A Fresh Start Up Front

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Jeff Grimes

When Jeff Grimes was announced as Virginia Tech’s new offensive line coach, he indicated that he wants all his players to have a fresh start in 2013.  Virginia Tech is a fresh start for Grimes, so why should 2013 not be a fresh start for his players?

The Hokies lost three senior offensive linemen following the 2012 season: Michael Via, Nick Becton and Vinston Painter.  The spring of 2013 will represent a fresh start for Tech’s returning linemen.  I think we can name one or two guys who will definitely be starters, but for the most part the positions are up for grabs.

It will be interesting to see the initial depth chart.  Having never coached any of these players before, decisions could be made by Grimes based on offseason work ethic, combined of course with past experience.  So, which positions are open, and which players have an opportunity to take advantage of their fresh start?

The Interior

Virginia Tech’s interior line did not get it done last season, particularly once Andrew Miller (r-Sr.) was lost for the season with an injury.  Though I don’t think Miller was playing as well in 2012 as he did in 2011, he was still a big loss up front.

As a guy who has been the starting center for the last two seasons, Miller is a virtual lock to be a starter in 2013.  However, at which position?  It seems ideal to get Tech’s best three interior linemen on the field, and I think most would agree that Tech’s best three interior linemen include both centers: Miller and Caleb Farris (Jr.).  How’s that going to work?

Answer: one would have to play the offensive guard position.  Miller played that position as a r-freshman in 2010, and I think he’s more ideal there than Farris.  He is a more mobile player, and would do better in pulling situations.  Therefore, I think there is a possibility that Miller could end up playing one of the offensive guard spots in 2013.

Other possibilities for the interior