2010 Spring Game Primer

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Tomorrow is the Spring Game, which will be very entertaining for fans who
have not seen the Hokies in person since this past season. However, with the
starting lineup split in half, as well as so many offensive line injuries, don’t
expect a crisply played game.

Virginia Tech will be without three scholarship offensive linemen:
r-sophomore center Michael Via, r-sophomore guard Vinston Painter and r-freshman
center Andrew Miller. They are also without walk-on r-freshman guard Tyler
Barfield. That’s a lot of injuries to sustain up front, and with what’s left of
the offensive line split up between the two teams, good line play will be
sporadic.

The Spring Game will feature some special rules, as usual:

  • Special teams will be live
  • Four 10-minute quarters
  • 40 second play clock
  • 1 minute timeout after each punt
  • Tyrod Taylor in a yellow jersey, which means he can’t be tackled
  • No trick plays are allowed
  • The defense can’t rush more than five players, except on goal line and
    short yardage plays

While it’s almost certain that the offensive line injuries will slow down the
offenses on Saturday, we can still look for good individual play at other
positions. Here’s a quick look at what to expect at each position.

Quarterback

  • Maroon: Ju-Ju Clayton, Logan Thomas, Ricardo Young
  • White: Tyrod Taylor, Will Cole, Trey Gresh

Tyrod Taylor will wear a yellow jersey and will be off limits to contact.
Although it’s not available in writing anywhere, Frank Beamer told a Hokie Club
audience last night that Taylor would play only the first half. In the second
half, either Ju-Ju Clayton or Logan Thomas will switch teams, and the two
backups will go head-to-head.

Taylor is proven, and he knows the playbook. Don’t judge either Clayton or
Thomas by their performances on Saturday. It’s tough to play behind a makeshift
offensive line. However, it will be a good experience for both players. They’ll
get to play in front of a big crowd, for the first time in the case of Logan
Thomas.

Running Back

  • Maroon: Ryan Williams, Kenny Lewis, Tony Gregory, Adam Dyer
  • White: Darren Evans, David Wilson, Zac Evans

Don’t look for Ryan Williams to get much action in the Spring Game. There is
no reason to take a chance on him getting hurt. We’ll see guys like Tony
Gregory, Kenny Lewis and Zac Evans get a lot of work in this game.

The white team could end up with the advantage at running back. If Williams
only plays a series or two, then this could end up being Darren Evans/David
Wilson vs. Kenny Lewis/Tony Gregory. That would give the white team a definite
advantage in running back talent.

Fullback

  • Maroon: Kenny Younger, Joey Phillips
  • White: Josh Oglesby, Josh Call

The maroon team has the most experienced fullback in Kenny Younger. However,
the white team has the best running fullback in Josh Oglesby. With Oglesby in
the backfield with Darren Evans and David Wilson, as well as Tyrod Taylor for
the first half, the white team could be hard to handle.

Wide Receivers

  • Maroon: Marcus Davis, Danny Coale, Patrick Terry, Ben Barber,
    Austin Fuller
  • White: Xavier Boyce, Jarrett Boykin, Dyrell Roberts, Nubian Peak,
    D.J. Coles

The white team also appears to be a little deeper at wide receiver. They get
starting split end Jarrett Boykin, the playmaking Dyrell Roberts, as well as
speedy Nubian Peak. Xavier Boyce has also had a very good spring and could be
moving up the depth chart very soon.’

The maroon team has the underrated and reliable Danny Coale, and physical
specimen Marcus Davis. However, depth behind those two players is questionable.

Tight Ends

  • Maroon: Andre Smith, Prince Parker, George George
  • White: Eric Martin, Rob Stanton, Randall Dunn

This is where the maroon team starts to get the advantage. Andre Smith will
be wearing maroon, and he is the #1 tight end on the depth chart. Smith is a
very good blocker and a solid enough receiver. He also has Prince Parker behind
him, a guy with plenty of size and experience.

The white team will feature Eric Martin and Randall Dunn, two players who
have never played a single down of college football in an actual game. Rob
Stanton will also play on the white team.

Offensive Line

  • Maroon: Nick Becton, Greg Nosal, Jaymes Brooks, Laurence Gibson,
    Bo Gentry, Darian Fisher, Daniel Overstreet
  • White: Andrew Lanier, David Wang, Beau Warren, Dale Davis, Blake
    DeChristopher, Courtney Prince, Kory Gough

Besides having the starting tight end, the maroon team will also have three
starting offensive linemen: Nick Becton, Greg Nosal and Jaymes Brooks. True
freshman Laurence Gibson will start at right tackle for this team. However, they
will also have undersized center Bo Gentry (5-9, 240), who is generally fourth
string.

The white team will have starting right tackle Blake DeChristopher and
starting center Beau Warren. Andrew Lanier, the top backup offensive tackle,
will be starting for the white team at left tackle. David Wang will fill in at
left guard. Dale Davis, a true freshman walk-on from Blacksburg High School,
will start at right guard.

That’s how banged up the offensive line is right now. A walk-on 240-pound
center will be starting the Spring Game, as will a walk-on true freshman.

