Foster Will Start Sean Huelskamp; Lydon Will Likely Play

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Carson Lydon
Carson Lydon

With Andrew Motuapuaka potentially out for up to four weeks, the Hokies need a new plan at mike linebacker.  Bud Foster revealed that plan on Tuesday night.

“Sean Huelskamp will start,” Foster said.  “We’re taking the redshirt off – potentially – of Carson Lydon.  Carson’s had a great summer.  He’s ready to play.”

Huelskamp is a r-sophomore walkon who played well in the spring of 2014 before tearing his ACL while covering kickoffs at Ohio State.  He played much of the second half against Furman.

“He reminds me a little bit of Jack Tyler,” Foster said.  “The same makeup.  He doesn’t have the experience right now.  Good football IQ.  Smart kid.  Tough kid.  Can run. ”

As a high school player, Huelskamp was outstanding.  He made 140 tackles as a senior, with nearly 40 of them coming for a loss.  He was a first-team All-Group AAA selection by Virginia Preps and the Virginia High School Coaches’ Association, and the Concorde District Defensive Player of the Year.

However, his size – 6-1, 207 – kept Huelskamp from being heavily recruited by major programs.

“Really my only other serious option was to go to William & Mary on scholarship,” Huelskamp said.  “I wanted to compete at a higher level, so I just chose Virginia Tech.  I love it here now.”

Just in case Huelskamp isn’t up to the task, Foster will likely pull true freshman Carson Lydon‘s redshirt.  He is currently running with the #2 defense.

“It’s  hard for a young guy to come in and play well right away,” Foster said.  “At the end of spring he wasn’t ready.  But he’s a guy who is very conscientious, it’s very important to him, he did a great job this summer…he’s really improved 100% from where he was in the spring.”

Even with a spring under his belt, playing mike as a true freshman will be difficult for Lydon.  I asked Bud Foster if he remembers ever playing a true freshman at mike.

“Uhhh….I don’t know if I’ve ever played a true freshman at mike,” Foster said. “We’ll see where he is.  We’ll see where he figures in.  I’m hoping Sean will do a great job.  We’ve got to have  a great week of practice.”

Brett Warren played 72 special teams snaps as a true freshman mike in 2004, but he only appeared on defense in one game that year…at the end of a 55-6 whipping of Maryland on a Thursday night.  Jake Houseright played as a true freshman fullback in 1998, but he didn’t move to mike linebacker until the spring of 1999.  From the information I’ve been able to dig up, no true freshman mike has played real snaps in a game as long as Bud Foster has been defensive coordinator.

According to Deon Clarke, Lydon’s head is spinning a bit, as you might expect.

“He’s definitely got the build,” Clarke said.  “But he’s way younger than Sean.  He’s out in practice still messing up a lot.  In the locker room he was like “Man, I don’t want to watch film tomorrow” because he messed up.

Still, Bud Foster plans to make things as simple as possible for his inexperienced mikes, and he still expects them to play well.

“The plan will be pretty simple for those guys.  They’ll do a good job for us.”

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13 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. It is game time. Let’s win some football games, support the kids, coaches, etc, and deal with other issues after we see the results. The answer to the questions this year is results and we are not alone in that.

    Go Hokies!

  2. A lot of talk on recruiting issues leading to this issue and that the issue won’t change until staff changes. As someone who does not follow recruiting closely, and really doesn’t know much about players until they hit the field, I’m curious if our staff changes in the last couple of years have or have not been productive? Not talking coordinator changes which have been well discussed, but the addition of a number of positions devoted specifically to recruiting. From what I understand, we were playing catchup in that regard but are any of those added positions resulting in improvements in recruiting that may be too early to see on the field, or are we still flailing when it comes to bringing in talent?

  3. Somewhere VT has to understand Recruiting Is Important. They have been paying for it in the last four years and will till a new staff is brought in. Thank you for a good article.

  4. Major college football program and our only other option at Linebacker is a walk on that could have gone to William & Mary. Wow!!! There is plenty wrong with that sentence and sadly crystallizes why we are who we are. Very disappointing.

  5. Hoping Sean seizes the job and doesn’t give it up. His main issue will likely be lack of size and whether he is 100% back from his injury

  6. Bud’s a good coach. Go Hokies. I am optimistic that it will work sometimes, but be burned other times. Oh well.

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