2011 Spring Practice Preview: Defensive Backs

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We’ve seen a lot of change in the Virginia Tech football program during the
offseason, and the defensive backs are included. Torrian Gray is now responsible
for the rover position, and he must also break in two new starters.

Previously, Jim Cavanaugh coached Virginia Tech’s whips and rovers. From
1996-2003, that made plenty of sense, because the whips and rovers were very
similar. Since 2004 however, the rover position has transitioned into more of a
two-deep safety role. The rover can still come up and play in an eight-man
front, but for the most part whip and rover are very different these days.

With rover more of a safety role, it made sense to hand the position over to
Torrian Gray. The rover has to communicate with the rest of the defensive backs,
and it helps to have all of those players coached by the same person.
Communication was an issue for the Tech defense at times last year, particularly
in the Orange Bowl loss to Stanford.

Gray will have to replace two starters: cornerback Rashad Carmichael, who
will be selected in the NFL Draft, and rover Davon Morgan. Despite those losses,
the Hokies will still have plenty of talent in the starting lineup in the

Defensive Backs Depth Chart
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Yr.
BC Kyle Fuller 6-0 185 So.
BC Cris Hill 5-11 176