Defensive Ends

  • Maroon: Steven Friday, Jake Johnson, Duan Perez-Means, Tyrel
    Wilson
  • White: J.R. Collins, Jeff Akers, Chris Drager, James Gayle, Josh
    Eadie, Jeff Wardach

The white team has the advantage at defensive end, with three of Tech’s top
four players at that position. Starting end Chris Drager, as well as his backup
James Gayle, will wear white on Saturday. Joining them will be backup stud J.R.
Collins. The white team will also get to face off against a group of offensive
linemen that features true freshman Laurence Gibson in the starting lineup.

The maroon team will feature starting stud Steven Friday. The starting end
will be true freshman Duan Perez-Means. They’ll be matching up with starting
right tackle Blake DeChristopher, as well as Andrew Lanier.

Overall, it looks like the white team has the advantage when it comes to the
matchup of defensive ends and offensive tackles.

Defensive Tackles

  • Maroon: John Graves, Dwight Tucker, Kwamaine Battle, Isaiah
    Hamlette
  • White: Joe Jones, Andrew Hutchings, Antoine Hopkins, Christian
    Reed

The maroon team has the advantage on the interior defensive line. With John
Graves and Kwamaine Battle, they have both of Virginia Tech’s starting defensive
tackles. They also have Dwight Tucker, who might be the #4 defensive tackle at
this point.

The white team has Antoine Hopkins, who is currently #3 on the depth chart.
Joe Jones is fighting for the #4 spot with Dwight Tucker. The other two
defensive tackles on this team are walk-ons Andrew Hutchings and Christian Reed.

Though the white team has to go up against both of Tech’s starting guards,
Jaymes Brooks and Greg Nosal, they’ll also go head-to-head with undersized
center Bo Gentry.

Linebackers

  • Maroon: Bruce Taylor, Jack Tyler, Lyndell Gibson, Tariq Edwards
  • White: Quillie Odom, Telvion Clark, Chase Williams

The presence of starting linebackers Bruce Taylor and Lyndell Gibson give the
maroon team a decided advantage at the linebacker position. They also have more
depth, with a backup at both mike and backer.

The white team will start the recently improved Quillie Odom at mike, and
true freshman Chase Williams at backer. Williams enrolled early at Tech, and
most kids his age are still in high school. Instead, he finds himself starting
for the Hokies in the Spring Game.

The maroon linebackers will be starting behind three regular defensive line
starters for Tech: Steven Friday, John Graves and Kwamaine Battle. The front
seven for the maroon team will probably be hard for the white team to block.

Whips and Rovers

  • Maroon: Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, Davon Morgan, Wiley Brown
  • White: Alonzo Tweedy, Lorenzo Williams, James Hopper, Nick
    Sheehan

The maroon team will feature starting whip Jeron Gouveia-Winslow and starting
rover Davon Morgan. Gouveia-Winslow won’t have a backup in this game, though
Wiley Brown could probably fill in at both positions if needed. Brown is the
younger brother of former Virginia Tech defensive end Nekos Brown.

The white team will be very athletic at the whip positions, with Alonzo
Tweedy and Lorenzo Williams. Tweedy is currently #2 on the depth chart at whip,
with Lorenzo Williams #3. Tweedy will get the start in the Spring Game. James
Hopper, a r-freshman, will start at rover and walk-on Nick Sheehan will back him
up.

Defensive Backs

  • Maroon: Antone Exum, Theron Norman, Rashad Carmichael, Cris Hill,
    Jerrodd Williams, Germond Oatneal
  • White: Eddie Whitley, Jerome Williams, Jayron Hosley, Mark
    Carter, Jacob Sykes

The defensive backfield seems to be evenly split up. The white team has two
starters in safety Eddie Whitley and cornerback Jayron Hosley, and Jacob Sykes
should be able to do a solid job at the other corner position.

The maroon team has Rashad Carmichael and Cris Hill at corners. Antone Exum
will get extensive work at the free safety position. It will also be our first
chance to get a look at r-freshman cornerback Jerrodd Williams. He redshirted in
2009, and he’s spent most of this spring injured.

Special Teams

  • Maroon: Chris Hazley (PK), Cody Journell (PK), Brian Saunders
    (P), Collin Carroll (LS)
  • White: Justin Myer (PK), Tyler Weiss (PK), Zack Pickard (PK),
    Scott Demler (P), Grant Bowden (P), Price (LS), Jon Conlon (SN), Ethan
    Dickerson (SN)

The maroon team will feature Chris Hazley, who is currently the #1
placekicker. Cody Journell will handle kickoffs. The maroon team also has Brian
Saunders, who will be Tech’s starting punter this year. Collin Carroll, Tech’s
top snapper, will be the long snapper and the short snapper.

Justin Myer, Tyler Weiss and Zack Pickard are on the roster for the white
team. Myer has the strongest leg and will kickoff. Scott Demler and Grant Bowden
will split the punting duties, and three different players will be snapping.

With the maroon team getting all the starters in the kicking game, you have
to give them the special teams advantage.

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