Scrimmage Report: Defense Strong, Tailbacks Take Their Licks

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The Hokies held a scrimmage in Lane Stadium Saturday afternoon, and TSL had a man on the spot. Our report includes a glowing appraisal of the defense, and a description of how the tailbacks did — including Elan Lewis taking a whacking on one play that led to him being helped off the field.

First of all, I thought Brandon Flowers was the best player on the field today. He is just a tremendous cover corner and a very good tackler. He has a knack for anticipating the route and breaking on the ball. He is a very confident player and Torrian Gray seems to be very excited about him.

Speaking of Gray, it’s fun to watch him coach. He’s jumping up and down and running all over the place. He acts like a guy who could still be playing in the NFL if he hadn’t been injured.

Jahre Cheeseman looked very good as well. Early in the scrimmage he absolutely leveled Eddie Royal on a wide receiver screen. He beat the block and just laid him out, sending the entire team into cheers. He is very strong and explosive. He had another excellent play later in the scrimmage. Josh Morgan caught a pass, reversed field, and the only man between him and a huge gain was Cheeseman. Cheeseman made a great open field tackle.

As reported, Xavier Adibi does look much improved. He is much better in traffic and in the interior. He looks more physical and aggressive. He and Vince Hall look like they could be the best pair of inside linebackers in the ACC this year.

I was very pleased with the play of the defensive line. Carlton Powell is already a proven commodity, but Cordarrow Thompson and Kory Robertson really played well today. Robertson can really chase the ball down the line of scrimmage. Thompson could stand to lose 10 or 15 pounds, but when he and Robertson are on the field together they are the biggest pair of defensive tackles Tech has ever had. Hivera Green is a good ways behind them now because he missed so much strength and conditioning in the offseason. Hopefully he’ll catch up over the summer. From what I saw today, Tech does have four defensive tackles who can play, Barry Booker being the other.

The defensive ends were solid. I thought William Wall played well. He’s a physical specimen. He doesn’t