Fewer True Freshmen Expected to Play in 2015


The Second Summer Session starts this week, which means the vast majority of Virginia Tech’s 2015 recruiting class has now enrolled. Those players will get to take college classes before the fall semester begins, and they’ll get a month with Mike Gentry before practice starts in August.

Today’s article is simply my initial opinion of the status of each player, based on what I know about them from the recruiting process (plus spring practice, if they were enrolled that early). I’ll update these statuses throughout the month of August, once practice begins and we get a chance to observe open scrimmages.

I’ve decided to assign a certain status level to each recruit to determine how likely it is that they play as true freshmen: very likely, likely, possible, unlikely, and very unlikely. Right now, no true freshman has been eliminated from playing this year, though obviously some have much greater chances to play than others.

Here are my initial impressions of each player, based on the talent level and physical development of each freshman, and the challenges he faces based on the depth chart.

Note that Eric Whitehead, Adonis Williamson, Zachariah Hoyt and Tim Settle aren’t included. Whitehead and Williamson did not qualify and will head to junior college, while Settle still has to wait to find out whether or not he qualified. He’s much closer now than he was a year ago at this time, and I think there’s a chance he could make it in August. Hoyt will be a January 2016 enrollee (grayshirt).

As always, there could be 2-3 other guys who haven’t enrolled yet because their qualification status is up in the air. Jahque Alleyne‘s status was up in the air at one point, but I’m going to include him because I haven’t heard anything new.

Dwayne Lawson
Dwayne Lawson


Dwayne Lawson: Likely. I was tempted to say “very likely” for Lawson, but I’ll hold off for now. I view Lawson as the most talented quarterback Virginia Tech has signed since Tyrod Taylor. He can certainly help the offense this year with his legs, and I believe the staff will groom him to take over the reins for the 2016 season.

Running Back

Deshawn McClease: Very unlikely. I like McClease as a prospect, but I’d like to have him spend a year in the strength and conditioning program before he sees the field. Plus, J.C. Coleman, Trey Edmunds and Travon McMillian looked good in the spring. Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie could play as well, depending on how their knees respond to ACL surgery.

Wide Receiver

Coleman Fox: Very unlikely. Fox played some slot receiver in high school, but he was mostly a tailback. The Hokies have a number of guys who can play in the slot, and with Fox’s limited experience at wide receiver, it would be best to redshirt him this year.

Tight End/H-back

Chris Cunningham: Unlikely. Cunningham isn’t a traditional tight end, and likely never will be. He’s the type of player who can be split out wide receiver, or lined up as an H-back. If he gets big enough, perhaps one day he can play with his hand on the ground. The Hokies could use a big receiver (besides Bucky Hodges) this year, and if Cunningham can pick up the playbook fast enough, it’s possible that he could contribute this year. I don’t consider it likely at this point, but it could happen.

Tight End/Traditional