Initial 2019 Spring Game Notes

Some notes from today.

Depth chart at key positions
OL Group 1- LT Tyrell Smith (Darrisaw Out) LG Lecitus Smith C- Zach Hoyt RG-Austin Cannon RT- Silas Dzansi

OL Group 2- LT TJ Jackson LG Jesse Hanson C Louis Mihota and John Harris RG John Harris RT Luke Tenuta (looks the part folks)

QB is Willis. Hooker was shaky early and then really threw the ball well. Patterson has a couple of good throws early and then was all over the place. I expect them to use him as a short yardage battering ram and he looks the part, but he needs to keep his feet moving at contact if he wants to move the pile.

WR- Grimsley in the slot with Hazelton and Turner wide and Patterson up next. Mitchell lined up outside and he will have a section in my detailed review. Simmons, Kaleb Smith, and Dejuan Ellis has very strong days. I really wanted Bowick to get more touches. He looked bigger than Mitchell and was open for a TD early, but Patterson overthrew him.

DT- Crawford and Hewitt were the top two. Porcher was quiet. Early, walk on Gideon Discroll made some plays with the second group. He got worn down a bit as things moved on.

DE- Garbutt-Belmar, Debose- Proctor, and Adams-Becton. Honestly that third pair may have been the twos but the mid point of the scrimmage

LB- Dax-Ashby and Rivers-Artis. Artis looked really good. Rivers has a tough day.

First secondary- Watts and Farley with Quillen rotating in at corner. Quillen had a good day. Floyd and Deablo at rover and whip and both looked really good. Nasir Peoples got the call at whip. He didn't look out of place but got picked on a bit in man coverage.

Second secondary- Waller and Chatman at corner (pretty good day for Chatman.) Hunter at rover and JR Walker at free. Brion Murray at whip.

With McClease out, Holston only got a bit of work. Steward looked impressive with his touches, and Malik Bell (a walk on listed as a TE) ground out some yards.

Overall, it was a very long scrimmage with lots of reps. I had to miss a little bit at the end. I liked the enthusiasm and I liked the defense's physicality at most spots. Of course, there are still some issues and the format muddied the water a bit.

More thoughts coming...


Players that stood out to me were (in no particular order): Mitchell, Walker, Steward. Was also impressed by some others but those three looked like they could be big contributors to me. Willis is hands down the qb and I am glad Hooker is back. Think QP started well but obviously has the most work to do... also need a different set of cleats, lost his footing on several cuts. Hooker looked great throwing to his first read with time to plant and drive but seemed to throw it away if first read wasnt there and didnt throw well with a cluttered pocket. FGs were UGLY.

Man I wanted to see Bowick get another shot at a jump ball. He looks impressive but never got a real good target.

I spent most of the fall bashing the safeties. Deablo and Floyd looked great today.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Yea I think Bowick will be a stud too, but WR depth will hold back his production this year I think... Simmons was impressive too, adjusted well to the ball and almost had a crazy one haded TD catch. Ellis also looked promising. WR is clearly our deepest position.

So that JHam hire seems to be worth it so far?

Man seeing Willis do his thing, gets me excited, feel like Fuente has a chance to have a 2 year QB that is athletic and can make reads, and I'm hoping that opens up the playbook more. And knowing QP has time to develop is awesome, even if it's just another full season.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I have a strong feeling we could see that Willis to Turner connection at the end of the video a bunch this season 🙂

I really like the maroon uniforms with the throwback helmet.

I would suggest the JJ apologists start looking for a rock to crawl under when the season starts

I would suggest you focus on rooting for the team, rather than worrying about someone who isn't on the team anymore.

I am pretty sure the "JJ apologists" will be doing the same.

Well there's one.

More highlights of fans than football. #SMH

Boston College may be watching /s

Am I the only one that is a little disappointed that QP isn't doing better at this point? Although I am not following him personally I never see or hear anything that indicates he is getting better. I think that he should be expected to compete for the QB position after redshirting a year based on his recruiting ranking and it seems like everything is "give him another year...".

