This spring, the Hokies have seen their depth at defensive end be tested with Ken Ekanem out for the spring due to injury. After the Hokies moved Yosuah Nijman to offensive tackle, the Hokies were down to three healthy on-scholarship defensive ends in Dadi Nicolas, Seth Dooley, and Melvin Keihn.
However, the Hokies are heavily considering moving Vincent Mihota from defensive tackle back to defensive end. The 2015 Spring Game could tell us a lot about whether Mihota will stay at defensive tackle or move to defensive end this fall.
Mihota has been one of the most talked about players this spring, because of the fact that he has played some at defensive end along with defensive tackle. Of course, most of his playing time at defensive end did come when Seth Dooley got injured in the third scrimmage, but both Bud Foster and Charley Wiles have talked about moving Mihota to defensive end.
Mihota has NFL-level size for a defensive end at 6’5” and 270 pounds, but the question that remains is whether Mihota has the speed and reactions to play at defensive end. However, the Hokies haven’t traditionally had defensive ends that are that big though Mihota may be a guy that fits the Hokies’ prototypical defensive end with a little extra size.
The 2015 Spring Game could be a great chance to see whether Vincent Mihota will stay at defensive tackle or move to defensive end. However, all of this depends on what scenario plays out this Saturday.
If Seth Dooley is unable to play and Mihota plays at defensive tackle, that will likely be the clearest sign that the Hokies have decided to keep the redshirt freshman at defensive tackle. However, Mihota playing at defensive end may not tell us anything given the fact that the Hokies may not want more than one walk-on defensive end on the second team defense for this game.
If Seth Dooley is able to play and Mihota plays at defensive end, it will be clear that the Hokies are looking to move Mihota to defensive end with the loaded depth chart that Virginia Tech has at defensive tackle. Mihota staying at defensive tackle would be a slight sign that the Hokies are leaning towards keeping Mihota on the inside in this scenario though it still would not be clear.
Tomorrow’s Spring Game could give us an understanding on whether the Hokies will keep Vincent Mihota at defensive tackle or move him to defensive end. However, it seems more likely that we will not really have any clarity on Mihota’s position in the fall until fall practice actually begins.