Virginia Tech must replace four offensive line starters this spring. Fortunately, they have plenty of experience amongst their backups.
The Hokies were one of the top rushing teams in college football a year ago, finishing 28th in the nation in yards per game, and they allowed only 17 sacks in 14 games, good for 22nd in the country. The Tech offensive line gradually improved over a three-year span from 2009 through 2011, culminating with a very good year a season ago. Now Blake DeChristopher, Jaymes Brooks, Greg Nosal and Andrew Lanier are gone.
Overall, the Hokies should be a bigger and more physical offensive line this year. However, some guys don’t have a lot of game reps under their belt. Fortunately the two-deep seems to be set right now. Michael Via is out for the spring, but other than that it’s not too difficult to project the depth chart. A few guys might change positions between now and August, but for a team that just lost four starters up front, Tech’s offensive line seems pretty stable.
Despite the loss of Blake DeChristopher and Andrew Lanier, there is plenty of physical talent at offensive tackle.
Nick Becton (6-6, 326, r-Sr.): Becton technically isn’t a returning starter, but he has played over 700 snaps at left tackle throughout the course of his career. He is a physical upgrade to Andrew Lanier. Becton needs to get meaner and more physical at the point of attack, but as a senior I expect him to be a better football player than Andrew Lanier. He was already splitting reps with Lanier, virtually 50-50. Becton’s senior season will determine whether or not he is a late round draft pick or perhaps a third round pick. He has excellent feet, excellent size, great reach, and he certainly has the potential...
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