Our countdown of the top 10 Hokies continues on to our number 3 with the defensive tackle who in two years has gone from a guy who many including myself questioned as to whether he should stay at defensive tackle to having one of the best single-season performances by a Virginia Tech defensive tackle.
That man is Woody Baron.
Our Defensive Hokie of the Year started his rise last year as he moved ahead of Nigel Williams to become the Hokies’ top backup DT in 2015 and played quite well with 28 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in 13 games including 5 starts. Baron showed tons of promise in his junior season, but no one could have imagined that he would have been as good as he was as a senior.
Baron was a star for the Hokies on his way to earning ACSMA All-ACC First Team honors with 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 5 QB hurries, and 2 fumble recoveries. Baron added the weight that he needed to not be able to be moved out of the way with some ease while also being an elusive speed rusher that has the moves and agility to give opponents nightmares and blow up backfields.
Baron was a star that also had a few big games including his huge Thursday night game against Miami when he had 6 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 2 QB hurries while also making plays against Duke with 9 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks. Baron was consistently a threat for opponents and even as the attention on him grew, Baron still made plenty of plays for the Hokies.
Baron heads to the NFL as likely a 4-3 DT though he may be able to play DE in a 3-4 scheme, but his draft stock isn’t great right now despite his huge season as his odds of getting drafted aren’t great currently. However, Baron has proven people wrong time and time again and whether he gets drafted or not, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Baron be on a NFL roster next fall for week 1.
Woody Baron has gone from being a guy who you wondered if he would ever play a major role on the Virginia Tech defense to a star defensive tackle that had one of the best single-season performance for a Virginia Tech DT during Bud Foster’s tenure as defensive coordinator. Baron put together a very good career as he rose from being buried on the depth chart at DT to being a star largely because of his great work ethic and high motor.