Here are five observations from Tech’s Monday practice:
• Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray made some changes among the backups in contention for playing time at both free safety and rover. He moved redshirt freshman Michael Cole from free safety to rover and sophomore Boye Aromire from rover to free safety. He also moved freshman Donovan Riley ahead of Carl Jackson at boundary corner. Fans are probably going to see more changes going forward, as Gray looks for the right combination.
• It didn’t take J.R. Collins long to move back into the top spot at defensive end. Collins and Corey Marshall are now listed as co-No. 1’s at end, though Marshall still worked with the first team on Monday.
• During the pass skeleton drill, tight end Randall Dunn caught a nice pass from Logan Thomas across the middle and probably would have scored a long touchdown in a game scenario. Dunn possesses that type of ability. He could be a downfield passing threat from that tight end spot.
• Tech has worked on punting in every practice so far and Monday was no different. Head coach Frank Beamer has been looking at a lot of potential punt returners, but it would be a surprise if Dyrell Roberts or Kyshoen Jarrett didn’t get the job.
• An MRI confirmed the worst for third-team offensive tackle Nick Acree, who went down in Sunday’s scrimmage with a torn ACL in his left knee. Acree will eventually undergo surgery and will not play this season.
His injury – and injuries to tackles Adam Taraschke and Jake Goins – opens the door for Augie Conte. Right now, Tech appears set at the tackle spots with Nick Becton, Vinston Painter, Michael Via and Mark Shuman, but Conte could find himself on the dress squad provided he develops a little more.
David Wang (ankle) is also injured for the Hokies, meaning that four offensive linemen have been hurt in a week’s worth of practice. Wang, though, figures to be back soon.
BONUS: Receiver D.J. Coles ran a few more routes Monday and participated more in the pass skeleton drill than in previous practices. He appeared to be moving a little better, and thus, creating a little more optimism about his future.
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