2014 Preview: Defensive Line

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When it comes to Bud Foster’s defense, the defensive line is the big topic of conversation.  Defensive end depth is nonexistent, though the defensive tackles should be very good.

Virginia Tech’s depth at defensive end is perilously thin, which makes the misses in the 2014 recruiting class stand out even more.  Let’s focus on defensive end, and later we’ll take a look at defensive tackle.


Defensive End

Check out the number of snaps Virginia Tech’s returning defensive ends have played in their career.

Dadi Nicolas: 436
Dewayne Alford: 19
Ken Ekanem: 7
Total: 462

If that’s not enough to worry you, then I don’t know what will.  There is virtually no experience at this spot outside of Dadi Nicolas, and even worse, there aren’t many options because the Hokies had just four scholarship players at defensive end when they opened camp.  Even worse than that, injuries are starting to pop up.

Dadi Nicolas (#90, 6-4, 231, r-Jr.): Dadi finally added some weight in the offseason, and he is Virginia Tech’s most proven defensive end.  Nicolas has a great motor, great speed, and he plays with toughness and emotion on every snap.  He recorded seven tackles for loss and four sacks a season ago.  However, three of his sacks came against Pitt while he was playing a standup outside linebacker role.  Is he big enough to handle an every down defensive end role?  Unfortunately, Nicolas has been