moving to corner was partially his idea. He won't get time at RB barring major injuries.

I hope they put Fuller in bubble wrap

He's maybe the one guy they can't afford to lose on defense, given the state of the secondary.

as a matter of fact

kyle needs to just be recruiting his little bro. ;)

#vtarch

Speaking of which

I was on campus a bit earlier today and happened to see Kendall with the rest of the Fuller family (other than Kyle) on campus walking around. Might be in town for the start of spring practice/Kendall visiting. Can only be a good sign I'd say...

Logan 3:16

Also looks like

Kendall will be there on Friday as well. Stopping to visit family on route to his U of Tennessee recruiting weekend. It appears Kendall will have no shortage of VT visits this spring.

Classic Stiney

TE's as the catalyst haha

UVA: Jefferson's biggest mistake

@pbowman6

WHY IS DEMLER STILL ON THE TEAM?

Someone tell me he is not eating a scholarship. I thought he was a senior last season. What about that girl kicker?

@AndyBitterVT: Frank Beamer wasn't lying about everybody who can kick getting to. Branthover, Demler, Goulding and Hutcheson all kicked and punted. #Hokies

What amazed me

was that Journell is still listed as scholarship....I guess they're waiting for the wheels of justice to slowly turn...meanwhile, we tie up a scholarship with this guy.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Chris Colston tweeted yesterday,

"On Saturday, Lauren Luttrell will be 1 of 16 kickers in open #VirginiaTech tryout. ESPN The Magazine will interview her."

Mike Barber's tweet: "Tech QB Logan Thomas on the line: “O-line will be fine like always. Coach Newsome will get them right.” #Hokies"

I feel better already.

Kind of.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

@VT_Warthog