Virginia Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente has preached this preseason about the need for his younger players to step up and create some depth before the Hokies’ season-opener against Liberty.
He’s also looking for younger players to step up and take big roles on both sides of the ball. One of those guys? Tremaine Edmunds.
“He’s been fantastic,” Fuente said. “Great worker, great person, my opinion is that he has a really bright future. Couldn’t be happier. His development in the nuances of playing that spot, I’ve seen him take steps forward in that and he’s a big part of what we’re trying to do. Our depth is not fantastic at linebacker, but he’s making progress.”
Edmunds does have a little bit of experience on the field. Edmunds started against Georgia Tech late in the season and also started Virginia Tech’s bowl game vs. Tulsa.
“Just being on a college field, getting some of that experience, it’s definitely going to be good for me this upcoming season,” Edmunds said. “I’m excited about it.”
Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster has praised Edmunds on multiple occasions this offseason for his work ethic and for his talent, even comparing him to former Virginia Tech great Xavier Adibi, who redshirted in 2003 and played from 2004-2007.
Edmunds said that Foster has been pushing him all offseason to keep making strides.
“Anytime you get coached by a guy like that, you got to take advantage of it,” Edmunds said. “I’ve been taking advantage of it ever since I’ve been here. It’s definitely good. He’s going to be tough on you because he’s pushing you to be the best player that you can be.”
Edmunds said he was thrilled to see Foster retained after Fuente was hired, and that he feels more comfortable in Foster’s scheme the second time around.
“I was in the meeting rooms at all times last year, so the things are starting to get repetitive now,” Edmunds said. “I’ve heard things from last year, so this year, I’m like ‘Ok, I understand what he’s saying now.’ Things are starting to click now to me.”
Edmunds comes from a football household. His father, Ferrell Edmunds Sr., played college football at Maryland and was a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 1989. His eldest brother, Trey Edmunds, transferred from Virginia Tech to play at Maryland this season, and his other elder brother, Terrell, plays rover for the Hokies.
Tremaine says that he and Terrell keep in close contact with Trey just about every day. He also keeps in close contact with his father, who never shies away from giving him a few pointers.
“He tells me little details, little things that I should do,” Edmunds said. “It could be as simple as hand placement. I definitely take advantage of that.”
Edmunds’ also has relied on Andrew Motuapuaka, who plays beside Edmunds in Virginia Tech’s defense.
“Andrew, he has a little more experience than me,” Edmunds said. “Every now and then, he helps me out, making sure that I’m in my correct spots, making sure we’re on the same page. You want guys like that, guys with experience that you can look up to, that know what’s going to happen in the game and know what Coach Foster expects.”
Along with trying to become a better athlete, Edmunds said that he’s been working on the smaller parts of his game, hoping to refine his talent that he showed last season.
“I feel like I’m getting my keys down pat a little bit more,” Edmunds said. “You can’t play football if you don’t know what you’re doing. I feel like I’ve been watching more film and I know my assignments more.”