Trainer Mike Goforth reports DT Kwamaine Battle suffered an ACL tear of the left knee and will miss the season.
When the preliminary reports of defensive tackle Kwamaine Battle's injury came out from yesterday's scrimmage, the fear was that the redshirt senior had torn the same ACL that cost him the majority of the 2010 season. Sunday, those fears were realized.
Battle will miss the 2011 football season after tearing his left ACL during Saturday's first scrimmage of fall practice. It's the same ACL he tore in the second game last season against James Madison. The blow is a big one for Virginia Tech's already paper-thin defensive line and a bigger one for Battle himself, who as a senior was going to be an important part of the Hokies' defense.
With Battle on the shelf, true freshman Luther Maddy will move into the two-deep. He and junior Isaiah Hamlette will back up junior Antoine Hopkins and sophomore Derrick Hopkins. Another true freshman, Kris Harley, will also have the chance to earn playing time.
Maddy led the defense with eight tackles during yesterday's scrimmage. He's been one of the biggest storylines of fall camp so far, impressing defensive line coach Charley Wiles. When talking about Maddy, Wiles said it wasn't worth it not to redshirt him if he wasn't going to be in the two-deep. That might mean Harley, who Wiles said needs to get in better shape, will be redshirted.
Hamlette played sparing in his first two years at defensive tackle, but will probably see that playing time increased with the injury to Battle. He's a player the Hokies need to step up this season and according to long snapper Collin Carroll, he's put on 17 pounds without losing any of his quickness.
Going into the season, we knew Virginia Tech was going to have to improve against the run and that meant better play from the defensive tackles. The loss of Battle is a huge one for Tech, who will look to some very young and inexperience players to replace what he brought to the table as a senior.