2016 Virginia Tech Football Preview: Defensive Line

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Ken Ekanem
Tech needs Ken Ekanem to get healthy.

Virginia Tech has some good talent on the defensive line, but most of it is very young.  There are question marks at defensive end, though defensive tackle could potentially be the main strength of the defense this season.

Defensive End Depth A Major Concern

I like Virginia Tech’s talent level at defensive end, but the backups (and even one of the starters) are completely unproven players.  To make matters worse, Ken Ekanem is out with a neck injury.

Considering he’s still dressing out in full pads for practice, he’s not going to be out for the season or anything like that.  If they thought he would miss the season, he wouldn’t be dressing out.  However, he isn’t doing any contact work and Justin Fuente is doing a pretty good job of avoiding the question so far, so there’s no way of knowing exactly what his issue is or how long he’ll be out.

If Ekanem misses any time, that would be a significant blow to the Tech defense.  They only have three ends that they trust right now, with him being one of them…

Ken Ekanem (No. 4, 6-foot-3, 260-pounds, r-Sr.)
Vinny Mihota (No. 99, 6-foot-5, 264-pounds, r-So.)
Trevon Hill (No. 94, 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, r-Fr.)

If you scratch Ekanem off that list, Tech’s starters will be a redshirt-sophomore and a redshirt-freshman who has never played a down.  I do think that Mihota and Hill would do fine, but I’m not sure Tech could afford to take them off the field very much.  It would be like