Linebacker Thoughts: Lots Of Youth

Bud Foster will earn his paycheck as a linebackers coach this year. (Photo by Jon Fleming)

It’s no secret that Virginia Tech graduated a lot of experience and talent at the linebacker positions.  Tremaine Edmunds was a first round pick by the Buffalo Bills, and mike linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka was a three-year starter.

It’s not just losing the starters, however.  Backup mike Sean Heulskamp graduated, as did reserve backer Anthony Shegog.  Both had starting experience with the Hokies, particularly Shegog, who was an excellent player in Virginia Tech’s 30-package.  Tech will be turning to brand new players to fill their inside linebacker spots in 2018, and I can’t recall a season where there has been this much inexperience at both positions.

Here is the extent of Virginia Tech’s linebacker experience heading into the 2018 season…

  • Rayshard Ashby (So.): 13 games, all snaps on special teams
  • Daniel Griffith (r-So.): 11 games, all snaps on special teams
  • Dylan Rivers (So.): 7 games, all snaps on special teams except for a handful of garbage time snaps against UNC

That’s it.  No other linebacker has played a down in a college game.  Only one linebacker on the roster has played a defensive snap in a college game.  It doesn’t get much more inexperienced than that.