Spring Football Practice Opens Today

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Virginia Tech begins spring practice today in Blacksburg, and there are a few
storylines to follow this year, as usual. The football team will practice every
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday beginning today, and the Spring Game will
be held on April 21st at 2 pm at Lane Stadium. Admission is free.

A few players won’t be participating in spring drills because of injuries.
Offensive lineman Sergio Render (So.) had surgery on his knee in January and
will not participate. Brandon Holland (So.) will start at right guard in place
of Render. The offensive line as a whole will be one of the focal points this
spring. Duane Brown (r-Sr.) has moved to left tackle, and Ryan Shuman (r-Jr.) is
now playing center. Ed Wang (r-So.) has also moved from tight end to right
tackle, so the unit will have a much different look this spring.

Render, Shuman and Brown will all start for Tech this fall. The questions are
who will start at left guard, will Ed Wang hold on to the right tackle spot, and
how much depth will the Hokies have? Nick Marshman (r-Jr.) is currently starting
at left guard, but if Brandon Holland performs well at right guard with Render
out, Holland could potentially slide over to the left side.

On the defensive line, Virginia Tech needs to find some depth at defensive
end. Chris Ellis (r-Sr.) will miss spring practice after having shoulder surgery
in January. He’ll be starting this fall, but three other defensive ends will be
battling for the other starting spot. Nekos Brown (So.), Jason Adjepong (r-Fr.)
and Orion Martin (r-Jr.) are all unproven as potential starters, although Martin
has been in the two deep for the past two seasons.

One of those three players will have to step up and start opposite Ellis. For
Adjepong and Brown, this will be their first spring practice, so there will be a
lot of learning to do. Demetrius Taylor (r-Fr.) has moved to defensive end from
mike linebacker, and he’ll get a chance to impress as well.

The inside linebacker duo of Vince Hall (r-Sr.) and Xavier Adibi (r-Sr.) is
set. The spring will be used to develop depth behind them. Brett Warren (r-Jr.)
is steady behind Hall, and now it’s time for Purnell Sturdivant (r-Jr.) to raise
the level of his play as Adibi’s top backup.

The
main question at linebacker will be at the whip spot. Corey Gordon (r-Sr.) was
#2 last season, and he’ll begin this spring as the starter. He’ll be challenged
by Cam Martin (r-So.), who was recently moved from the free safety position.
Behind Gordon and Martin are Cody Grim (r-So.), a walk-on, and Steven Friday
(r-Fr.), who just moved from defensive end.

Whips and rovers coach Jim Cavanaugh also has to find a new starter at rover,
where co-starters Aaron Rouse and Cary Wade played last year. Currently the
starter is Dorian Porch (r-So.), who was #3 at rover last season. He has limited
playing experience, though he did letter for his work on special teams last
year. Behind Porch is Kam Chancellor (So.), who has moved from cornerback where
he played as a true freshman. Those two will fight it out for a starting spot.

At the beginning of the spring, the Hokies will be operating with just three
scholarship cornerbacks. Roland Minor (r-Sr.) is taking the spring off to
concentrate on academics, and Brandon Flowers (r-Jr.) will miss the first few
practices with an ankle injury. That leaves Macho Harris (Jr.), Stephan Virgil
(So.) and Rashad Carmichael (r-Fr.) as the only scholarship corners on the
roster. Flowers is expected to return at some point during the spring.

On offense there will be a major battle to see who backs up Branden Ore
(r-Jr.) at tailback. The frontrunner is Kenny Lewis, Jr. (So.), who got the
majority of the snaps when Ore went down with an injury last season. But George
Bell (r-Jr.), Josh Oglesby (Fr.), Dustin Pickle (Jr.), Devin Radford (r-Fr.),
Elan Lewis (r-So.) and Jahre Cheeseman (r-So.) will get reps as well.

All of those guys are scholarship players, except for Pickle, so that’s a lot
of bodies. A couple of those players, such as Devin Radford and Jahre Cheeseman,
could find themselves at another position if tailback doesn’t work out this
spring. It’s also now or never for Elan Lewis, who is listed behind a true
freshman and a walk-on on the depth chart.

Frank Beamer’s biggest job this spring is revamping is kicking game. Brent
Bowden (r-So.) will replace Nic Schmitt at punter, while Jared Develli (Sr.) and
Jud Dunlevy (r-Sr.) are the frontrunners to take over the placekicking duties.
Scott King (Sr.) will handle the deep snapper duties, while Bart McMillan
(r-Sr.) will be the long snapper.

Finally, starter quarterback Sean Glennon (r-Jr.) is expected to miss the
first two or three practices because of a cut on his throwing hand. He has
stitches in his hand, making it hard to grip a football. Cory Holt (r-Jr.) and
Ike Whitaker (r-So.) will share reps at quarterback in Glennon’s absence.

To recap…

Position Changes:

  • Duane Brown (moved from RT to LT)
  • Ed Wang (moved from TE to RT)
  • Ryan Shuman (moved from LG to C)
  • Demetrius Taylor (moved from LB to DE)
  • Cam Martin (moved from FS to Whip LB)
  • Steven Friday (moved from DE to Whip LB)
  • Kam Chancellor (moved from CB to Rover)

Out:

  • OG Sergio Render (knee; out all spring)
  • DE Chris Ellis (shoulder; out all spring)
  • CB Brandon Flowers (ankle; will miss a few practices)
  • QB Sean Glennon (stitches in hand; will miss 2-3 practices)

Win a TSL Pass Subscription and VT Merchandise by Playing the Pete Dye River
Course

For
the Spring Game, TSL will be having its annual Spring Game Tailgate (more on
that below), and in addition, we’ve partnered with Virginia Tech’s Pete Dye
River Course on a competition that could net you a free year of TSL Pass and a
nice piece of VT merchandise. The prize package is valued at about $100.

To participate, just play the Pete Dye River Course the weekend of the Spring
Game (Friday, April 20th through Sunday, April 22nd). Report your score to the
PDRC staff, and the lowest “TSL score” of the weekend wins one year of
TSL Pass, and either a Virginia Tech polo shirt or a Virginia Tech windshirt
(your choice).

Here are the details:

  • Set up a tee time at PDRC. (Click
    here
    for greens fees.) You can do this online at RiverCourseGolf.com
    (ten days in advance only).
  • To get an earlier booking, you can call 1-888-Pete-Dye and ask for Keith
    or John. You must mention that you saw this promotion on TechSideline.com in
    order to receive an advance booking (earlier than ten days in advance).
  • Play the course.
  • Report your score, name, and email address to PDRC staff (Keith or John if
    available), and tell them to include you in the TechSideline.com
    competition.
  • We’ll let you know if you won the following week.
  • In the case of a two-way tie, prize packages will be awarded to each
    winner. In the case of a three-way-or-more tie, the tie will be broken down
    to two winners via a random chance method to be determined later (roll of
    the dice, coin flip, etc.).

TechSideline.com Spring Game Tailgate

As usual, TSL will have its annual Spring Game Tailgate on Saturday, April
21st, the day of the Spring Game. Watch the TSL message board for details soon,
and we’ll also announce details in a News and Notes item as soon as the tailgate
is planned.

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