Andy Bitter reported earlier today that rising r-freshman offensive tackle Austin Clark has given up football to concentrate on academics. Clark was a 4-star recruit coming out of Rockbridge County, but his football career at Virginia Tech is over.
Here’s the link to Andy’s article. Though it would be nice to have better depth on the offensive line, you can’t blame him for that decision. This quote in particular stands out…
“I wasn’t 100 percent committed to football,” Clark said. “And in college football, you can’t be half in, half out. If you’re going to play college football, you need to be 100 percent.”
Clark displays a lot of maturity with that quote, and he’s 100% correct. He wants to focus on academics, and that’s never a bad decision. We wish him the best of luck in the future.
However, his loss leaves the Hokies extremely thin at offensive tackle.
Jonathan McLaughlin, Sr. – McLaughlin is a veteran who is sure to start at one of the offensive tackle positions.
Yosuah Nijman, So. – Nijman would be a definite starter as a true sophomore, though there are rumors of leg injury. We probably won’t know anything until spring practice begins.
Those are the only offensive tackles in the program with experience at offensive tackle. Wyatt Teller (r-Jr.), Augie Conte (r-Sr.) and Parker Osterloh (r-Jr.) could potentially play the position, but all three could be better suited for guard. JUCO transfer Demetri Moore, who enrolled at Virginia Tech in January, appears to have a legitimate shot at earning a starting job in his first year on campus.
We don’t expect a depth chart to be released until spring practice opens. When that finally happens, there’s a very good chance that we could see some positions changes as new offensive line coach Vance Vice searches for depth at tackle.