Am I just being ignorant and/or impatient?


He is still a redshirt freshman and he played in an offense in high school that didn't pass much. He was always going to be a project.

FWIW I was told that Saturday was his worst performance out of any of the scrimmages thus far. Keep in mind that this is still his first spring and that he hasn't even been on campus for a year. Also, he has a pretty nasty cut on his pointer finger. Be patient

100% agree. The guy is bright, athletic and has the tools, He was always considered a high potential project.

For his 1st spring, I don't think this is cause for concern, not to mention all of the points LA made (finger) in context.

It used to be that GREAT qbs took over as R-SO, and good ones took over as R-JRs. Patterson is a great kid and physically huge. But, there are lots of big strong 6'5 guys with good arms who can move. Playing at speed and getting the ball into the right space and in time takes time. Be patient.

If we are having this conversation next spring, start to worry.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

"It used to be"

What is it now? Moved down a year?

No people just expect any freshman that's above a mid tier 3 star to come in and immediately compete for the heisman, it gets annoying

I guess it's because more freshman are given the reins now and we are seeing great success with some of them.

A few that early enroll but this is his first spring with the team.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I stopped going to Hokie Club events because I had a mini stroke after the first question was always "will INSERT TRUE FRESHMAN start this year?"

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

French, this could be a difficult question to answer......but could you get a sense of team chemistry by watching.


I'm no French but starting this year No Bitches Allowed.

From what I saw everyone was having a good time (dancing during warmups, team celebrations, lots of high fives)

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

I'm no French but starting this year No Bitches Allowed.

Sounds like one made his way into the stands though.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Leg for you.

I had to double take only to see a giant U on the back of his jersey. Total bitch move.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

FWIW he did take to twitter to thank the hokie fans at the game saying....
"S/o to all the True Hokie fans who spoke n showed me love today at the spring game ! Honestly didn't expect it ! But I do appreciate you guys 🖤🔒🙌🏾 "

and even though we all feel some type of way about him its just another example of how great hokie nation in. we may bash him behind close doors for his foolishness and that's all good but at the end of the day hes just a kid with a head bigger than his body and hes gotta pretty big body. hes still got a lot of learning to do. but hes a person, and hokie nation showed compassion for that person not as a football player but as a lost kid.


twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Tenuta better look the part, I imagine his entire childhood having his dad tell him to not let him get past him and then John and 3 other neighborhood kids run at him.

Is Brock Hoffman not on campus? If so why was he not in the game?

He is still awaiting approval of his hardship request to be immediately eligible.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

:::looks towards indianapolis::: 🖕🖕Hurry up

Agree with a lot of these observations.
- Willis is hands down the starter. He's not perfect, but he is going to be very good.
- Our WR corps plus Mitchell is going to be a handful. I liked Ellis' speed and I do think Bowick as "it". He could be special.
- With players held out, it was painfully obvious how thin we are at RB. Holston+McClease better stay healthy. Shout out to walk in 5'6" Nashun Overton who took reps and ran hard at the end.
- Kicking was bad. What were we? 2 of 5?
- The players were great in the post game autograph session Dax had 50-100 people in line for his autograph. Nobody else was even close. Straight rock star.

King should help RB depth.

Willis is hands down the starter. He's not perfect, but he is going to be very good.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Okay, maybe not Barry Zuckercorn "very good". But I think he could put up Jerod Evans-like numbers, you just won't realize it while he is doing it.

He's no Bob Loblaw.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Enjoyed the format of the scrimmage compared to previous seasons.
#PhilthyPhil made a sweet one handed grab falling down for TD in the North endzone.
DeJuan Ellis took a heckuva a hit in the early going so it was good to see him get back on the field to have a long run (off a jet sweep?).
Mitchell showed his speed and hands as he ran a solid route to get open to pull down a TD grab.
Willis looked good reading the play when Trea Turner blew by his cover guy to haul in a long TD.
After the game as we were walking behind the north end bleachers a golf cart carrying Coach Wiles and Garbutt in the back seat went by us. Thought that was unusual since I thought the autograph session was still going on and wondered why Ty would get a ride on the cart. Hopefully, he didn't get injured to a point he couldn't walk back afterwards.

