Injuries Create Opportunities

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Spring practice begins two weeks from tomorrow.  As usual, some injuries will impact Virginia Tech’s depth at certain positions.

Each spring the Hokies are missing several key guys, and that results in younger players getting a lot of reps with either the starters or the top backups.  That’s the case again this year, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Sometimes it can be beneficial for the team when experienced starters miss the spring.  It helps the coaching staff build depth.  Other times it’s a player you want to see get reps who turns out to be hurt.  There is a mixture of both scenarios this spring.

Keep in mind that heights and weights have not been updated on HokieSports since August, so we have no new size information to go on.

D.J. Coles (6-3, 224, Sr.): Coles really developed into a quality receiver for the Hokies last year, catching 36 passes for 480 yards and three touchdowns.  I think he’ll be Tech’s #1 receiver this fall, but he’s going to miss the spring while coming off knee surgery.  With Coles out, there will be more reps available for guys like Corey Fuller (6-2, 189, r-Sr.), Demitri Knowles (6-0, 167, r-Fr.), Kevin Asante (5-11, 176, r-Fr.), E.L. Smiling (6-3, 200, r-So.), Christian Reeves (6-3, 208, r-Fr.) and Willie Byrn (5-10, 177, r-So.).  That’s a lot of names, but only one guy can be the #4 receiver.  Someone will have a chance to separate himself this spring.

Joe St. Germain (6-0, 213, r-So.): You’ve probably never heard that name.  Joe St. Germain is Virginia Tech’s backup long snapper, and he is expected to take over the starting duties this year.  However, has him out for the spring with a hernia.  Rising r-sophomore Lukas Stump (5-11, 204, r-So.) is the only other long snapper listed on the roster, so it will obviously be a big spring for him.  Expect a few other walk-ons to get reps as well … we just don’t know who they are yet.

Tony Gregory (6-0, 190, r-Jr.): Gregory is out for the spring after undergoing ACL surgery.  He is going to watch film and attend meetings with the cornerbacks this spring.  After missing so much weight room time in his career due to injury, it’s