2008 Spring Football Wrapup: The Defense

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Virginia Tech’s defense finished first nationally in total defense in 2005
and 2006, and second nationally in 2007. Most of those players are gone. Vince
Hall, Carlton Powell, Xavier Adibi, Brandon Flowers, etc. are no longer on the
team. They’ll have to be replaced, but their shoes will be tough to fill. Of
course, the Tech defense still has defensive coordinator Bud Foster, arguably
the top defensive coordinator in the country. If we’ve learned one thing over
the years, it’s to trust in Foster. There generally aren’t any problems on
defense, and if there are, he fixes them.

Defensive Line

Virginia Tech had some major question marks heading into this spring along
the defensive line. After losing seniors Chris Ellis, Carlton Powell, Barry
Booker and Kory Robertson, there was a lack of experience heading into spring
practice. Defensive line coach Charley Wiles needed some players to step up.

At
defensive end, Virginia Tech has three proven defensive ends. Orion Martin is a
r-senior and returning starter. Junior Nekos Brown has been dependable his
entire career, and r-sophomore Jason Worilds was named Most Valuable Defensive
Performer of the spring.

However, the Hokies like to have a rotation of four defensive ends. Right
now, the fourth end is r-sophomore Steven Friday. Friday is up to 235 pounds,
but he still needs more size and strength. At this point he’s not going to be
able to provide a lot of plays, but he will have to provide a few each game,
just to spell the starters. It would be nice to see him add another 10 pounds or
so over the summer.

There were a couple of surprises at defensive tackle. Cordarrow Thompson
dropped 30 pounds and now weights in at about 300. That improved his
conditioning and his quickness off the ball. He’ll be able to play more than
just two or three snaps in a row now. Thompson is a very talented player who can
move up and down the line of scrimmage. He might be Tech’s best defensive tackle
this year.

John

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