July 28, 2008
    The 2008 Season Outlook
    The first in an seven-part series previewing Tech's 2008 season
     

    Outlook Schedule on hokiesports.comGeneral Outlook & Offensive Line: Monday, July 28
    Receivers & Tight Ends: Tuesday, July 29
    Running Backs & QBs: Wednesday, July 30
    Defensive Line: Thursday, July 31
    Linebackers: Friday, August 1
    Secondary: Saturday, August 2
    Special Teams: Sunday, August 3

    Coach Beamer on the 2008 Season
    "I really thought our spring practice was good. There was great competition for most positions. I think the attitude of our football team is good. Now we've got to work hard over the summer to improve ourselves physically. We're going to be a football team that has some good talent, a team that will get better as the season goes along. Hopefully, we will be a good football team by the end of the season.

    "The No. 1 question for us right now is what we are going to do at quarterback, and it's a good problem to have. We've got two good quarterbacks, and how we use them is going to be a key issue for us. Along with that, we need to see how our tailbacks come along, and also who our wide receivers are going to be. Can our tailback and wide receiver positions give us enough plays? That will have an effect on the decision, too.

    "Defensively, we lost quite a few good, talented players off of last year's team, but I think our first team will be fine. Finding backup help is the main goal right now."

    Coach Foster on the Defense
    "We only return four starters, but at the same time, the cupboard isn't bare. I thought some guys really stepped up in the spring that needed to. I love the attitude and the work ethic. I feel good about our first 11. Right now, depth is the big issue for us. The summer and early camp are going to be critical for the young players to keep progressing on the path that they are on right now. And, if we do that, I think we've got some talent there that can give us the added depth that we need to be the type of defense that we expect to be each year."

    Coach Stinespring on the Offense
    "I really liked our work ethic the entire spring. We understood that there were some holes to fill and we approached it that way. The practices, the attention to details, the effort level were outstanding. I think the line is better across the board, even with the loss of Duane Brown. They are playing with more confidence ... there's depth and there's competition, which makes them better every day in practice. The receiver spots are still a concern in terms of the experience factor, but we have a good nucleus to work with in the fall, along with some freshmen coming in. Losses and injuries during the off-season and spring set us back a little bit at the tailback position. We need to solidify that position, because we intend to be more assertive with our running game and we want to come out of the blocks with that statement."


    Offensive Line

    Offensive LineReturners
    No. Name Cl. Pos.
    76 Will Alvarez r-Fr. OG
    65 Matt Baldwin r-Fr. OT
    68 Jaymes Brooks r-Fr. OG
    71 Aaron Brown r-So. OT
    57 Clark Crum r-So. OT
    62 Blake DeChristopher r-Fr. OT
    64 Richard Graham r-Jr. OT
    69 Hivera Green r-Jr. OG
    66 Brandon Holland Jr. OG
    72 Nick Kaminski r-So. OG
    67 Nick Marshman r-Sr. OG
    61 Barrett Mears r-So. C
    75 Greg Nosal r-Fr. OT
    70 Sergio Render Jr. OG
    58 Ryan Shuman r-Sr. C
    77 Ed Wang r-Jr. OT  
    60 Beau Warren r-So. C

    Newcomers
      Name Cl. Pos.
      Vinston Painter Fr. OT
      Michael Via Fr. OT

    Headlines

    • Key losses: Left tackle Duane Brown
    • Key returnees: Right guard Sergio Render, left guard Nick Marshman, center Ryan Shuman and right tackle Ed Wang each started at least eight games last season and combined to make 56 of 70 possible starts. They return to lead a promising group that will give the coaching staff more options, with everyone except Render having started at different positions during their respective careers.
    • Battle to watch: With redshirt freshman Blake DeChristopher stepping up at right tackle during the spring, the main battle during the preseason will be for the all-important backup spots. The Hokies are hoping the continued competition for the spots will help develop some quality depth.
    • Spring standout: Nick Marshman spent the entire spring at guard, where he is best suited. It resulted in his best spring with the Hokies and bodes well for an improved line this fall.

    Players

    Left Tackle
    ED WANG (r-Jr.) - Converted tight end who possesses a great deal of athletic ability ... Came back from an ankle injury to start the last eight games at right tackle and the entire unit instantly became better ... Left tackle may prove to be a more natural position for him ... Worked hard in the spring and is committed to improving.

    GREG NOSAL (r-Fr.) - Another transplanted tight end ... Took to the position so quickly during the spring that he moved into the No. 2 spot ... Needs to get more physical in the running game but can protect in space ... Will continue to learn while competing for playing time.

    We've got a little more experience this year with four starters returning. I like the competition we have going on up front and the way we're pushing each other. This summer is going to be very important for us in terms of preparation. These guys care about getting to where we need to be, and I expect they will do all they can to be ready for the fall. One of our offensive goals is to run the ball more effectively this season. That 's a direct challenge to us up front ... and I think our guys know that.

    - Coach Newsome on the Offensive Line

    Left Guard
    NICK MARSHMAN (r-Sr.) - The move from right tackle to left guard toward the end of last season allowed him to become a better player ... The largest man on the roster really settled in at the position during the spring ... With a good summer preparation, coaches are really excited about the potential of his senior season.

    HIVERA GREEN (r-Jr.) - One of the biggest surprises of the spring ... Worked hard and played physical to move into the No. 2 slot ... Continued progress during the summer and preseason could spell playing time.

    Center
    RYAN SHUMAN (r-Sr.) - The returning starter ... Was held out of spring practice after off-season knee surgery ... Cleared to work out in the summer ... Expected to be a true leader up front.

    BEAU WARREN (r-So.) - A hard worker who played very well in starts at Georgia Tech and against Florida State last season ... Got a lot of reps with the No. 1 offense during the spring and took advantage of them ... Has really matured as a player ... Helps solidify the position.

    BARRETT MEARS (r-So.) - A walk-on who has gotten bigger and stronger ... Showed a lot of positive things during the spring ... Is smart and can move.

    Right Guard
    SERGIO RENDER (Jr.) - Member of the Freshman and Sophomore All-America teams during his first two seasons ... A two-year starter who is one of the most experienced players along the line ... A very tough and physical player ... Excellent in the run game ... Took on a leaderhip role during the spring.

    JAYMES BROOKS (r-Fr.) - Possesses the skills and strength needed for the position, just needs to develop more consistency ... Will provide depth and battle for a chance to earn playing time.

    Right Tackle
    BLAKE DeCHRISTOPHER (r-Fr.) - Had a great off-season in the weight room and improved his quickness and strength ... Carried it over to the field in the spring and took over the starting duties ... A tough guy who competes and understands the system ... Has a bright future.

    RICHARD GRAHAM (r-Jr.) - Put on some weight during winter workouts, but didn't lose any of his quickness ... Fights hard and gets after it ... Can fill in anywhere along the front ... Started the first six games last season at left guard. 

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