Hokies Football: Yosuah Nijman is Ready to Be a Starter

The Virginia Tech Hokies have seen their offensive line make a good amount of strides over the past year, but are still a far way from being a finished product. Led by Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech has an offensive line that now is somewhat respectable among ACC programs, a great improvement from the last few years.

The Hokies have been becoming more athletic on the line led by Wyatt Teller who has the potential to be an All-American offensive guard before he graduates. The Hokies only have one senior starting on the offensive line in Wade Hansen, but that may be just in name, and even that may not last much longer.

Yosuah Nijman made the move from defensive end to offensive tackle in the spring after enrolling early to compete for playing time. Nijman quickly climbed to being the top backup offensive tackle with the Hokies keeping him primarily on the left side with Jonathan McLaughlin having experience at both left and right tackle.

Nijman continued to surge throughout fall practice due to his tremendous athleticism while also adding some strength. It wasn’t far into fall practice before Nijman started to push for a starting spot over Wade Hansen, which would force McLaughlin to move to right tackle to accommodate Nijman at left.

Nijman was able to bulk up t0 280 pounds over the course of August and early September, but still has room to add at least another 15 to 20 pounds without losing any of his impressive athleticism. Nijman still is raw as an offensive tackle, but he is one of those guys where the sky is limit that has a future in the NFL.

It was unknown how much Nijman would play against Ohio State but after a couple of possessions, the Hokies made the move to bring in Nijman with McLaughlin sliding over to the right side. Virginia Tech’s offensive line still had an up-and-down game, but Nijman showed that his time as a starter is coming sooner rather than later.

Hansen’s ceiling is limited, but he still has more experience from last season along with having good chemistry with the rest of the starting offensive line. However, Hansen didn’t play much against Ohio State after Nijman came in early in the game against the Buckeyes.

Wade Hansen will be a starter against Furman on Saturday, but Yosuah Nijman seems likely to once again see the field a whole lot in this game with the first-team offense. Nijman will also only get stronger, and should be able to gain more confidence as he continues to get more experience.

There is definitely the potential for Nijman to become a starting offensive tackle within the next few weeks with Hansen sliding to the role of being the third offensive tackle and Jonathan McLaughlin moving to the right side.

For now, Yosuah Nijman is not a starting offensive tackle, but it’s a question of when he becomes a starter, not if with the Hokies’ first road game against Purdue even being a possibility.

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