July 31, 2008
Hokie Football Outlook, Part IV
Defensive Line
Defensive LineReturners
No. Name Cl. Pos.
93 Kwamaine Battle r-Fr. DT
  Russell Becker r-Fr. DE
47 Nekos Brown Jr. DE
  Chad Carlson r-Jr. DE
82 Steven Friday r-So. DE
91 John Graves r-So. DT
92 Khalil Latif r-Fr. DT
90 Orion Martin r-Sr. DE
59 Courtney Prince Fr. DT
56 Demetrius Taylor r-Jr. DT
95 Cordarrow Thompson r-Jr. DT
  Jeff Wardach r-Fr. DT
6 Jason Worilds r-So. DE
96 Justin Young r-Fr. DT


  Name Cl. Pos.
  Nick Becton Fr. DT
  Isaiah Hamlette Fr. DE
  Antoine Hopkins Fr. DT
  Joe Jones Fr. DE
  Leon Mackey Fr. DE
  Dwight Tucker Fr. DT


  • Key Losses: Defensive end Chris Ellis and defensive tackles Carlton Powell, Barry Booker and Kory Robertson

  • Key returnees: Orion Martin is the only returning player on the defensive line who started last season, and the senior will be expected to lead a group of talented, but inexperienced, young players this season. Martin recorded 6.5 of his eight career sacks last season and should be a force against opposing quarterbacks.

  • Battle to Watch: The quest to find a fourth tackle to complete a four-man rotation for the Hokies' two inside positions is expected to produce a competition that starts with returning players Kwamaine Battle, Justin Young and Courtney Prince and could expand to several members of the Hokies' incoming recruiting class. None of the three returning players have playing experience, so making a strong impression during the preseason will be crucial in earning the job.

  • Spring standout: Defensive end Jason Worilds was all over the field during spring scrimmages and the Maroon-White game. His speed, explosiveness and playmaking ability led to him being named the defensive MVP of spring workouts.

Defensive End
ORION MARTIN (r-Sr.) - The only returning lineman who started every game last season ... Has gotten bigger, stronger and faster each year ... Broke a 22-year-old record for DEs with a 39-inch vertical jump during winter workouts ... Will be leaned on as a senior.

JASON WORILDS (r-So.) - An explosive, powerful young player who had a strong off-season in the gym and an outstanding spring on the field ... Is the leading candidate to start at the second DE position.

NEKOS BROWN (Jr.) - Played a whole season at DE last year after starting his career at LB ... Physical at the point of attack ... Plays extremely hard and is athletic ... Expected to be a key contributor.

We had a lot of guys play well during spring football. The expectations were high and the kids stepped up. Currently, I feel comfortable with three of our ends and have three tackles that I would play in a game when it was on the line. We have to continue to develop more depth. We're still looking for a productive fourth end and we need somebody to step up and be that fourth tackle. We're going to look at some of the freshmen and ultimately take whoever can help us win games this year.

- Coach Wiles on the Defensive Line

STEVEN FRIDAY (r-So.) - A hungry player with ability ... Has come a long way ... Finished up the spring strong and put himself in line for playing time.

Defensive Tackle
JOHN GRAVES (r-So.) - Played an important role last season as the No. 4 tackle ... Is slated to start at nose tackle, but can play either tackle position ... A high-energy guy who's self-motivated and really good at the point of attack ... Has the ability to be an all-conference type of player.

CORDARROW THOMPSON (r-Jr.) - Trimmed weight during the off-season and put himself in line for a starting job with his best spring practice ... Has ability and does things naturally ... Has a great first step at the point of attack and can be very physical ... Must keep his weight down to keep it that way.

DEMETRIUS TAYLOR (r-Jr.) - Moved to DT prior to spring practice ... Is undersized, but caused problems for the offense with his quickness and tremendous leverage ... Wants to help the team and will get his chance.

KWAMAINE BATTLE (r-Fr.) - A promising young player ... Had surgery on both of his shoulders last fall ... Sat out spring contact work ... Is still expected to be in the battle for playing time.

JUSTIN YOUNG (r-Fr.) - Athletic, but inexperienced ... Needs to become more physical at the point of attack ... Will have to be more aggressive during the preseason to get a shot at playing time.

COURTNEY PRINCE (Fr.) - Entered school in January and showed potential ... Is still learning, but will be given a chance to compete for a spot when practice resumes.

KHALIL LATIF (r-Fr.) - A strong, aggressive young player who moved from the offensive line to defensive tackle prior to spring practice ... Has the physical tools, but still has a lot to learn.

Taken from the Virginia Tech 2008 Football Media Guide which went to print in mid-June 

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