Column: Personality Returns In Virginia Tech's Open Practice

Column: Personality Returns In Virginia Tech's Open Practice
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

Carter Hill | @@cbhill_03

TLP: Writer/Associate Editor
Mar 28, 2022

I have to admit, when I walked into the Beamer-Lawson Indoor Practice Facility for Virginia Tech’s open practice last Thursday morning, there was a different feel. To be fair, I had never once sniffed an open practice under Justin Fuente, so it’s tough to compare. But immediately, I found myself encapsulated by the energized, vocal and enthused environment that was overseen by first-year head coach Brent Pry.

Even after spending just a mere 25 minutes standing on the sidelines, it was quite easy to take in the program’s highly publicized buzz oozing through the walls dressed in former Tech greats.

Surprising? Shouldn’t be.

Notable? Absolutely.

The energy surrounding the Hokies felt real. It felt genuine. Something fans had seen in front of the camera, but to see it behind the scenes, is when proper judgment can be enforced.

One-by-one surveying each and every position group, Pry barely said a word. His assistants did the talking. And talking they did.

“Everybody in the country knows we’re going to run the ball,” offensive line coach Joe Rudolph barked.

“Nobody walking, everybody moving,” echoed sam linebackers/nickelbacks coach Shawn Quinn.

We were far enough away where we couldn’t hear what pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brad Glenn was communicating to the six guys rotating reps. But the play from the signal callers, spoke for itself.

Marshall transfer Grant Wells couldn’t miss a collection of Dallan Wright, Tucker Holloway and Da’Wain Lofton downfield. While South Carolina transfer Jason Brown worked nicely with Temple transfer Jadan Blue and redshirt freshman Christian Moss.

Tahj Bullock and early enrollee Devin Farrell took multiple snaps behind center as well, but neither were as accurate as Wells or Brown.

If you wanted a look at the defensive side of the ball, it wasn’t going to be too hard to find.

Even from standing on the inside of the facility, you could hear associate head coach JC Price loudly coaching up his defensive line on the neighboring fields outside. Meanwhile, Quinn and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Chris Marve did the best they could to rival, directing the linebackers and a vocal Dax Hollifield just a few feet away.

Sure, maybe it will take Pry and company some time to steer the ship back in the direction that Frank Beamer had it pointed 10 years ago. But even in just the little time spent observing the situation a few days ago, the scene feels like Virginia Tech football, both in front of and behind the curtain.

From the accountability and intensity that had been rumored to have been lacking under certain portions of the past regime, to the refreshing new life installed throughout the Merryman Athletic Center, there was a brand new feel echoing throughout a typical Thursday morning practice. And maybe that’s exactly what the program needed.

It’ll take time. Results will come. Eventually, the newfound culture that fans see plastered all over social media, in the community and inside the football facilities, will translate into more wins than losses.

Now, the Hokie faithful wait. Until then though, it becomes a little more bearable knowing the personality of Virginia Tech football has made its long awaited return. And at least for the foreseeable future, the pride and joy of this once-proud program has finally come back to fruition.