How Will Virginia Tech Replace Jason Worilds?

The simple answer is they can't. Jason Worilds was Virginia Tech's best pass rusher and was double teamed on almost every play. This allowed Nekos Brown and Cody Grimm to get into the backfield easier to disrupt the opponent's passing game. Worilds also had a knack for getting to the quarterback regardless of how many guys were trying to block him.

Worilds, Brown and Grimm are now all gone from Bud Foster's defense and it will be up to a new group of Hokies to try and get pressure on the quarterback.

Later on you'll have a chance to discuss exactly who should start at defensive end as part of the 2010 Virginia Tech Depth Chart Debates. But for now, let's just take a look at the guys who will be vying for those starting jobs during spring and fall practice.

33 Chris Drager, Jr.

Drager was converted from tight end to defensive end despite a successful 2009 spring practice. He quickly moved up the depth chart and appeared in all 13 games for the Hokies. He had 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks this past season. Drager still has a steep learning curve at DE but will likely win one of the starting spots in 2010.

82 - Steven Friday, Sr.

Friday worked his way into the DE rotation in 2008 and saw time in several games, including the Orange Bowl. I'm not sure if he has the ability to be anything more than a second-teamer, but he did have 3.5 sacks in 2009. He's more of a guy who can provide a much-needed breather for the starters.

91 - John Graves, Sr.

Was actually moved from tackle to end during spring practice in 2009 and played well. Increased depth at end led him to move back to tackle where he thrived this past season. However, he is not in the mold of a defensive tackle. Tall and slender, he's built much more like a defensive end. I think it might be in the Hokies' best interest to move him to end full time now that Worilds is gone. Graves was able to slip between centers and guards at tackle, but he'll still have develop his moves at end to get to the quarterback consistently.

55 - Isaiah Hamlette, So.

These next three guys we know basically nothing about. Hamlette has at least seen the field in mop-up duty against Marshall and Boston College. Definitely not ready for prime time, but he could provide much-needed depth at the position.

Tyrel Wilson, Fr., and James Gayle, Fr.

Both are highly-thought of defensive ends from the 757. One of them is going to have to step up and contribute as redshirt freshman. Gayle is the more highly-ranked recruit, but I wouldn't be surprised if Wilson is the first one to see the field. Gayle probably has a higher ceiling, though.

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