Post Spring Thoughts: Defense

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The big basketball news of the last couple of weeks threw us off of our regularly scheduled post-spring football practice coverage.  Today we’ll get back to football and focus on how the defense looks with spring ball in the rear view mirror.

On paper, the Hokies will have one of the top defenses in the country in 2012.  They even have enough depth in the front seven to withstand an injury or two (knock on wood).  Depth is a bit thin in the secondary, but the performance of the backups in the spring left me feeling better than I did in March.

Here are my post-spring awards for the defensive side of the ball.

MVP: Kyle Fuller .  Fuller is Tech’s best overall player on defense, and he was very good at the field corner spot for the Hokies this spring.

Most Improved: Luther Maddy .  The true sophomore really took his game to a new level this spring.  He will have a great competition with Antoine Hopkins for a starting position this August.

Top Freshman: Ronny Vandyke .  This guy is exactly what you want in a whip linebacker.

Biggest Surprise: Donaldven Manning .  To be 5-9, 155, Manning was a lot better than I thought he would be.  He’s a tough guy who looks like he’ll be ready to play this fall.

Defensive Line Depth

Luther Maddy

You can’t write an article on the Virginia Tech defense without discussing their defensive line depth.  The Hokies put a quality two-deep on the field this spring, and they didn’t even have Antoine Hopkins (r-Sr.) available.  Once he comes back, the defensive line will really gain some depth.

The Hokies return every single player on the defensive line from a year ago.  Starting defensive