Vinny Mihota entered last spring at the defensive tackle spot after making the transition in the previous spring from defensive end to defensive tackle. However, the Hokies’ lack of depth on the edge led to Mihota making the transition back outside as someone who played the position in high school and was actually rated as a four-star defensive end in high school.
This past fall, Mihota had 12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack while making 1 start when Dadi Nicolas was suspended for a first half. Mihota showed a lot of promise this past fall, but there was some talk about him transitioning back to defensive tackle due to his size.
However, the Hokies have left Mihota on the edge and the former four-star recruit is taking advantage.
With Seth Dooley out this spring due to injury, Mihota’s window of opportunity to take the starting defensive end job to replace Dadi Nicolas opened and Mihota has taken advantage. Mihota has slimmed down slightly to add a little more speed while also still having plenty of muscle and strength to be able to attack inside depending on the play call.
Mihota has been talked about as one of the best defensive linemen this spring along with being the main man that is easing the worries of Hokie fans about who will be replacing Nicolas on the outside. Mihota’s strong spring also has put him in position to lock down the starting defensive end job now ahead of fall practice.
The only guy who likely may be able to push Mihota for the starting DE job opposite Ekanem is Seth Dooley, but Dooley is still recovering from injury and Mihota hasn’t had to deal with any injury issues recently. However, Dooley is a more athletic defensive end with a quicker first step that the Hokies have traditionally preferred while Mihota still has the size to move him back to DT if they need to.
Dooley could definitely take the starting DE job back with a really strong fall practice, but all indications are that Mihota has had the type of spring that has almost locked down the starting DE job completely no matter how well Dooley does this fall.
Vinny Mihota has made his move this spring as a bigger-than-Virginia Tech normal DE with an improved first step to take advantage of his opportunity to earn himself a starting DE spot this fall.