2007 Spring Football Preview: The Offensive Line

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The most important position for Virginia Tech this year will be offensive
line. Not quarterback, not depth at defensive end, not whip linebacker, and not
rover. How far this team will go this fall will depend on how much running room
the line can create for Branden Ore, and how much time they give Sean Glennon,
Ike Whitaker, or whomever, to throw.

The offensive line is viewed as the weak spot on the team heading into the
season. Last season the line was average at best, but they did show signs of
coming on in the middle of the season. However, injuries to Ryan Shuman and
Brandon Frye derailed any chances the line had of gelling during the season, and
the Tech offense limped to the finish line.

Will Tech’s offensive line be better this year? It’s hard to say. They lost
starters Brandon Frye and Danny McGrath, as well as backup and part-time starter
Brandon Gore. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be better this year.

But, they could be. Last year, Tech had seven linemen ready to play at the
beginning of the season. They were: Brandon Frye, Ryan Shuman, Danny McGrath,
Sergio Render, Duane Brown, Brandon Gore and Nick Marshman. This year, the
Hokies have six guys who look like they’ll definitely contribute at this point:
Duane Brown, Nick Marshman, Ryan Shuman, Sergio Render, Brandon Holland and Ed

If Curt Newsome can coach up a couple of more backups this spring, such as
Aaron Brown, Matt Welsh and Beau Warren, Virginia Tech has a chance to field a
deeper, more effective offensive line in 2007. That’s possible, especially with
a very highly-touted offensive line recruiting class coming in. But for now,
let’s focus on what the Hokies will have up front this spring.

Left Tackle

Brown, 6-5, 290, r-Sr.

Duane Brown is regarded by nearly everyone as Virginia Tech’s top offensive
lineman and a possible All-ACC selection this season. That’s probably true, but...