Grimes names his starters
After much attention during the spring, as well as the first few weeks of August, Jeff Grimes has finally named his starting five offensive linemen. From left to right, with games, and starts…
LT Jonathan McLaughlin (#71, 6-4, 313, Fr.): 0 games, 0 starts
LG Caleb Farris (#79, 6-3, 308, Jr.): 13 games, 5 starts
C David Wang (#76, 6-2, 299, r-Jr.): 17 games, 10 starts
RG Andrew Miller (#74, 6-4, 296, r-Sr.): 33 games, 21 starts
RT Laurence Gibson (#63, 6-6, 290, r-Jr.): 13 games, 0 starts (only 27 snaps on offense)
Those five players will be Virginia Tech’s starters when the Hokies line up against Alabama in seven days. They have been Tech’s starters for the last couple of weeks, though Grimes waited until the very end to make it official.
Obviously there is experience on the interior of the line, particularly with Andrew Miller and David Wang . However, there isn’t much experience at tackle. Jonathan McLaughlin is the first true freshman to start a season opener at offensive tackle during Frank Beamer’s tenure at Virginia Tech.
Four walkons placed on scholarship
Frank Beamer announced that four walkons have been awarded scholarships at Virginia Tech…
WR Willie Byrn (#82, 5-10, 186, r-Jr.)
WR Charley Meyer (#83, 6-1, 215, r-Fr.)
Whip Josh Trimble (#32, 6-0, 216, r-So.)
Whip Derek DiNardo (#41, 6-0, 216, r-Jr.)
Meyer is in the two-deep at wide receiver, currently backing up starting flanker Demitri Knowles. He is expected to see heavy action this season. Willie Byrn, who is also at flanker, is also expected to see playing time at wide receiver. He has also been used as a punt return in the preseason, though Kyshoen Jarrett is the starter there.
Thanks to the injury to Ronny Vandyke, Josh Trimble is Tech’s top whip, with Derek DiNardo at #2. It’s not known how much those guys will play, or whether or not the Hokies will spend most of the time with Kendall Fuller in the game at nickel. It could vary depending on opponent and tendencies.
Lots of true freshmen on the travel squad
According to BeamerBall.com, 11 true freshmen will be on the travel squad for the Alabama game. Some will be expected to play a lot of snaps, and a few will start.
Woody Baron (#60, 6-1, 264): Baron is Tech’s #3 defensive tackle. He will play a lot this year, and he’s an injury away from starting.
Charles Clark (6-0, 197): Clark is #3 on the depth chart at free safety. He could play special teams. He could also travel in an emergency role and still preserve his redshirt if he doesn’t play.
Kendall Fuller (#11, 5-11, 193): Fuller is currently slated to start at the field corner spot. He is also #1 at nickel.
Mitchell Ludwig (#30, 5-11, 192): Ludwig is expected to handle the kickoff duties for the Hokies this season.
Jonathan McLaughlin (#71, 6-4, 313): McLaughlin is Virginia Tech’s starter at left tackle.
Carlis Parker (#16, 6-3, 185): Parker has made a bid for playing time at split end. He could still redshirt, but it’s likely that he’ll be in the rotation this season.
Parker Osterloh (#67, 6-8, 318): Osterloh has been used at guard and tackle during his short career. It’s possible that he could still redshirt, but he’ll have to at least travel for depth purposes.
Sam Rogers (#45, 5-10, 220): Rogers is likely to be Tech’s starting fullback against Alabama.
Wyatt Teller (#57, 6-5, 275): Teller is #2 on the depth chart at left tackle. It would be beneficial to redshirt him, but the Hokies likely won’t have that luxury.
Jerome Wright (#25, 6-2, 221): Wright is #2 on the depth chart at fullback, and he could also be the #3 tailback for the Alabama game if J.C. Coleman doesn’t make it back from injury.