2010 Spring Practice Preview: Defensive Line

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For the third year in a row, Virginia Tech enters spring practice with depth
questions along the defensive line. With the early departure of Jason Worilds to
the NFL, the Hokies are left with just two experienced players at defensive end.
Two of the top three defensive tackles are also gone, and Charley Wiles will
need some guys to step up this spring and earn playing time.

The last time Wiles had a real two-deep to work with at each position on the
defensive line was 2007. Tech played just three ends and three tackles regularly
in 2008, and the depth at end was questionable in 2009 until Chris Drager
started picking up the position later in the year.

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

Bud Foster’s defense revolves around playing in the opponent’s backfield.
It’s important that the Hokies get some guys to step up and be playmakers.
Unfortunately there is a lot of inexperience on the depth chart, which means a
lot of question marks heading into the spring.

Defensive End

Virginia Tech has two different defensive end positions: the stud and the
end. The stud lines up on the wide side of the field, and he’s generally the
more athletic defensive end and the best pass rusher. The end plays on the short
side of the field, and he must be strong and physical at the point of attack.

In the past, the Hokies have