The Fisher Law Firm Friday Q&A: True Freshmen, Linemen and More

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1) Which true freshmen have played so far that you wish hadn’t? – jdbowman

Chris Coleman: Here’s a list of the true freshmen who have seen action thus far…

DB Devon Hunter
RB Jalen Holston
WR Sean Savoy
WR Hezekiah Grimsley
LB Rayshard Ashby
DB Bryce Watts
TE Dalton Keene
LB Dylan Rivers
WR Kalil Pimpleton

That’s the complete list, unless I missed one.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of playing Rivers or Rayshard Ashby.  As far as I can tell, Rivers is No. 3 at mike, and Rivers is No. 3 at backer. It’s hard to get reps to third string players during the season, and playing them on the kickoff team doesn’t exactly get them a lot of decent work, since Joey Slye booms all of his kickoffs out of the endzone. That said, we knew that the Hokies weren’t going to redshirt all four of their linebacker recruits this year.  Playing two and redshirting two was always the likely scenario, in order to get some spacing.  Ashby might be the frontrunner to start at mike next season, and Rivers could be the starter at backer if Tremaine Edmunds leaves.

Here’s what I don’t like — the fact that Rivers has only played in one game.  What is the point of pulling a redshirt off a guy to play him on the kickoff team in a blowout against East Carolina?  That I don’t get, unless of course the records on HokieSports are wrong and he has in fact played in more than one game.  That’s possible, because they have made mistakes this year.  They originally had Terius Wheatley playing against ECU instead of Rivers, and that was wrong.  They’ve also had a couple of other participation errors.  The Strategic Communications department just doesn’t care about the little details as they used to.  I’ve been able to get HokieSports to correct the errors that I’ve noticed, but there could be more that I haven’t noticed.

But I stand by my statement regarding Rivers.  They need to play him somewhere to justify pulling his redshirt.  He’s played in just one of the five games, and he only appeared for the second half of that ECU game.  That’s the kind of stuff that Al Groh used to pull, and I’d criticize him for blowing redshirts and not developing guys over five years. 

Kalil Pimpleton has played in only two of Tech’s first five games, according to (ECU and Old Dominion).  That seems like a waste.  However, it might not turn out to be that way.  CJ Carroll is on crutches right now apparently, and I don’t think there’s much of a chance that he plays this week against Boston College.  Pimpleton might be forced into action.  Sometimes when a guy is on the fringe of playing or redshirting, it’s better to just go ahead and play them simply because you might need them later in the year because of injuries.

Overall, I don’t have any major issues with how Tech has handled redshirts this year.  We knew this team lacked depth and that many of the freshmen would be called upon to play.  I actually feel pretty relieved that only nine guys are playing, and that the coaching staff has been able to redshirt all the young defensive linemen.

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