1) How would we be able to use Frank Beamer’s inevitable retirement in a positive recruiting manner? How do we go about countering someone who would negatively recruit using his retirement?
Chris Coleman: You bring up an excellent point and I’ve mentioned it before. You can bet your house that opposing schools are starting to use Frank’s age against him on the recruiting trail.
“If you commit to Virginia Tech, you’ll have a new head coach and a new coordinator at some point during your career there.”
It’s negative recruiting, but I think it does have a good chance of being true. I’m of the opinion that whoever is signing with the Hokies from this point forward will be playing for two different coaching staffs. I don’t know exactly when Frank will hang them up, but he’ll turn 68 this season, and I don’t see him pulling a Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno.
How do you counter it if you are recruiting for Virginia Tech? Turn the tables.
“Look at coaching turnover throughout college football these days. Almost every player will play for two different coordinators or two different coaches these days. Coaches change jobs more, and they get fired a lot quicker than they did in the past.”
That part is also true. If I committed to Alabama, I wouldn’t necessarily expect Nick Saban to be my coach for the next 4-5 years, nor would I expect Kirby Smart to be my defensive coordinator. Spurrier can’t last another 4-5 years at South Carolina, can he? When will Chad Morris get a head coaching job, and when he does, can Dabo Swinney overcome the loss of Morris, Boyd and Sammy Watkins?
That’s just the way it is in college football these days. The stability that Virginia Tech built over the years was very unique. We were living in our own little bubble while the rest of the college football world changed around us.
2) Besides QB, what spring practice position battles will be most interesting?
CC: I’ll be watching the defensive ends, linebackers and running backs. Not only are starting spots open, but the spring will be critical for building depth at those positions as well.
At running back, Trey Edmunds is out for the spring, but he returns as Tech’s starter. I can’t see any returning running back beating him out, nor can I see Shai McKenzie doing it in August coming off a torn ACL. I suppose the only guy with a realistic shot would be Marshawn Williams, who will play this spring.
However, before he thinks about the starting position, Williams first has to move up the depth chart. He’ll be competing with the likes of J.C. Coleman, Chris Mangus, Jerome Wright and Joel Caleb this spring. That’s a lot of bodies. I’ll be interested to see how Williams makes the adjustment from his I-Formation man blocking schemes in high school to a zone system in college.
Both starting linebacker positions are open, and there should be a good fight at both spots.
Mike: Chase Williams (r-Sr.), Devin Vandyke (r-So.) and Andrew Motu’apuaka (r-Fr.) are the candidates. I’m not sure when Vandyke will return from his torn ACL. He might be out for the spring....
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