Defensive Line Note: Vinny Mihota to get Reps at DT

According to the latest interview with Bud Foster on Hokiesports.com, Vince Mihota will get reps inside to back up Luther Maddy as the No. 2, three-technique defensive tackle.

"We're also going to probably look at Vinny Mihota some inside," Foster said in the interview while discussing depth along the defensive line.

Foster's initial stream of consciousness suggested that this is a short term move, necessitated by "class conflicts" with guys who may miss some practice time (I am guessing that would be Wade Hansen). He also said it gives the Hokie defensive staff an opportunity to get Mihota more reps and time on the field for evaluation.

Interestingly though, Foster finished the thought with, "He's going to grow into that [defensive tackle] position when it's all said and done."

Given how highly recruited Mihota was, and how Foster's compared Mihota to John Engelberger, who was one of the top defensive ends to ever play at Virginia Tech, I think some will be surprised by the move inside. At the same time, Engelberger came to Tech as a 6-4, 215 pound walk-on defensive end, while Mihota is already 6-5, 250+ with a body that can grow comfortably to the 270-280 range without losing much in the way of speed.

For those of you keeping score at home, factoring in Foster making special mention of Corey Marshall, emphasis is my own, "It's nice to have Corey Marshall back. I'm hoping he'll be consistent in all aspects, and if he does he's got a chance to really be a dynamic player for us", the defensive line depth chart probably looks like this.

Stud Nose Tackle End
Dadi Nicolas Corey Marshall Luther Maddy Ken Ekanem / Seth Dooley
Dewayne Alford Nigel Williams Vinny Mihota

Comments

Interesting. I do wish we would keep some of these big bodies on the edge for a change though. Any time we get a DE that is over 240 he becomes a DT

I think if we didn't have such a glaring hole at DT (especially with a class conflict), Foster would be much more hesitant to move Mihota inside. Nothing wrong with having him on the edge as a bigger guy, so long as he maintains his quickness, but when you've got bodies at DE and not so many bodies at DT, it definitely forces Bud's hand a little bit. I think it's more a product of the system we run that we move bigger DEs inside. Bud wants quick, explosive, disruptive DEs, not big, lumbering, block-eating ends like you'd see in a 3-4. Not saying a 270lb guy can't be explosive, but it's generally harder to do that if you're lugging around a bunch of extra weight.

I'm assuming next week he'll be a tight end? Sky's the limit from there. Quarterback, offensive tackle...

Is he the tallest DT we've had in a while then?

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Both Mihota and Hansen would fit that tall lean DT archetype that I can't remember being there since Chad Beasely. Even the taller guys they have had LOOKED stocky since Beasley.

Viva El Guapo

And Beasely was a middle linebacker in high school. I know that first hand.

Viva El Guapo

When I think of a tall lean DT, the first one that comes to mind for me is Dwayne Johnson from Miami back in the early 90s. Listed at 6'5" and 270.

Wonder where he ended up...

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

When VT DL coaches think about tall lean DTs, they think OL.

No idea how this is not a recurring nightmare on the recruiting trail. And I understand that some kids talents might best be used in certain positions.

I didn't listen to the old guys when they said this, thinking that certainly it couldn't be this way. A few years later, I feel like we've seen this movie before.

Upshot is we could end up with some stud OL in the league.

Yeah, Under Siege was okay. Under Siege 2, meh. Dwayne should have stuck with the martial arts after leaving football.

Edit: yes, martial, screwed that one up.


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

With me, it's marital.
HAYYOO

What's Important Now?
The Lunchpail. The Hammer. BeamerBall.
Deal some damage boys

Interesting move. Quick question for French or any of the terminology gurus: what defines a nose tackle? In my naive view, I always equated NT with the middle guy in a 3-man front, lined up over center. I'm guessing that's not true, or otherwise Foster's scheme modifies that terminology.

Thanks for the question. We have a Hokie Football 101 with the defensive line terminology and "technique"
(which basically describes the alignment of each player.)

At a very high level, the stud and defensive tackle play over the right side of the offensive line. The nose and end play over the left side of the offensive line. The "technique" (where they line up) changes depending on the defensive call, offensive alignment, etc.

Viva El Guapo

That's a lot of question marks, but on the up side that's a WHOLE lot of athleticism on the depth chart.

What's the word on Woody Baron? Last I heard he was still on the inside

RealDiehl

I think he still has the foot injury

Hokie Hokie Hokie high

Yep, on he is on crutches with an ankle injury.

Viva El Guapo

Seeing how thin and inexperienced some of the guys are in the listed two deep, it makes me wonder how we missed on a guy like Nnadi. Hopefully Ricky Walker will provide a boost.

I bet you $$ FSU sold Nnadi on the idea of being a 3-4 DE the same way UVA probably sold Brown on the idea of being a 3-4 DE #NoFunLeague

How much you want to bet he ends up playing OG at FSU?

dont think so Nnadi is barely 6ft1 tall. All DT imo

In a picture I remember him looking much bigger than 6ft1.... looked like a legit 6 2 or 6 3... but I have to imagine that his listed height is 6ft1 and is probably generous... no way he goes OL if he is that short

seems like a good kid... would have slotted into our line... will be interesting to see how he does on FSU's DL

Reference Nnadi bud foster also thought he would be a guard

Barry Booker was 6'4 and 290...but he looked a lot leaner than that...him and carlton powell played great together..

