Spring Game Analysis of Virginia Tech Front-Seven Defensive Newcomers

Breakdown of DE Zion Debose, DE TyJuan Garbutt, LB Dylan Rivers, and other box defenders Virginia Tech may need to rely on this season. Plus notes on Coleman Fox's eye-catching performance.

DE Zion Debose rushes QB Ryan Willis. [Mark Umansky]

Over the years Bud Foster's defense has mystified both opponents and young Virginia Tech defenders. The same counter-intuitive movement up-front that confuses offensive lines, also often runs counter to defensive instincts for kids who, as the best athlete on the field in high school, were taught to pursue and tackle. Communication and being in the right place at the right time are just as critical in Foster's defense as athleticism and football measurables. As a result, inexperience can lead to some painful moments for first time starters. Sometimes, far more athletically gifted players find playing time hard to come by when Foster has a more dependable option, well-versed in the scheme, to turn to. The Hokies' spring game provided a glimpse at the pool of, thus far, front-seven reserves who have an opportunity to start this season.

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