We are now one week away from the biggest home opener in Lane Stadium history between the Hokies, and the defending national champion and preseason #1 Ohio State Buckeyes.
With the big game in sight, the Hokies decided to release their depth chart, which did not have many surprises, but did have a few noticeable things. One of the most notable things was at the tight end position after Ryan Malleck and Bucky Hodges.
Walk-on Matt Hill was listed as the number 3 tight end ahead of on-scholarship tight ends Kalvin Cline, Xavier Burke, and Dakota Jackson. Hill has always had intriguing size for the position at 6’5”, but this is definitely a surprise to see him listed as the number 3 tight end.
However, Hill being at the number three spot on the tight end depth chart does tell us a few things about the current state of the Hokies at tight end after Malleck and Hodges.
The biggest thing is that Kalvin Cline is still not 100% healthy or Cline would have definitely been the number 3 tight end on the depth chart. Cline is going to be a significant playmaker at tight end over the rest of his Virginia Tech career, but getting healthy is very essential for him.
Hopefully, Cline will be 100% soon to give the Hokies the potential to maybe run some three tight end packages with Bucky Hodges stretching outside.
The other notable thing about Hill being third is that it is very likely that Xavier Burke will be redshirted this fall.
The Hokies clearly are good with going with Hill as the number 3 tight end, and still have Dakota Jackson on the roster. Once Cline gets healthy, the need for Burke goes down even more and it just makes very logical sense for Burke to join Chris Cunningham as a redshirt.
It would be very surprising if Burke didn’t get redshirted at this point as a potential future starting tight end for the Hokies.
The first pregame depth chart is out for the Hokies with Matt Hill being the #3 tight end for now until Kalvin Cline gets healthy. Meanwhile, Xavier Burke seems certain to join Chris Cunningham in redshirting this fall.