The Virginia Tech Hokies enter their bye week at 3-1 after back-to-back impressive wins over Boston College and East Carolina by an average margin of 43 points. Virginia Tech has been dominant in all phases of the game and made a big statement with their dominant performances the past two weeks.
Virginia Tech’s defense has always been pretty strong but few the first month of the season, this defense looks to have the potential to be one of Bud Foster’s best defenses in the past decade. After a few slightly down years where the Hokies had a good but not elite defense, this year’s defense seems ready to potentially be one of college football’s elite in 2016 with a great start so far.
Part of that is because Bud Foster has his best defensive playmaker at the linebacker spot in years in Tremaine Edmunds.
Edmunds played in a limited role as a freshman as he got two starts against Georgia Tech and against Tulsa in the Independence Bowl. While Edmunds only played in the first quarter against Georgia Tech, Edmunds was with the first team defense all game against Tulsa and showed plenty of promise with 5 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss in the 55-52 victory.
Edmunds showed then that he had the potential to be a great playmaker and so far in 2016, Edmunds has been exactly that.
So far, Edmunds has 21 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 3 QB hurries as the youngest Edmunds brother has proven that he has a future on Sundays. Edmunds has been all over the field throughout the first month of the season for Virginia Tech as he has been a force as a run defender, pass rusher, and has been not too bad in pass coverage either.
Edmunds has been a weapon for the Hokies on blitzes as Edmunds has helped give guys like Ken Ekanem one-on-one matchups that he can exploit while also allowing Virginia Tech to overload one side of an offensive line on a passing down with Ekanem and Edmunds with ideally Vinny Mihota closing out the quarterback’s escape route on the other side of the pocket.
Edmunds has also been a force on rush defense playing with plenty of decisiveness and aggressiveness while seeming to gain more and more confidence every week. Edmunds always seems to find a way to end up being involved in the play especially over the past two games where he has had 4.5 of his 6 tackles for loss.
There have some who have compared Edmunds to Xavier Adibi and while the 6’5” 236-pound monster of a linebacker definitely has the potential to end up being as good as Adibi, he isn’t there just yet. However, Edmunds is showing this year that all the potential in the world is there for him to get that level and get there soon.
For Bud Foster, it probably is pretty easy to get excited about having another star linebacker starting to emerge in Tremaine Edmunds.