Bud Foster lost starting linebackers Jack Tyler and Tariq Edwards, but he still feels confident in this year’s group. And why shouldn’t he? When is the last time the Hokies didn’t have decent linebacker play?
There have only been a couple of times over the last decade where I can remember Tech’s linebackers not being up to snuff. Jake Johnson struggled back in 2009, and Lyndell Gibson wasn’t good in 2010, but other than that Bud Foster has managed to get solid, consistent performances out of his group, particularly at the mike spot.
When is the last time the Hokies didn’t have a good mike? Here’s the list of mikes of the ACC era:
2004: Vince Hall
2005: Vince Hall
2006: Vince Hall
2007: Vince Hall
2008: Brett Warren
2009: Barquell Rivers
2010: Bruce Taylor
2011: Bruce Taylor/Jack Tyler
2012: Jack Tyler
2013: Jack Tyler
That’s a pretty good group of players. I’d take any one of those guys and feel good about it. Tech will have to break in a new mike this year, and they will have a fifth year senior to fill the role. There is also some talent behind him.
Chase Williams (#36, 6-2, 215, r-Sr.) has certainly waited his turn. When he enrolled for spring practice in 2010, I thought he was the best true freshman linebacker that I had seen at Tech, but the injury bug took him out of the running for playing time in those first couple of seasons. After that, he was shuffled back and forth between mike and backer and played behind excellent players such as Jack Tyler, Bruce Taylor and Tariq Edwards. Williams is now at his natural position of mike, and he certainly has the experience as a college football player. He did make one start back in...
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