TJ Jackson, Silas Dzansi Having Strong CampsTJ Jackson and Silas Dzansi may not be in competition for starting offensive line jobs, but the first two offensive linemen to commit to the Hokies after the arrival of Vance Vice are making a strong impression this fall.
"Silas Dzansi and TJ Jackson are working at tackle and they are getting better every single day." - Justin FuenteIt's notable to hear Fuente praise two young offensive tackles that aren't, to our knowledge, in the competition for a starting job at this time and should be encouraging for the future of the Hokies' offensive line. Dzansi could turn out to be a great steal, but a redshirt would make the most sense for the Northern Virginia native who impressed at Fork Union. Meanwhile, Jackson seems poised for a spot on the two-deep as likely the backup at LT. Jackson has the protypical size that you want for an offensive tackle and has looked good on clips we've seen of him. Jackson will definitely be a future starter for the Hokies with the chance that he could push for a spot in 2018 with Tyrell Smith having the versatility to move to guard and any coach wanting the best 5 offensive linemen.
Brian Mitchell Confident in CB DepthDepth at cornerback after Virginia Tech's star trio has been a question mark, but Brian Mitchell's comments on VT's cornerback depth should definitely be seen as encouraging.
"You have Tyree Rodgers (Jovonn) Quillen, Bryce Watts, and Shawn Payne. I mean we got some good depth." - Brian MitchellTyree Rodgers, Jovonn Quillen, and Bryce Watts all know that they will most likely be competing for at least one starting job in 2018 at CB with VT also bringing in a large group of CBs in the 2018 class that should push these more experienced DBs. Shawn Payne was the big surprise to be mentioned and while he does have great size, it'll be interesting to see if he can put it all together. Quillen avoided a redshirt last season via a special teams role and likely will continue to have a large role on special teams. Mitchell praised Quillen for having the tools, but the 757 native appears to currently be behind Tyree Rodgers in pursuit of the fourth cornerback spot. Bryce Watts is the only cornerback the Hokies signed in the 2017 class, but has great speed and intriguing upside that has helped him receive some praise for his future from Bud Foster. Watts definitely should push for a top cornerback spot next offseason, but it likely would be best for him to redshirt though Watts could definitely be a guy to watch to earn playing time on special teams. Rodgers appears to be at the top of the group of backup cornerbacks and received the most praise from Mitchell yesterday. https://twitter.com/techlunchpaild/status/895334217613066240 With his strong camp, it would be safe to say that Rodgers is currently the favorite to be the Hokies' fourth cornerback. While Rodgers may not play many meaningful snaps this fall, this is definitely a sign that the redshirt freshman is positioning himself as the leader to be a starting cornerback for VT next season.
Vinny Mihota May Work at DT This FallThere's been plenty of talk about whether starting DE Vinny Mihota will also work some at DT due to his size and past time spent on the interior on top of the Hokies' depth concerns on the interior. Those comments continued yesterday with Fuente making the most concrete statement that Mihota may work some at DT.
"I think that is something that he can do, something we have certainly talked about. He probably has less control over that, it's more about how we feel about the other ends. If those guys really came along and if we felt good about them. Not to say that if he doesn't move in we don't feel good about those guys, but their development I think would be key to that conversation." - Justin Fuente on Vinny Mihota playing some DTIt is notable to hear Fuente say that they have had conversations about using Mihota some at DT though no one should take these comments to think that Mihota would make a permanent move to DT if a backup has a huge fall camp at DE. However, it's definitely a distinct possibly that Mihota may work some at DT next season, something that Mihota would be comfortable doing. https://twitter.com/techlunchpaild/status/895338432142000136