Defense makes progress

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Virginia Tech is expected to have a strong defense in 2013, though Bud Foster and his staff did go into the spring with some question marks.  Today we’ll take a look at the performance of the defense this spring, and see if those question marks were addressed.

The biggest questions of the spring revolved around the field corner spot, overall depth in the secondary, depth at linebacker, and depth at defensive tackle.  All of Tech’s starting positions, with the exception of field corner, were in good hands when the spring began.

In some ways, I feel a lot better about the defense right now than I did at the beginning of the spring.  In another way, I don’t feel quite so good.

Defensive Tackle depth could be lacking

Dadi Nicolas

Charley Wiles feels great about his defensive ends.  James Gayle (#99, 6-4, 253, r-Sr.), Dadi Nicolas (#90, 6-2, 227, r-So.), J.R. Collins (#42, 6-2, 252, r-Sr.), Corey Marshall (#96, 6-1, 260, Jr.) and Tyrel Wilson (#66, 6-1, 225, r-Sr.) are all experienced players who are capable of playing a lot of downs.  Guys like Matt Roth (6-4, 242, r-So.) and Ken Ekanem (6-3, 242, r-Fr.) improved throughout the course of the spring as well.

On the other hand, the interior depth could be lacking.  Did you notice how little Derrick Hopkins (#98, 6-0, 312, Sr.) and Luther Maddy (6-1, 295, Jr.) played in the Spring Game?  Those are the last guys the Hokies need to get hurt in a meaningless scrimmage.  Both Hopkins and Maddy are proven players, and they will be a very good tandem in 2013.

However, if either of them gets hurt, all bets are off.