Virginia Tech Signee Scouting Report: Offensive Line

Virginia Tech, Gabriel Arena
Gabriel Arena (59) enrolled at Virginia Tech this summer. (Jon Fleming)

For this year’s offensive line class, the Hokies signed a bunch of guys who played tackle in high school, though it’s a safe bet half or more end up at guard. I don’t see any OL signees who check all the boxes the way a guy like Xavier Chaplain did, but I don’t see any head-scratchers, either. As to when we might see these guys in games, Lance Williams and especially Layth Ghannam are more polished, while Gabriel Arena and Hannes Hammer are rougher.

Gabriel Arena
Offensive Line
Bishop McDevitt High
Harrisburg, PA
6’5, 271

Played left tackle for Bishop McDevitt’s dominant program, but wasn’t a starter on defense, while some teammates played both ways. Athletic, often used to turn the edge on sweeps, but doesn’t look big enough to anchor down against power moves. Had interest from Pitt, along with a lot of lower-level schools. Has a good skip pull on gap-scheme plays. Knows how to put a jumper on his butt. Sometimes takes false steps/hops that’ll have Coach Crook throwing his hat on the ground.

Lets guys get across his face in pass protection; he usually ends up winning, but I’d rather see him wall them outright. Tends to get his shoulder/chest into guys, instead of striking and extending through the hands. When he does get his hands out, he will sometimes strike wide or be tentative, giving defenders the initiative. Played mostly from a two-point stance, which appeared to be a comfort thing, as sometimes he was the only guy on the line without a hand in the dirt. Occasionally over-set against quicker defenders and allowed inside moves.