Preseason Thoughts: Offensive Line and True Freshmen

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Football practice has begun in Blacksburg. Though the Hokies haven’t held any
scrimmages yet, word has come out about some of the freshmen who could have a
chance to see the field this year. Also, despite the injury to Blake
DeChristopher, the offensive line isn’t a big concern at this point.

Despite O-Line Injuries, Tech Will Make it Through August Just Fine

Last week, it was announced that starting right tackle Blake DeChristopher
will miss the first 2-6 weeks of practice because of a strained pectoral muscle.
At the same time, the medical staff decided to hold out starting left guard Greg
Nosal from the beginning of practice because he is still recovering from the
shoulder surgery that kept him out of spring practice. Nosal is not expected to
miss any games, and DeChristoper might not miss any either.

This is the time we all start freaking out, right? The Hokies are down two
senior starters on the offensive line. We all know what offensive line injuries
can do to the offense as a whole. 2007 taught us that lesson. (More on that in a

When I heard the news about DeChristopher and Nosal, I shrugged my shoulders.
Eh, no biggie. Why? First of all, the Hokies have much better and more reliable
depth than they had in 2007. Secondly, DeChristopher and Nosal are seniors, so
missing practice time won’t have as much of an effect on them as it would a
younger player. And finally, the news came out at the beginning of August. If
DeChristopher had gotten hurt on September 1, then I would be concerned.

Back in 2007, a preseason injury to Ed Wang caused a complete reshuffling of
the Tech offensive line. Nick Marshman moved to right tackle, which he was not
suited to play because of his lack of quickness. Richard Graham moved into the
starting lineup at right guard, which he was not suited to play because he was
too small, too inexperienced, and not strong enough. The result was an epic
disaster that saw even