Looking Ahead to the Spring: The Defense

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The Virginia Tech defense has some holes to fill after losing six starters
from the 2009 team. The Hokies lost some good defensive linemen to graduation and
early entry to the NFL Draft, and also departed an All-American whip linebacker,
a starting cornerback and the starting free safety.

Tech will return five starters on defense: John Graves, Barquell Rivers,
Lyndell Gibson, Davon Morgan and Rashad Carmichael. There are plenty of
questions to be answered, and the Tech coaching staff is depending on some young
players to step up in the spring.

Defensive Line

Pre-Spring Defensive Line Depth Chart
Stud DT DT End
Steven Friday (r-Sr.) Antone Hopkins (r-So.) John Graves (r-Sr.) Chris Drager (r-Jr.)
James Gayle (r-Fr.) Dwight Tucker (r-So.) Kwamaine Battle (r-Jr.) Isaiah Hamlette (r-So.)
Duan Perez-Means (Fr.) Courtney Prince (r-So.) Joe Jones (r-So.) J.R. Collins (r-Fr.)

Tech’s returning defensive line was dealt a blow earlier this month when Jason
Worilds declared for the NFL Draft. In addition to Worilds, Charley Wiles also
loses his other starting defensive end, Nekos Brown, as well as two of his top
three defensive tackles, Cordarrow Thompson and Demetrius Taylor. That’s a lot
of talent and experience to lose in one offseason, and it will be a busy
offseason for Wiles.