Thoughts After Saturday’s Scrimmage

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Saturday’s scrimmage was a key one for the Hokie football team, as only two weeks remain before game week preparation
for NC State begins. Obviously, the two-deep needs to be settled long before then, so the scrimmage was a chance for
players to make themselves noticed at free safety, offensive line, defensive line, punter, and rover. How are those
positions likely to sort themselves out? We received loads of email from our insiders, and here’s how we sort out their

The Defense

Ellis continues to draw raves from everyone who sees him. Saturday, he read a screen pass to David Clowney, broke
off his rush, and ran Clowney down from behind, 15 yards downfield, for the no-contest Play of the Day. Unless the
coaches start Darryl Tapp at defensive tackle for every game (allowing them to start both Burchette and Ellis at the end
spots), most observers agree that at some point, Ellis will get the starting nod over Burchette. They are currently
listed co-number one at the Stud end position, with Ellis just a redshirt sophomore and Burchette a redshirt junior.
Burchette is good, but Ellis appears poised for greatness.

Beyond those three Sunday-caliber DEs, the battle is still on to decide who’s going to be the #4 defensive end. William
is a year away mentally, and Orion Martin is a year away physically, so we don’t envy the coaching staff
their decision.

The defense as a whole is super-fast, VT’s fastest in "ages," according to one scrimmage observer we
corresponded with. In addition to the screen where Ellis ran Clowney down from behind, there was a reverse to Clowney
where James Anderson swallowed him whole.

Obviously, the starting three linebackers — Anderson, Xavier Adibi, and Vince Hall — are as good a
unit as you’ll find anywhere, but opinions differ on their backups — Corey Gordon, Blake Warren, and Brett
, respectively. Some people that we talk to fret that the dropoff from the starters to the second team is
considerable, while others say