A look forward: Defensive line

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Defensive line should be a major strength for the Hokies in 2015. Charley Wiles will return all four starters. Five, if you include Nigel Williams.

Though there are depth issues at defensive end, Corey Marshall provides versatility if push comes to shove. Let’s take a look at end, tackle, and all the prospective players.

Defensive End

There are no questions about who will start at defensive end for the Hokies. Unfortunately, depth could be a major issue, and Tech was fortunate that Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem stayed healthy in 2014.

Dadi Nicolas
Dadi Nicolas

#90 Dadi Nicolas (6-4, 231, r-Sr.)

Nicolas had his breakout season in 2014, racking up 18.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks on the season, not to mention 35 quarterback hurries. He was a Second Team All-ACC player only because he didn’t have a golden spear on his helmet.

Coming out of high school, we knew Dadi had a great motor, and that he played as hard as anyone you’ll ever see on a high school highlight film. What we didn’t know was whether or not he would be able to add the required weight and develop the proper technique. He’s still a bit raw in some ways, and I’d like to see him add another 10 pounds. However, it can’t be denied that he has turned into a really good player.