Our next position up for discussion is probably the biggest crap shoot of the 2010 offseason. Cody Grimm and Cam Martin have been on the two-deep at whip since they were sophomores in 2007. Now with both gone, the Hokies are faced with uncertainty there for the first time since the 2007 offseason following the graduation of Brenden Hill.
Of course, that turned out OK for the Hokies. Martin excelled there before getting injured and giving way to Cody Grimm, who may have been the best at getting pressure on the quarterback from the position since Bud Foster took over the defense. This year several players who have rarely seen the field will get their shot to start at whip.
Starter: Alonzo Tweedy, So.
Possible Backups: Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, So.; Telvion Clark, Fr.
Outlook: Tweedy has paid his dues on special teams will likely win the starting job. However, at 186 lbs he's a very undersized linebacker, even for the hybrid whip position. Tweedy's speed is a plus, but the question will be whether or not his frame can take the pounding that playing in a BCS conference will dish out.
JGW has a few more pounds on Tweedy and is probably closer to having the physique of a whip linebacker, but probably isn't as gifted a football player as Tweedy. JGW could be the Cody Grimm to Tweedy's Cam Martin. Both JGW and Grimm are sons of former NFL players and at the start of their careers didn't look they'd be as good as the guys in front of them on the depth chart.
Telvion Clark is a gifted freshman who could wind up being too big to play whip. We don't know what redshirt or incoming freshman will end up at whip because the position is so tough to project. Right now Clark's body type fits whip so there's where I'll put him for now.
With all the pass rushers the Hokies lost after 2009, it will be up to the guys at whip to improve their pass rushing abilities to help out the front four.
Up for Debate
- Who should start at whip in 2010?
- Which younger players do you think will end up at whip?