18. Virginia Tech Hokies Returning Starters: 11 Returning Star: QB Logan Thomas Key Loss: RB David Wilson
Player to Watch: DE James Gayle
Frank Beamer is still coach so the Hokies are going to play his style: run the ball and play pyschical defense. But never before has Beamer had this talented of a quarterback in junior Logan Thomas. Thomas is huge and athletic and was an All-ACC quarterback in his first year as starter. He has only one direction to go: up. That is, if his passing game continues to mature and his leadership abilities improve. The loss of backs David Wilson and Josh Oglesby hurts considerably. Ready to start is freshman Michael Holmes who was redshirted last season. He has great vision and has decent speed. Though sophomore Daniel Dyer and junior Tony Gregory should also run the ball a lot and Beamer will have a tough time choosing between the three. Senior fullback Joey Phillips is an experienced blocker. Gone are Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale who would have been Thomas' top options this season. Senior Dyrell Roberts returns from injury and could lead this Hokies squad in receiving. Seniors Marcus Davis and D.J. Coles have played a lot of snaps. Junior tight end Eric Martin is a reliable receiver. Martin and Randall Dunn can also help block for Virginia Tech. That is important because this offensive line is very thin. Center Andrew Miller is back but other then that no starters return. This defense is beastly. The defensive line is a formidable unit headed by end James Gayle. Gayle has great size and is a great pass rusher. Junior J.R. Collins is a beast on the other side also and tackle Derrick Hopkins is a monster. This linebacker group has loads of talent and a lot of depth also. Senior Bruce Taylor is the next big thing for this Hokies squad but was banged up this spring. Junior Tariq Edwards is a hard hitter that will make plays. The secondary lost cornerback Jayron Hosley but is still very good. Junior Kyle Fuller was good last year and has the potential to be even better. Junior cornerback Antoine Exum moved from safety and is very versatile. Special teams is always good at Virginia Tech but may struggle. Kicker Cody Journell is back but his future is in question after legal issues. Michael Branthover should start at either kicker or punter. Or maybe even both.
Heisman Hopeful: Logan Thomas
ACC Rank: 3rd
College Football Preview: 18. Virginia Tech Hokies
Reviewed by Tom McGowan