Hokie Football Outlook, Part II
Offensive Line
July 19, 2007

Outlook Schedule on hokiesports.comGeneral Outlook: Tuesday, July 17
Offensive Line: Thursday, July 19
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: Monday, July 23
Wednesday, July 25
Defensive Line: Friday, July 27
Linebackers: Monday, July 30
Secondary: Wednesday, August 1
Specialists: Friday, August 3

  • Key losses: Left tackle Brandon Frye, center Danny McGrath and left guard Brandon Gore
  • Key returnees: Left tackle Duane Brown and center Ryan Shuman - Both guys are being moved to new positions (Brown from right tackle and Shuman from left guard), but both are dependable veterans who will be looked to as leaders.
  • Battle to watch: The starting five seems to be in place, but developing the second five - the backup players - into dependable guys who can win games is the biggest need.
  • Spring standout: Duane Brown turned into the leader of the group, and is doing everything it takes to make himself better. Coaches say he practices so hard that it helps those around him to get better as well.

Offensive LineReturners
71Aaron Brownr-Fr.OT
76Duane Brownr-Sr.OT
57Clark Crumr-Fr.OT
79Eric Davisr-So.OG
64Richard Grahamr-So.OT
69Hivera Greenr-So.OT
66Brandon HollandSo. OG
Nick Kaminskir-Fr.OG
67Nick Marshmanr-Jr.OG
Barrett Mearsr-Fr.OT
70Sergio RenderSo. OG
58Ryan Shumanr-Jr.C
77Ed Wangr-So.OT
60Beau Warrenr-Fr.C
51Matt Welshr-Jr.OG/C

Will AlvarezFr.OT
Jaymes BrooksFr.OG
Blake DeChristopherFr.OT
Khalil LatifFr.OG

The Players

Left Tackle
DUANE BROWN (R-Sr.) - Is changing positions after starting for two years at right tackle ... Football is important to him, and he leads by example and practices very hard ... Coaches are excited about him leading the group, being the most valuable guy on the line and having a great season.

RICHARD GRAHAM (R-So.) - Coaches feel good about him backing up Brown ... Has shown a lot of fight and gets after it ... Will also be in a battle for playing time at right tackle.

Left Guard
NICK MARSHMAN (R-Jr.) -Answered questions during the spring about being able to play guard ... Played tackle last year because of need ... Coaches felt he was the sixth-best lineman a year ago, and was a backup for each position.

ERIC DAVIS (R-So.) and MATT WELSH (R-Jr.) - Will both get reps and a look inside at both guard spots ... Welsh will also get some looks as a backup center.

RYAN SHUMAN (R-Jr.) - Is moving back to center after starting at left guard last year ... Coaches say it's more of a natural position for him, and he worked there in each of the previous two springs ... Actually played a few snaps there in the bowl game ... Should be a vocal leader for the line.

BEAU WARREN (R-Fr.) - A converted tight end who has gained 30 pounds since arriving on campus ... Coaches are excited to see what he can do ... Still has some work to do to be ready to contribute, but coaches feel it will end up being a good move.

Right Guard
SERGIO RENDER (So.) - A Freshman All-American who missed most of the spring after recovering from knee surgery ... Made it back for a few drills, and should be back healthy and better than last year come fall ... Coaches are very confident with him ... Has a great future and could be special.

BRANDON HOLLAND (So.) - Repped with the first team in the spring during Render's absence ... Coaches think he's athletic enough, and he will also compete for the backup job at left guard.

Right Tackle
ED WANG (R-So.) - Began last season at tight end, but the move to tackle was in the works toward the end of the season ... Actually took as many snaps at tackle as he did at tight end leading up to the bowl game ... The move showed to be beneficial in the spring, and he had a great off-season in the weight room.

AARON BROWN (R-Fr.) - Needed to get bigger, faster and stronger, and is doing that ... Fall camp will determine exactly what his status is, but coaches think he's going in the right direction ... Will battle as a backup tackle and continue to push Wang.

Other O-linemen
HIVERA GREEN (R-So.), CLARK CRUM (R-Fr.) - Will get quality reps and be given a thorough evaluation in the fall.

Coach Newsome on the Offensive Line

"After spring practice, I thought we were better than we were when we finished the season. Are we where we need to be? Not yet - we need to have a good fall camp also. It's an enthusiastic group, they're hungry, and I feel good about how they practiced this spring. I think we'll be a more physical offensive line than we were a year ago. We've also got some strong freshmen coming in that are more physically ready to go than is typically the case."