Friday Q&A: April 15, 2011

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Potential breakout players are a topic in today’s Friday Q&A, as well as
new coaches at Maryland and Miami. Also, will Tech’s offensive line live up to
the spring hype this season?

1) I’d like some detailed analysis of potential breakout players.

That’s a good idea, and we’ve seen numerous names kicked around this spring,
including Marcus Davis, James Gayle, Derrick Hopkins, etc. Those guys have been
discussed a lot, so I’ll move in a different direction today and talk about two
other players.

Along the offensive line, I think David Wang has done a good job this Spring.
He appears to be a player who is ready to contribute, and I can see him spelling
Greg Nosal and Jaymes Brooks at both guard spots during the season.

Wang is a strong player with a low center of gravity. He moves pretty well,
and is more naturally aggressive than his older brother, Ed, was at the same
stage. I think of all the offensive players this spring, Wang has been the
biggest surprise. Well, perhaps not the biggest surprise, but he’s made the most
improvements.

Defensively, I think Tariq Edwards has taken a big step forward this spring.
He’s bulked up a bit, but doesn’t appear to have lost any of his speed. A good
comparison would be Xavier Adibi. Edwards is bigger than Adibi at the same
stage, and though he’s probably not quite as athletically gifted, he’s in the
same ballpark.

In fact, Edwards may have made more strides than any player on the team since
last Spring. A year ago at this time he was the #3 backer behind Chase Williams,
and you could see that the potential was there, but he hadn’t quite put it all
together yet. He’s much closer to being a complete football player this spring,
and he will add some much needed athleticism to the Tech defense. It’s a faster
defense with Edwards on the field.

Of course, there are plenty of guys to pick from. There are a lot of good
sophomores on this team who are waiting to break out: Wang, Edwards, James
Gayle, J.R. Collins, Derrick Hopkins, Antone Exum, Kyle Fuller … there is a
lot of talent in the sophomore class

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