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True Freshmen Status Update
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #395, August 21, 2009

Virginia Tech has a very good true freshman class, and some of those players are looking to make an impact on the field in their first year on campus. Several true freshmen are being considered for heavy playing time. Even some who are likely redshirts appear to have very bright futures in Blacksburg.

The Hokies are deep enough that they don't have to rely on very many true freshmen to play. However, several will still force their way on the field on special teams at the very least.

At quarterback, Logan Thomas is locked in a battle with r-freshman Ju-Ju Clayton for the #2 spot on the depth chart. At this point the coaches are undecided who will back up Tyrod Taylor, and it's not known when a decision could be made. The battle will continue through this Saturday's scrimmage, and perhaps further. Thomas could easily play this year, if needed. He could be used at multiple positions on offense, as well as special teams.

Tailback David Wilson has missed the last week of practice with a mild shoulder sprain, but he will definitely play this year. Darren Evans is out with a torn ACL, and Josh Oglesby has a hamstring injury and an infection in his heel. Wilson is a talented tailback who should see a lot of action by the end of the year. Tony Gregory is another talented true freshman tailback, but he will likely redshirt to add weight and strength.

True freshman wide receiver D.J. Coles is battling for the #6 spot in the wideout rotation. He is also expected to contribute on special teams. True freshmen wide receivers Ben Barber and Nubian Peak will redshirt. Tight end Eric Martin has battled a slight injury and hasn't received much mention this August.

Offensive guard David Wang has spent most of August injured. He was a candidate for playing time, but he is an almost certain redshirt at this point. Center Andrew Miller has a lot of potential down the road, but a redshirt would be beneficial for him as well.

Virginia Tech has three true freshmen playing defensive end right now. James Gayle has excellent long-term potential, though he'll need to redshirt this year to add size and strength. Lanford Collins is talented as well, but he's a bit raw at this point. Tyrel Wilson is also working at defensive end, and he will also take a redshirt year.

Duan Perez-Means was also going to redshirt this year, but he was forced out of action with shoulder surgery. He will now enroll this coming January.

The Hokies are working Telvion Clark and Tariq Edwards at the backer position. Clark is very strong and looks like he's been in the program for a few years. However, he's not needed this year, so he'll redshirt and take a year to adjust to the speed of the college game. Edwards will also redshirt this year and compete for playing time on special teams this spring.

Virginia Tech seems to have recruited a very nice group of defensive backs. Cornerback Jayron Hosley is a serious candidate to play this year. He has been standing out recently in practice, and the Hokies will try him on special teams to see if he is capable of contributing this season.

True freshman free safety Antone Exum has also earned the praise of defensive backs coach Torrian Gray. Exum had a nice scrimmage last Saturday, and he has the physical ability to play special teams if needed. However, he is a likely redshirt, along with cornerbacks James Hopper and Jerrodd Williams.

Freshman kicker Cody Journell has a strong leg, but he's not ready yet to kick at the college level. He will also take a redshirt year this year.

The Virginia Tech coaching staff will know the majority of their two-deep after tomorrow's scrimmage, and they'll know which freshmen are playing or redshirting, with the lone excepting being Logan Thomas. Other freshmen who are on the fence for playing time, such as Jayron Hosley, will need to play well on Saturday to be considered.

2009 True Freshmen
Player Position Status
Ben Barber WR Redshirt
Telvion Clark LB Redshirt
D.J. Coles WR Likely Playing
J.R. Collins DE Redshirt
Tariq Edwards LB Redshirt
Antone Exum FS Likely Redshirt
James Gayle DE Redshirt
Tony Gregory RB Likely Redshirt
James Hopper CB Redshirt
Jayron Hosley CB Undecided
Cody Journell PK Redshirt
Eric Martin TE Redshirt
Andrew Miller C Redshirt
Nubian Peak WR Redshirt
Logan Thomas QB Undecided
David Wang OG Redshirt
Jerrodd Williams CB Redshirt
David Wilson RB Playing
Tyrel Wilson DE Redshirt


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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week
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