Great Hands

The 2010 Virginia Tech team features a talented group of juniors and sophomores. They should no doubt benefit from the strong Hokie running game that was previewed yesterday.

Virginia Tech uses a split end and a flanker as wide receivers.  The flanker tends to be faster and more athletic, while the split end tends to be a better blocker, and runs shorter routes.  The long and short of it is that VT is loaded at WR but doesn't have much depth at tight end. 

 

Flanker

Danny Coale (6-0, 205, rJr.)--

Danny Coale must use copious amounts of Stick-em.  This guy has ridiculous hands.  Nowhere is this more evident than on the Virginia highlight tape.  He runs good routes and has a pretty good 40 time.  (sub-4.4 I believe).  Many people label him as a possession receiver but his speed indicates that he should be considered more of a big-play guy.  While Coale might be fast, he isn't shifty.  I can't recall him ever making a defender miss.

Dyrell Roberts (6-1, 192, Jr.)--

Of all the VT WR's, Roberts is by far the most explosive with the ball in his hands.  He is one of the best return men in the country and the Hokies run a lot of reverses to him with great results.  He played running back in high school and has slowly made the transition to WR.  In his freshman year, he missed a lot of catches including one that hit him in the face mask.  As far as production goes at flanker, he has made a lot of progress, but is not as talented as Coale.

 

Split end

Jarrett Boykin (6-2, 213, Jr.)--

Boykin has been VT's most consistent WR, accounting for about a third of total receiving production (29% of receptions, 35% of yards, and 36% of touchdown receptions).  Boykin also leads the team with 20.9 yards per catch.  He isn't as flashy physically as the backups, but he is a consistent performer who gets the job done.  His one claim to fame however is his hand size.  The guy wears XXL gloves and still has to replace them several times a year.  The man has hands the size of dinner plates.

Marcus Davis (6-4, 231, rSo.)--

This guy is a monster.  He is extremely impressive physically and one heck of an athlete.   Because VT was exceptionally thin at QB when he arrived, they tried him there.  He did reasonably well, but they moved him back to wide receiver once they got better quarterback talent.  As a result he is a little behind the rest of the class on the learning curve.  He is a bit of an X-factor.  He might be somewhat average, as he was during his freshman year, but he definitely has All-America potential.

Xavier Boyce (6-4, 223, r-So.)--

Boyce is a bit of a paradox.  He is outstanding in practice.  He even took the starting job away from Boykin last year.  Then the season started and his production became mediocre.  He looked great again this spring, but this time it looks like the coaches are going to take more of a wait-and-see approach.

DJ Coles (6-3, 215, So.)—

Coles is most likely a future star for VT.  He is physically impressive and has looked good in practice, but the depth chart is too crowded right now.  It looks like he will take a redshirt year.

 

Tight end

Tight end is the thinnest position on the Virginia Tech offense.  VT has a really good player coming back in Andre Smith (6-5, 271, rSr.); however there is not much depth behind him.  VT's best TE, Drager, moved to defensive end last year to shore up that position and will now start there.  Logan Thomas was the #1 TE recruit in the country a couple years ago, but he is now the backup QB and the conventional wisdom is that the coaches would rather groom Thomas to be next year's QB than risk injury to him at TE.

This presents a bit of a problem as Virginia Tech ran a ton of two-tight end sets last year with both TE's on the same side of the field.  Oddly enough, however, they would both always run to the other side of the field pre-snap.  The second string TE looks to be Eric Martin. (6-2, 250, rFr.).  He was a lightly-recruited prospect but he is getting good reviews from the coaches.  I took a biology class with him as a freshman (his grayshirt year).  At the time, he indicated that he was way behind on the learning curve, but it was his first semester at college.  Don't be surprised if a true freshman gets some time here.  Most likely Virginia Tech will end up running fewer two to three-TE sets and more fullback sets or three-WR sets.


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