The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: Linebacker And Quarterback Talk

DJ Harvey, Virginia Tech
Is DJ Harvey ready for a bigger role for Virginia Tech in 2022? (Ivan Morozov)

1) Give us a couple Hokies whose play in the Pinstripe Bowl improved their prospects for 2022 and beyond – PadrosWindup

Chris Coleman: This is either the toughest question in the history of Friday Q&As, or the easiest. I’m not sure which. On the surface, it’s easy.  Tech lost to Maryland by 44, so hardly anybody played well enough to improve their prospects for 2022 and beyond. That said, even in routs, somebody always plays well, so I scanned the PFF grades for the game to see if anybody stood out and whether or not it matched my eye test.

Offensively, Tahj Bullock graded out well, but he wasn’t asked to do much, plus it was a small sample size (17 plays). I guess I could say Jaden Payoute, but that would be based on just one play, and he played a total of 42 snaps during the game. I still like Payoute very much, but his development is all about his health and his coaching. So far he’s had neither. Hopefully he has both in the future.

Both Nick Gallo and Drake DeIuliis graded out well at tight end, especially Gallo. He was the focal point of the passing attack with so few proven players at wide receiver for that game. Brent Pry will likely play a lot of two-TE formations in a run-focused (yet balanced) offensive attack, and those two would provide a couple of good pieces. I especially like Gallo in what I picture a Brent Pry offense looking like.

Gallo did not go through Senior Day, which indicates that he’ll be back next season. However, DeIuliis did go through Senior Day ceremonies, which indicates that he’s most likely going to move on with his life. We’ll see. I’d love for both of those guys to be back, but I’d especially like to see Gallo back next season.