Virginia Tech Press Conference Notes August 28th/29th

Virginia Tech held their weekly press conferences over the past two days, headlined by appearances from Justin Fuente and Bud Foster. The main headline was the Hokies releasing their first depth chart of 2017, but that wasn’t the only story. Here are some other notes from the press conferences.

Adonis Alexander is VT’s #1 Cornerback

According to Bud Foster, Adonis Alexander is the #1 cornerback for the Hokies over Greg Stroman and Brandon Facyson. Most would have expected seniors like Stroman or Facyson to be that top guy, but Alexander has emerged as the best cornerback, something that could be a sign that Alexander may be poised for a big year.

When Alexander first made the move to cornerback, it surprised many after he seemed like a great fit at cornerback. However, Alexander has shown lots of potential since then due in part to his great size at 6’3” and almost 210 pounds according to Brian Mitchell.

Adonis Alexander has shown great athleticism to go with his impressive size while also having some very good ball skills that have helped him make some impressive interceptions. Alexander is an above-average run-coverage cornerback that can get in the box and lay the boom on an opposing running back or prevent a runner from breaking a big play on the outside.

Alexander improved in man coverage as the season went along, but his man coverage skills still seemed to be the weak point in his game. If Alexander has taken the next step in man coverage, he has the potential to become a star and an All-ACC player this fall.

Brandon Facyson Expected to Play Against West Virginia

Bud Foster and Brian Mitchell both said that Brandon Facyson should play Sunday night against West Virginia.

This news shouldn’t be a surprise as Bud Foster previously said he was expecting that Facyson would be able to play. Having a healthy Facyson will be beneficial against a West Virginia offense that will use plenty of three or four receiver sets.

Facyson may be the third cornerback on the Hokies’ depth chart but he would probably be the #1 cornerback for well over half of all power 5 programs. Facyson hasn’t had an interception since his freshman season, but that hasn’t been because of poor coverage as Facyson has been solid in man coverage and had 11 pass breakups last season.

Brandon Facyson is a productive, veteran cornerback that will be ready to produce on this stage even though he’s been limited some in fall camp. Facyson will also have the benefit of having his cast off and getting to be fully available for a full game week.

Young Guys “Hopefully Ready to Contribute”

Justin Fuente was asked about having 11 true or redshirt freshmen in his first two-deep and had this response.

“Well, certainly I think you always feel a little bit better when you got guys that have been out there before, but they all said they wanted to play when we were recruiting them so here’s their opportunity. That’s what I tell them too, ‘I sat in your living room and you told me you wanted to play.’ So, it’s not good enough at Virginia Tech just to play, but play well. Sure, there’s some young guys that will be going out there for the first time, but hopefully we’ve done a great job training them and they will be ready to contribute in an efficient manner.” – Fuente on 11 true or redshirt freshmen in two-deep (August 28th)

Nerves are natural when having as many young, inexperienced players as the Hokies have in their two-deep especially on offense. However, Fuente appears to have some trust in these group of young guys which likely makes many fans feel less nervous.

Fuente will have plenty of young players in prominent roles including five true freshmen that made the two-deep like Dalton Keene (starting TE) and Devon Hunter (backup rover). Very few true freshmen were able to break through the two-deep last year, but this fall camp has shown there is plenty of opportunity for true freshman to play.

For some fans, having five players in the two-deep who were playing in high school this time last year will make them nervous. For Justin Fuente, it’s exactly what he told them they would have the opportunity to do.

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