Revisiting the 2009 Class Needs: The Defense

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Virginia Tech does not have much room to work with in terms of 2009 class scholarship spots, but in the end I still wouldn’t be surprised if the total number of signees is around the mid-teens. The Tech coaches certainly like to emphasize the defensive side of the ball in every class and this class is no exception. In total, I’d expect the staff to land anywhere from nine to 12 players on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams.

Currently, the staff has secured four commitments from players who definitely project on defense or special teams. Here is another look at the depth chart and a closer look at what positions the staff may concentrate on most with its remaining scholarships.

Here is the breakdown by position. Stay tuned later in the week for the analysis on offense.

Defensive Line

2009 Projected Roster

Seniors (3): Nekos Brown (DE), Demetrius Taylor (DT), Cordarrow Thompson (DT)
Juniors (3): Stephen Friday (DE), John Graves (DT), Jason Worilds (DE)
Sophomores (3): Kwamaine Battle (DT), Khalil Latif (DT), Justin Young (DT)
Sophomores/Red-shirt Freshmen (7): Nick Becton (DT), Isaiah Hamlette (DE), Antoine Hopkins (DT), Joe Jones (DE), Leon Mackey (DE), Courtney Prince (DT), Dwight Tucker (DT)
2009 Commitments (1): David Wang (DT), Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA)

Originally listed as a “jumbo athlete” who could play either offense or defense, David Wang is now listed as a sure-fire defensive tackle. The 6-2, 300-pound Stone Bridge standout participated exclusively at defensive tackle at Tech’s camp last month and performed well, just as he had done at the Nike Camp in Chapel Hill the previous month.

Wang is an impressive prospect at defensive tackle, and looking at the depth chart it seems as though the Hokies are very deep at the position. Tech would take a commitment from a DeAntre Rhodes-type, a prospect who could play tackle or end on the next level, but really, defensive tackle does not seem to be a big need right now. I do project the Tech staff to try and land two defensive ends with the remaining scholarships.

As I mentioned in the initial “Needs” outlook, the defensive line makeup could change depending upon the position destinations of several players. For example, there are rumblings that Bruce Taylor could end up at defensive