Defensive Line Thoughts: Solid Depth At End, But Questions At Tackle

TyJuan Garbutt
TyJuan Garbutt will help provide quality depth at defensive end. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech lost defensive tackle Tim Settle to the NFL, but other than that the defensive line returns intact. They will also add several talented redshirt freshmen into the mix at defensive end, and depth at that position should be just fine. However, depth at defensive tackle is iffy right now, and the future of that position is even more questionable.

Defensive Ends

Trevon Hill: 6-3, 245, r-Jr.
Houshun Gaines: 6-3, 235, r-Jr.
Emmanuel Belmar: 6-2, 250, r-So.
Zion DeBose: 6-1, 250, r-Fr.
TyJuan Garbutt: 6-1, 245, r-Fr.
Nathan Proctor: 6-2, 240, r-Fr.
Eli Adams: 5-11, 240, Fr.
Jaevon Becton: 6-4, 250, Fr.

I feel good about Virginia Tech’s group of defensive ends not only this year, but in the future. Every one of those defensive ends is eligible to return for the 2019 season, and that has to be exciting for Bud Foster and Charley Wiles. I like the depth, and I like the overall talent level.

My only complaint with this group is the lack of weight in the starting lineup. Ideally, Hill and Gaines would be in the 250-255 range, and they have the frame to carry that kind of weight. Hill has had several surgeries since his senior year of high school, so it’s understandable that his weight gain hasn’t been as much as I’d like, though he has increased from 228 as a true freshman. Gaines’s weight has fluctuated, however.