Football Notes: August 15, 2012

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Tech’s first open scrimmage is coming up this Saturday.  Some redshirt decisions and depth chart changes will be coming shortly thereafter.

Actually, there have already been some slight depth chart changes this week.  Let’s take a quick look at them and what they mean.

Antoine Hopkins

Maddy Moves Ahead of Hopkins

Last season Charley Wiles decided to play Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall as true freshmen over some older players.  He didn’t base that decision on knowledge of the playbook, size, strength, or experience in college games.  He based it off of their superior ability to explode off the line of scrimmage and to make plays in the backfield.  The Tech defense needs defensive linemen who can penetrate and make plays outside of their assigned gaps.

A big competition this August is between Luther Maddy (6-1, 288, So.) and Antoine Hopkins (6-1, 313, r-Sr.) for one of the starting defensive tackles.  I thought Hopkins would pull ahead when Maddy slightly injured his hamstring last week.  I was wrong.  Instead, Charley Wiles told Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times that Maddy was pulling ahead because he’s showing a greater ability to get penetration and chase the football outside of his gap.

Perhaps that’s not too surprising.  Hopkins is listed at 6-1, 313.  Weights are always accurate … heights, not so much.  Take half-an-inch to an inch off of that 6-1, and you’ll have a more accurate height for Hopkins.  He’s more like 6-0, 313.  That’s the heaviest he’s been during his career.  Perhaps he’s not moving as well because he’s carrying about 10-lbs. too many.  That’s just my theory.

Hopkins is certainly a guy who can make plays.  He had 6.5 tackles for loss as a r-sophomore in 2010, and that’s