The Fisher Law Firm Friday Q&A: Defensive Line Depth, Damon Hazelton, and More

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1) With regards to Tim Settle‘s decision to turn pro after his r-So. season, do you see any similarities/differences with Logan Thomas’s situation at the end of his r-So. season? Do you think Logan’s decision to return to school for ultimately two more years and how it played out for him had any influence on Tim’s decision (i.e. strike while the iron is hot vs. return to school to improve draft stock)? – VTHokie2000

Chris Coleman: Nope, I don’t think that had any affect at all.  It’s quite possible that Thomas and Settle have never even met each other.  Logan’s final year at Tech was 2013, and Settle’s first season was in 2015.

Thomas had a big year in 2011, and then lost all the good offensive players around him.  He didn’t have any help for the rest of his career.  Did that hurt his draft stock as a quarterback?  Maybe, maybe not.  I’m not an NFL quarterback, so it’s hard to say.  In hindsight, I think it’s safe to say that Thomas wasn’t an NFL quarterback either way.  He’s currently playing tight end for the Bills, and it says quite a bit about his talent level that he was able to make that position change so late in the process.  He’s one of the few players to ever throw a touchdown pass and catch a touchdown pass in their career.

From what I understand, Tim Settle was leaving Virginia Tech come hell or high water.  He got advice to come back, even from NFL people.  And I don’t mean an NFL scout, or Mel Kiper.  I heard an NFL coach actually told him that he needed another year of seasoning.  But he ignored it.  He doesn’t like school, and he’s always been an NFL guy.

As adults, we sit around and try to rationalize the decisions that certain players make.  We probably do that too much.  They come from much different backgrounds, they don’t have a great grasp of the business side of things, plus these days I think guys are used to having their butts kissed by fans on Twitter and recruiting sites during the recruiting process.  As a result, they think they are better than they are. 

Settle is one of those guys who I could see going as early as the third round, but I could also see him dropping until the very late rounds if he has any trouble at the Combine, or if he has any kind of injury.  He took a big risk, in my opinion, but as I said, returning to school was never really an option in his mind.

Adonis Alexander needs to turn it around in 2018. (Ivan Morozov)

2) Are you more worried VT’s linebackers or cornerbacks lining up against Florida State on 9/3/18? Fairly decent chance there will be all new starters. I think the DL will be okay. – Lakeridgehokie

CC: At this point, I would say cornerbacks.  Adonis Alexander did not give me the warm and fuzzies this season.  He started off the year suspended, and later in the year he got hurt.  When he was healthy, I just have visions of him getting torched by Miami and Oklahoma State.  Alexander has plenty of physical talent, but he certainly hasn’t progressed at the rate of a guy like Greg Stroman.  In fact, you can even say