2014: Linebackers

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Virginia Tech has big question marks at linebacker.  Jack Tyler and Tariq Edwards are both gone, and there is a ton of inexperience behind them.  How quickly can Bud Foster reload the mike and backer positions?

Tyler and Edwards were two very productive linebackers, as you can see from their career numbers…

Tyler: 31 career starts, 286 tackles, 32.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks
Edwards: 28 career starts, 170 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 7 sacks

That’s a lot of starts, and a lot of big plays in the offensive backfield.  Combine that with the losses on the defensive line, and Bud Foster will be replacing a lot of production in the front seven this season.

The mikes and backers will be Foster’s immediate concern, as their position coach.  Let’s take a look at the guys the Hokies have returning at those positions, as well as the whip spot.

Charles Clark (left) and Andrew Motu'apuaka at VT's July 13, 2013 football camp
Andrew Motu’apuaka (right) at VT’s July 13, 2013 football camp

Mike

Chase Williams (6-2, 220, r-Sr.) has plenty of college football experience.  He has been in the program since the spring of 2010, and he has played over 500 special teams snaps during the course of his career.  He’s seen just over 100 snaps on the defensive side of the ball.

When Williams was a true freshman, I thought he was the best true freshman linebacker I had seen at Tech during the spring scrimmages.  However, he’s been banged up at times and he’s been behind some very good players in Bruce Taylor and Jack Tyler.  How will he perform, assuming he does win the job?

Williams could have competition at the mike spot.  Devin Vandyke (6-0, 218, r-So.) was very impressive in last year’s

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