Practice Report: Josh Jackson Standing Out, Devon Hunter Progressing at Whip

Devon Hunter could be Tech’s future whip/nickel. (Ivan Morozov)

Spring practice is well underway in Blacksburg and while it’s difficult to get a handle on what’s going on these days because of the lack of access, we’ve been able to put enough information together from our sources to give you a report on several positions.

Devon Hunter: The Heir Apparent at Whip?

Virginia Tech doesn’t recruit specifically for the whip/nickel spot.  Instead, they bring guys into the program, evaluate them and then place their most suitable player at whip.  Mook Reynolds was identified as Tech’s most suitable player for this position shortly after he enrolled back in 2015.  He was backed up this past year by Deon Newsome, who filled in admirably when Reynolds was injured late in the season.

Newsome is gone, and Reynolds will be a senior in 2018.  It’s time to start thinking about Reynolds’ replacement.  For now, it appears that guy is sophomore Devon Hunter, who was Virginia Tech’s top 2017 recruit.  I’ve always considered Hunter a candidate for whip, depending on how things developed at other positions.  With Reggie Floyd playing so well at rover last year, trying out Hunter at a different spot seems like the right thing to do.

The early indications are that the experiment is going well.  Hunter is far from a finished product, but he has the physical ability to excel at the whip/nickel spot, in my opinion.  Defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s comments make it seem like this is a move for the long-term, rather than the short-term.