Virginia Tech’s linebacker production in 2016 was much better than it was in 2015. Though the tackles for loss and sack numbers were similar, Andrew Motuapuaka and Tremaine Edmunds combined for 70 more total tackles and three more interceptions in 2016 than Motuapuaka and Deon Clarke came up with in 2015. The secondary also improved, but one of the key reasons for the overall improvement in the defense was linebacker play.
Neither of Tech’s two starting linebackers is perfect, but both have strengths. Motuapuaka can be inconsistent against the run, though he was a bit better this year. However, he is a ballhawk who is good in coverage, particularly in deep coverage down the middle of the field. Edmunds might not be the most natural linebacker between the tackles, but he can run as well as any linebacker the Hokies have ever had.
Today I’ll examine the depth at each linebacker position as we head into spring practice. Note that this is only about players who will be on the team this spring. Guys who enroll in the summer such as Dylan Rivers, Jaylen Griffin and Rayshard Ashby could shake things up in August, but for now we’re talking about spring practice.
Backer: Who Will Back Up Tremaine Edmunds?
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