“I'm addicted to placebos. I could quit, but it wouldn't matter”~steven wright

My thoughts: Turner looked like WR1, he played with a lot of confidence. Mitchell will factor in, too big and athletic, Ellis looked good in the slot, good to see since he was a QB coming in. QP is a big kid, offseason workouts have been good for him. Patterson with another crazy one handed catch, let's see if that translates to production come fall. Our FG kickers were horrible (Except Stout, he made his 2 kicks with good power and height)

1-0 every week

All three qb's did reasonably well on out type routes. They were all inconsistent on fades. Willis has the better performance on the whole. I watched them doing drills before the scrimmage. Quincy had a few passes go flying off into space. This was a no pressure situation. So, I'm going to give him some credit for the cut finger.

Steward looked good. This makes me happy since I've said good things about his film in the past. Most of his film was him getting to hit full stride, blowing through open holes. Yesterday, we got to see him actually make cuts, make contact, and go for yards after that contact. He got going with his very first carry with a nice cut. He didn't really disappoint from there on out.

Our tackles didn't get their names called a lot. Hewitt and Philpott did. Most of the others were quiet. But, there were a lot of double teams on the tackles when I was specifically watching them. I saw some nice penetration from time to time. SeverL folks have been high on Philpott, giving him the hidden gem status. He's big, but he's soft. He's going to need at least a year in the conditioning and weight program before he can do much of anything's. For those hoping for a local hero, you're going to have to wait. To his credit, he made plays when they were close to him.
The receivers looked decent. There were a few dropped passes. Some of the overthrown balls for our quarterbacks may have been busted routes. There was one near the west sideline that definitely appeared to be the case.
DBs: for the most part I was ok with their play. I saw a bit more effort at tackling. I did see several hits with no attempt to wrap up, similar to last year. They need to quit that shit. Watts got picked on a few times for some of the bigger offensive plays. For the most part, he did everything he could to disrupt the play, but big receivers made big catches.
Punt returners. They all caught their punts. Nadir Thompson was one of them. That looked like the only action he saw all day.

Jeremy Webb was moving well on the sidelines and very active with the other backs. Nyquee Hawkins didn't seem to see any playing time despite being dressed.
The linebackers had a decent day. Several of them are still struggling with coverage. I've yet to see Rivers perform to expectations.
Bradburn has two good punts. One lousy punt.
Kickers struggled with the exception of stout . Jones missed but wasn't consistent in his misses. St

I was keeping an eye on the warmups also. It looked like QP was throwing a heavy ball. Just never really looked crisp. Willis was right on the money with his timing and his throws.

"I'll put a quote here to distract you from my inane comment."-Me

In regards to Philpott he had knee surgery in December. He just got his immobilization brace off and got cleared to start being able to run and cut less than a month ago. His conditioning will be much, much better this summer and fall than what is was on Saturday.

As for the weight room, he is already one of the five strongest guys on the team. Needs to convert a lot of his bad weight to muscle for sure but he is fine from a pure strength perspective. Legitimate 600 pound squat and 400 pound bench.

Saturday was his worst of the three scrimmages by far and isn't indicative of his full potential.

Great post Shabutie! Why wasn't he recruited more out of HS?

Height/Level of competition. Wasn't very aggressive contacting schools, attending camps and trying to garner attention because he knew he was ultimately going to come here to play, scholarship or not.

It grabbed my attention that Discroll was getting work in the spot I expected Philpott to fill.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Honestly, Driscoll was playing better and he earned those additional reps. Philpott played better the first two scrimmages.

I have always loved Caleb Steward. When he signed with the Hokies, he wasn't highly rated, but his film looked really good to me. If he can block well, I look for him to solidify himself as a/the top back as the season gets going.

