Saturday news and notes

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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)

Laurence Gibson

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.

Charley Meyer

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, 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.

Brandon Facyson (#31, 6-2, 188): Facyson is #2 at field corner.  He will be the #1 field corner when Kendall Fuller is playing the nickel spot.

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

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.

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16 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Jeez I don’t understand how Wang is in there and not Benedict. that bums me out. Was not expecting it. Last time I checked Benedict never got pushed into the backfield…ever.

    1. Benedict’s strength is straight-ahead drive blocking. His lateral mobility isn’t as good, which means that Wang is probably a better fit for Grimes’ zone blocking scheme. Also, Wang can play center where his relative lack of size isn’t as much of a problem, allowing Caleb Farris, who does have pretty good lateral mobility, to slide over to left guard.

      1. Oh I am sure that is the reason too. But what’s worse? Have Wang not effective or Benedict not as good laterally?

        1. I doubt Grimes would have Wang in the starting lineup if he didn’t think he could be effective.

      2. If there ever was a game that Benedict should start it is against ALA. Our QB gets a little shaky with pressure in his face and ALA is going to come up the middle on us and dare us to try to get to the edges on the runs. I’d feel better if Wang had some more time at Center before playing them. But that’s from my uninformed opinion. Coach knows best….i hope.

        1. Wang’s performance, IMO, is almost 100% dependent on those ankles.

          If the ankles are good, I have a lot of confidence in him delivering good snaps and doing a good job. If the ankles have issues, then Grimes will have to juggle.

  2. I am a little surprised that Rogers did not get a scholly given he is the starting fullback but they had plenty of other candidates that had been in the program longer. This will motivate a guy that is reportedly already pretty motivated.

    1. I have a buddy who is friends of the Rogers family in Richmond. His family IS “Hometown Realty”. I mentioned a scholarship to my buddy and he laughed. He said a check from VT for tuition might be thrown in a kitchen drawer and completely forgotten about…I got his drift. The family has PLENTY of cash and starting is PLENTY motivation and the ultimate reward!.

      “Maybe” that is a way to SAVE a scholarship and Sam is OK with it… It would be pretty cool if so. Kind of like Kenny Lewis 2 playing while his old baseball team paid the freight. Isn’t that like getting a “free player” who does NOT count against the 85 limit?

      1. Yeah that’s one way of saving a schollie. If I was as rich as his family, I wouldn’t really care about getting a free ride, just starting on this football team will be plenty big enough for me. How can it not be?

      2. If I was sam rodgers, I would turn down a scholarship if one was offered. How awesome would that be for a starter to be on record as saying? “we can get another scholarship with the one I gave up. Starting is plenty reward for me.” Sam Rodgers

      1. Sorry. My mistake. So put me in the column of being surprised that a starter didn’t earn a scholarship.

    1. 71 are on the travel squad. Basically, everyone, including some that are currently expected to redshirt, who COULD see the field this year.

      I read something that said this includes 11 true freshmen and 16 RS freshman. Very young squad = lots of hope for the future.

  3. Thank you for a very informative article. A lot of youth but that’s what makes the Future, starting this Year !

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