Thanks for the update, French. I think this is a great move, especially if at least two of these three things happen:

1. Hansen winds up a permanent factor in this depth chart. Seems plausible, but we just don't know yet.
2. Corey Marshall sticks around. So much potential, really hope this happens.
3. One of our three true frosh can contribute in year one. Would think this is possible as a 4th or 5th DT.

Assuming two happen, you have this fall: Lu, Nigel, Woody, Corey/Wade, one of Walker/Bronson/Sobczak
Assuming one, you have: Lu, Nigel, Woody, Vinny, Corey/Wade/Ricky/Kevin/Steve

Not bad. And if Vinny gets moved back to end full time, he'll have some reps all over and I think that's something to be excited about. Looking forward to seeing this guy line up for us, either spot.

Hokiesambo - spot on about Nnadi. What a miss that was.

Row Z forever.
@AdamAbramson

Man looking at that potential depth chart you really see how important it is going to be for Ricky Walker to come in and be a force.

Dont see this as permanent, probably a wait and see on his growth I Think his height and only being 249lbs wont allow for enough leverage to play inside this year. Seems like they have a shirt in store for Mr Mihota. I thought he had a good chance to contribute early at DE. Maybe he didnt show enough speed for outside yet this spring. Time will tell. still one of my favorites in this class.

I would like to be optimistic and say it's just for Spring depth.

In reality, I know better. This is the #1 reason we struggle recruiting the top d-linemen. Obviously Bud and Charlie get the best out of the guys but we must be larger up front to ever contend for a national championship.

So, we should let 18 year old kids decide what position to play rather than play the position the coaches (who are payed money to do this) think they would be better suited at that? Under that logic, I would have never amounted to much in any sport.

called this the day he committed. was told i was wrong. ahem.

I stand corrected. For the record, I would keep him at end. They just don't have the numbers.

Viva El Guapo

no worries, i just see the pattern clearly.

he won't be the only de to make that move this spring, btw

Yep. I fully expect Bronson to move inside. Of course, he was mostly playing DT anyway in high school.

Missing on Jonathan Allen will hurt for a long time. He was a perfect VT DE type

Viva El Guapo

Bronson isn't moving inside, he's starting inside. Recruited to play DT for us all the way, despite what Rivals etc listing him at DE.

Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Whitley, Hosley, Fuller, Exum

French, how badly does this kind of stuff (plus the Teller move) hurt us with recruiting top-end defensive linemen, especially at end? Is it a non-issue? Bronson's another prospect that seems destined to move inside once he gets here too. Can't help but think this musical chairs thing is used against us by other schools.

Random note - was Noland Burchette a DE? Dude was a big boy that seriously got after the passer if I remember correctly. He was nasty in the Gator Bowl.

I can't wait to see him go into seek and destroy mode on the field

I support Coach Frank Beamer.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

I think I more excited at seeing this after a 3rd down sack to get the defense off the field.

"W-I-N (What's Important Now) To make change; To influence; To use this moment to be better than the last; To achieve greatness in all aspects of your life; Win at home. Win at school. Win at business. Win at life." - Bud Foster

Can you imagine what our D-line would look like had we not gone down to Delray Beach, FL in January 2011? Both Maddy and Nicolas (Wedley Estime at the time) committed the day before National Signing Day.

French, how do our coaches try and sell all this four & five star defensive line talent in our area on playing for VT when, as you pointed out previously, our scheme isn't necessarily conducive for playing in the NFL?

How would you pitch Virginia Tech to a Shy Tuttle, Tim Settle or Michael Barnett when they can go anywhere in the country and opposing coaches are pointing out our success rate (or lack thereof) of defensive linemen in the NFL?

I would love to hear your thoughts because this is the area (along with LB) where I would love to see Foster have more talent especially considering how many elite in-state players the state of Virginia is producing right now.

1) "our system turned average players into stars, imagine what it can do for a player of your ability "which is true because VT has not landed an elite DT recruit since Bruce Smith.

2) Success. The system works. Winning is fun. Sacks are fun. Dominating is fun.

3) NFL success. More and more teams are moving to 3-4 looks, and Seattle used many if the same concepts that Foster uses. VT's inside linebacker essentially have the same responsibility as 3-4 ILBs. If VT can land an NFL caliber talent, they will go on to NFL success regardless of the system they played in college. Earl Campbell was a wishbone halfback. So was Barry Simms. Bruce Smith was a DT in college. Great players will make plays. We are seeing that now with Jason Worilds.

Viva El Guapo

And, to be honest, talent doesn't always win. Butch Davis had ELITE NFL-caliber talent on defensive line with Robert Quinn, Quinton Coples, Marvin Austin, Bruce Carter etc. How many ACC titles did they win?

Viva El Guapo

I don't think the DT will mind a double team against that line.

I honestly think Mihota will be back at the end spot before it is over especially if we can land Taylor and Settle!