Virginia Tech defensive end Jason Worilds has elected to skip his senior season and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Worilds’ departure leaves the Hokies with just one returning starter on the defensive line in 2010, defensive tackle John Graves.
Worilds was a 2nd Team All-ACC selection in 2009, finishing the year with 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He also had 32 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery. As a sophomore in 2008, he had 62 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He finished his career at Virginia Tech with 34 tackles for loss and 15 sacks.
Without Worilds, the Hokies will have to replace both starters at defensive end heading into the 2010 season. Candidates are rising r-senior Steven Friday, r-junior Chris Drager, r-sophomore Isaiah Hamlette, r-freshman James Gayle and r-freshman J.R. Collins. Gayle and Collins redshirted in 2009, and have never seen game action. Hamlette played in just two games, against Marshall and Boston College, and had no tackles.
Friday and Drager are the only defensive ends on the team with experience. Friday registered 3.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Drager, a converted tight end, was playing his best football at the end of the season. He had 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Rising r-sophomore mike linebacker Bruce Taylor has also played defensive end in the past. A move back to his original position this spring is possible.