Practice Report: Hokies Solidifying the Offensive Line as Recruiting and Development Improves

Yosuah Nijman will anchor left tackle again for the Hokies. (Photo by Don Montague)

Virginia Tech offensive line coach Vance Vice made his first appearance of the spring in front of the media on Tuesday, so I thought we would spend the afternoon talking a little bit more about Virginia Tech’s current offensive line, along with offensive line recruiting.

Offensive Tackles

Right now, we know one thing — rising senior Yosuah Nijman will start at left tackle for the Hokies.  Nijman has been in the rotation since he was a true freshman and in the starting lineup since his sophomore season.  He’s a very good player and provided he stays healthy, he should have his best season as a senior. 

What we don’t know is what will happen at right tackle, and we don’t know exactly how the depth chart will shake out. Vice mentioned on Tuesday that redshirt junior Tyrell Smith, redshirt freshman Silas Dzansi and redshirt sophomore T.J. Jackson are also working at offensive tackle.  My guess is that all three players have worked a bit at right tackle this spring, while Dzansi has also gotten work at left tackle behind Nijman. 

Head coach Justin Fuente is generally pretty measured when talking about his players, but he specifically mentioned on Tuesday that he was pleased with the development of Silas Dzansi.  When Dzansi was first signed by Virginia Tech, he was a 242-pound defensive end from CD Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Va. who was projected to develop as an offensive lineman.  He had no other FBS offers and at the time, many Tech fans weren’t too keen on the signing (myself included).