The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: Players The Hokies Can’t Afford To Lose; Mike Young’s 2022-23 Team

Virginia Tech
Silas Dzansi is a player Virginia Tech can ill-afford to lose. (Will Stewart)

1) Other than QB1 and QB2 (for obvious reasons), which players can VT least afford to lose for any significant time next season? – GO_HOKIES_GO

Chris Coleman: I would say anybody who can play a passable offensive tackle would be a critical loss for Virginia Tech football this season.

Parker Clements (6-7, 292, So.) will do a very good job at right tackle, but is Silas Dzansi (6-5, 325, r-Sr.) a natural at left tackle? I personally think he’s a more natural guard. In fact, I asked him that last week, and he told me that he likes playing tackle better, but he actually feels more natural at guard. So there’s your answer. If he says he feels more natural at guard, then that probably means he’s a guard. Fortunately, he’s a guard who can play tackle. Some guys are guards who can play center, and some are guards who can only play guard.

Even if Clements and Dzansi play perfect football for the Hokies this season, there’s always the worry that one of them will be injured. If that happens, the Virginia Tech offense could be in a whole lot of trouble.

Left tackle especially makes me nervous. Bob Schick (6-6, 305, r-Fr.) got work there during the spring, but really struggled against quicker players during the Spring Game. Schick has good strength, but I think he’s a lot more natural on the inside at guard. I like walk-on William Jones (6-6, 297, r-Fr.), but he’s still a very young player and not quite ready despite having FBS scholarship offers after playing at IMG Academy in Florida.

The coaching staff seems pretty high on true freshman Johnny Garrett, but I’m not sure he’s going to be strong enough to contribute in his first season. I think he’s got a high ceiling and is a true offensive tackle, but I don’t think he’ll be an answer for this season. True freshman Xavier Chaplin (6-6, 355) was mentioned by Dzansi last week as a young player with a bright future, and I think there’s a very good chance he’ll end up in the two-deep this year. I don’t think I’d trust him at left tackle at this stage, though.

To me, the answer to your question is offensive tackle. Dzansi and Clements might be the most important players on the team this year. If something happens to them, I’m not sure it’s going to matter who is playing quarterback.

Virginia Tech, Mike Young

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