An Early Look at the 2008 Defense

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The exodus of defensive talent from Blacksburg this year is alarming. The
Hokies lose three starting defensive linemen, two starting linebackers, the
starting free safety and a starting cornerback. It’s very similar to the
defensive losses suffered by Tech following the 1999 season, when a number of
seniors used up their eligibility, and their top junior cornerback declared for
the NFL Draft.

At this early stage, my first thought is that the 2008 Virginia Tech defense
will be very similar to the 2000 defense. They’ll be young, and they might
struggle early in the year against East Carolina and Nebraska, but they’ll be
playing at a pretty high level by the end of the season.

Despite losing eight starters from 1999, that 2000 defense finished 27th
in total defense, 16th in rushing defense and 40th in pass efficiency defense.
Not great numbers like we’ve been used to over the past four years, but
certainly good ones. And you never know…as bad as ACC offenses have been over
the past couple of seasons, Virginia Tech could potentially put up better
numbers than that.

The first step is deciding who is going to replace guys like Carlton Powell,
Chris Ellis, Xavier Adibi and Brandon Flowers. Here is a very early look at a
possible depth chart.


Early 2008
Projected Defense Depth Chart

Pos

Starter

Backup

Others**

Stud

Jason Worilds (r-So.)

Steven Friday (r-So.)
...