The Virginia Tech defense suffered a big blow on Saturday when starting
defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins tore his ACL. The injury will keep him out the
remainder of the season, and his replacement is likely going to be a true
Hopkins, a r-junior, is Virginia Tech’s most experienced defensive lineman.
With him out of the rotation, every other player that has been in the two-deep
for the first five games of the season is a freshman or sophomore. He could be
replaced by true freshman Luther Maddy, true freshman Corey Marshall, or
r-junior Isaiah Hamlette.
Maddy has been listed behind Hopkins on the depth chart, but was himself
suffering from an ankle injury last week. Forgetting about that injury for one
second, here’s how the new defensive line depth chart could shake out.
Line Depth Chart
The projected starters are listed in bold italics. We don’t know for sure
whether or not Luther Maddy will be the starter, but if you go strictly off the
depth chart from before Antoine Hopkins was injured, Maddy is next in line.
That would bump Isaiah Hamlette up into the two-deep. Tech also has Dwight
Tucker (6-2, 280, r-Jr.), who was the #4 defensive tackle in 2010. This is the
second major injury Virginia Tech has suffered on the defensive line this
season. In August, they lost r-senior defensive tackle Kwamaine Battle to a torn
ACL for the second year in a row.
This is a particularly bad week to be losing starting defensive lineman.
Miami has a huge offensive line – 320, 317, 305, 310 and 310 from left to right.
They also have big, experienced backups, with Joel Figueroa (317) backing up at
left tackle. The mammoth and talented Seantrel Henderson (6-8, 345) is also
expected to play a bigger role this week in his second game back from injury.