Virginia Tech puts emphasis on special teams every year, and this year has
the potential to be one of the best special teams years in Tech history. The
Hokies have a lot of talented athletes who are ready to contribute in some way.
Not all will make the playing rotation on offense or defense, but they will have
a chance to make their impact on special teams.
Tech’s special teams weren’t particularly good in 2008. There wasn’t a lot of
depth on the team, and there were many unathletic walk-ons who couldn’t change
directions quickly playing special teams. As a result, the Hokies allowed three
punt returns for touchdowns, and didn’t come away with the big special teams
plays that they are accustomed to.
Matt Waldron (r-Sr.) is in the middle of locking down the field goal kicking
duties. During spring scrimmages, Waldron was 5-of-5, including a long of 47
yards. In this past Saturday’s scrimmage, he was 4-of-4, including two kicks of
beyond 40 yards. That’s a perfect 100% mark in scrimmage situations, with three
boots from beyond 40 yards. It’s hard to be more consistent than that.
Waldron is a transfer from Penn State, where he was #2 on the depth chart as
a freshman. He transferred to Tech in 2006, redshirted, and has been a backup
ever since. Here’s a little known fact about Waldron: he was the starting kicker
for the East team in the 2005 US Army All-American Bowl. His 35 yard field goal
in that game represented the only points scored by the East.
Behind Waldron are Chris Hazley (Jr.) and Justin Myer (So.). Myer has field
experience as Tech’s kickoff man last season. He will likely continue that role
in 2009. Hazley and Myer are tied for second on the depth chart behind Waldron
for field goal kicking duties, but neither has a realistic shot of catching him.
Virginia Tech has a history of having good kickers ever since joining the
ACC. Waldron hopes to keep that tradition going this year.
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