Hokies Football: Greg Stroman Should Start At Cornerback Against Tennessee

Throughout the offseason, there was consistently talk from Virginia Tech’s coaching staff about how cornerback Greg Stroman was consistently improving and arguably the most improved player of the whole offseason. Part of that we could see as Stroman’s weight jumped from being listed at around 160-165 to getting up to 180 pounds to allow him to hold up as a more physical cornerback.

However, a lot of his improvements we couldn’t see until the Hokies actually played a game. On Saturday, Hokie fans got to see Stroman and the Hokies face another football team, and fans left impressed with the junior cornerback.

Stroman was dominant on Saturday having 2 interceptions, 2 tackles, and a pass breakup on Saturday while also earning honors as our first defensive player of the game of the season. Stroman was a lockdown cornerback throughout the game as Liberty struggled to get any passes completed to a receiver that was being covered by the junior cornerback.

After his strong performance, most expect Stroman will start on Saturday against Tennessee but that might not be the case.

Greg Stroman was listed as a backup cornerback on the depth chart released by Virginia Tech right before Monday’s press conference. However, Justin Fuente stated that Adonis Alexander is not guaranteed to start, opening the door for Stroman to still start after his impressive game against Liberty.

While there is no doubt that Stroman will play a lot against Tennessee, it would be ridiculous for him to not start against the Volunteers.

Yes, Stroman’s impressive game did come against Liberty but Stroman was the best cornerback and man coverage defender on the field. Brandon Facyson was solid in this game but Facyson did give up a couple of completions while Stroman was dominant throughout the afternoon.

Adonis Alexander made some progress in man coverage over the course of last season but Alexander still doesn’t like a natural man coverage defender. Alexander definitely have the athleticism and potential to become one but with the Hokies still using more man than zone even as they add more zone, going with a cornerback who is more proven in man coverage just makes more sense.

Stroman looked like the best man coverage cornerback not only in that single game Saturday but also in general on the team. Brandon Facyson may be a talented cornerback with great ball skills that could make him a safety in the NFL in the future but Facyson doesn’t seem to be the lockdown man coverage cornerback that Stroman showed he could be on Saturday, something that a Bud Foster defense always could use.

Looking ahead to Saturday, Greg Stroman would be the VT cornerback that I would want consistently lining up against Tennessee’s top receiver Josh Malone. Stroman may not be necessarily on Tennessee’s radar but after last Saturday’s performance, another big game could put him in the national spotlight.

Greg Stroman has shown he may be the most improved Virginia Tech football player and it seems clear that he should be starting on Saturday at cornerback whether that keeps Adonis Alexander or Brandon Facyson out of the starting lineup.

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