BLACKSBURG – Here are five observations from Monday’s practice:
• Watching the linemen, it was fun to observe two guys like Andrew Miller and Luther Maddy compete in drills. The two get matched up frequently because of their positions (Miller is a guard, Maddy is a defensive tackle), and they get after it. They compete, and once the play ends, they go back to the huddle. There is never any extracurricular stuff. They have a mutual respect for each other and really set the tone for the other linemen.
• Speaking of the linemen, Wyatt Teller could end up being a great offensive tackle and the biggest reason is because he’s a quick learner. During one drill, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes told him to step a certain way with his outside foot. Teller did exactly that and did a nice job in pass protection – and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes immediately praised him. That’s not to say he’s going to start any time soon, but the potential is limitless.
• The Hokies worked on kickoff and kickoff return this evening, and it appears that the kickoff returner is going to be a young player. Chris Mangus, Der’Woun Greene and Deon Newsome all got opportunities to return kicks. But it wouldn’t surprise if the staff didn’t work Demitri Knowles on kickoff returns at some point. He has experience doing that.
• Brandon Facyson, who enrolled last January, continues to have an excellent August. He made two great plays in the scrimmage this past Saturday, including a nice interception, and he played with a lot of confidence this evening. He has a knack for being around the ball, and like with Teller, he’s a quick learner. He picks things up quickly. Kendall Fuller continues to work with the first-team unit, but Facyson is going to get a lot of time on the field.• After watching the defensive linemen, it’s easy to see why line coach Charley Wiles thinks highly of freshman Woody Baron, who enrolled last January. Baron isn’t overly big, but he rarely stays blocked. His quickness gave Tech’s guards a lot of trouble in drills.
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