Photo Credit: Jake Roth
After missing the N.C. State and Duke games due to a COVID or contact tracing related quarantine, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton will return to run the defense for the first time as confirmed to Michael Niziolek of the Roanoke Times and others.
Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton will coach against North Carolina https://t.co/QIRCz8Mmqx— michaelniziolek (@michaelniziolek) October 10, 2020
This doesn't come as a surprise at all after defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt said earlier this week that Hamilton would be back in person for the Hokies.
While Ryan Smith and Jack Tyler have done admirable jobs the past two weeks calling the defense in Hamilton's absence, the Hokies will be happy to have their defensive coordinator back to run his defense against the #8 North Carolina Tar Heels.
Of course, this also becomes Hamilton's debut as the Hokies' defensive coordinator facing a UNC offense with loads of talent from Sam Howell at QB to Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome at WR, and Michael Carter at RB.
Hamilton will also be happy to have some of his secondary that have missed time back with Andy Bitter of The Athletic reporting that star cornerback Jermaine Waller and grad transfer Devin Taylor are both warming up in Chapel Hill.
An early observation: CB Jermaine Waller is on the field going through warmups. He's missed the first two games. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) October 10, 2020
CB Devin Taylor is also out there going through warmups. He was not available last week. If both are playing, that's a major improvement depth-wise for the secondary just right there. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) October 10, 2020
Having Waller, who has been out due to injury for the first two games, would be a huge boost especially to have him covering Dyami Brown. Meanwhile, if the Hokies have the rumored return of Armani Chatman to go with Waller and Devin Taylor, then you could easily envision Tech using Taylor or Chatman in the slot on Dazz Newsome which would be a much better matchup for VT.
The biggest news though is the fact that Hamilton will get to make his debut running his defense against the best offense that Tech has faced by far this season.