Is it basketball season yet?

I saw a couple of his runs from the S endzone. He showed some patience behind his blocks also. One run he used the blocking wall as he worked to the right and then burst around it for 15+ yds. Showed good vision, patience, and then burst when the time was right. Its been a while since weve seen that consistently.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

McClease was injured (sorry if I missed that detail)??

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

He was held out and the reason was "injury." I don't know what the injury was or how severe the injury is. Keene was held out as well but he looked fine moving around during warm ups.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

How did the o line look yesterday? I know the line up is still in flux, but any thoughts?

It wasn't the unit we will see this fall. However, they had some issues (Smith in pass pro vs Belmar, Crawford stunted free inside against Lecitus.) I think Tyrell Smith, John Harris, Zach Hoyt, and the Coastal transfer will all be competing at RG and C.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thanks for the update, hopefully our o line play takes this offense to be one of the best in our conference

Since everyone's adding observations, I'll add mine.

Enjoyed the format a lot. It made the game more interesting and it looked like the
team got in a ton of work. I left feeling very satisfied with all the action I got to see.

Willis looked solid, especially the accuracy on the TD to Turner.

Hooker looks like he's developing nicely. After he settled in he made some nice throws.

QP is really big and it'll be interesting to see how he develops as a QB.

Malik Bell came out of nowhere and is quite a bruising RB. Seems like a nice replacement for Peoples.

Eager for Ellis to get some touches at slot this season, looks to have lots of potential.

Looks like everyone on defense is ready to go - they looked schooled and prepared.

More coming...

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

DB's outside of Watts looked much improved to me. Agree that Floyd and Deablo looked much more like their 2017 selves. Also thought Farley was very good in coverage. Was all over PP on that TD, Phil just made a play. Wish I had gotten to see him get more opportunities to tackle but was really encouraged with his play. Think he's solidly a starter next year, which should make the battle for the other spot very interesting.

I'll also add that I was encouraged by Belmar's play. I'm torn on whether it was more of a product of his play or of TJ Jackson's play opposite him, but Belmar looked quicker off the ball than he did at any point last season. Conversely I was a little disappointed in Garbutt. Didn't make as big of impact as I had hoped.

*pretty sure most of Belmar's production came with Tyrell Smith lined up on him. Jackson was going against Eli Adams (there is a visual) and Zion Debose most of the game.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I'm just going off memory so you may be right.

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure Watts will be starting this season.

Is it basketball season yet?

I'd be surprised if he was the starter next year. Hoping for Webb to come back 100% but any of Waller, Chatman, Quillen, and maybe even Thompson could beat him out

Man, I hope that Webb will be ready for the fall. Having a corner of his size (and hopefully he still has good mobility) would be huge for this defense. Watts isn't a starter and he shouldn't be a starter. He's a depth guy.

Me too. I think it would be better for Farley too. Let him continue to comfortably progress as the #2 guy rather than continue to take major lumps as the top dog

Has there ever been a corner that came back strong after two Achilles injuries?

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Couldn't tell you but if anyone could be the first it would be Webb. Dude has an incredible attitude about his injury and attacks it every day. Very well may be the most respected player in the team.

FWIW, he was seemingly 100% prior to his second injury. Now it's a whole nother animal going through two tears, but he did a great job coming back the first time.

Very cool to hear his attitude and toughness mentally. Definitely rooting for him!

What about Murray? I'm guessing he came here to compete from day 1 for the starting job?

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I think I read that he will compete for the nickel spot.

He played a lot of nickel. Seemed okay the few times I watched him, but did not stand out.

Thats a whole lot better than standing out the way Bryce Watts stood out.

Is it basketball season yet?

This is an accurate assessment. Walker, Chatman, and Murray all had routes caught in front of them when Hooker lead his big drive off the goal line during the situational portion of the scrimmage. None got beaten over the top that I can recall.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN