The so-called offseason is short lived for a college football player and largely filled with a barrage of workouts and drills.
This is the necessary and unpleasant work done away from the lights and fans. Sessions like the 5:45 a.m. starts in Rector Field House in preparation for the start of spring drills.
Virginia Tech begins the public portion of the work with the start of spring practice Thursday, March 27. The Hokies will hold 14 practices leading up to the spring game April 26 at 2 p.m.
Strength coaches Mike Gentry and former Tech fullback Jarrett Ferguson have fostered an extremely competitive group when it comes to posting numbers.
One thing is clear from Tech's maximum testing numbers, there is plenty of strength in the trenches.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Teller's name appears all over the results. Teller finished tied for second with redshirt senior center David Wang in the push jerk (370). redshirt sophomore lineman Augie Conte led with 380. The top five spots in back squat were all offensive lineman with Teller in front (600) and Conte second (585).
Conte led the team in bench press with 430 while Teller was third with 420. Both players will challenge for playing time along the line this spring. Teller moved from the defensive line to offense last fall.
Tech's 40-yard dash times are always fast because of the conditions. The number doesn't mean as much as who placed where and earning the top spot is always impressive. Defensive end Dadi Nicolas posted a team best 4.4-second 40 time and a 41-inch vertical leap to impress at the Hokie combine.
Linebacker Dahman McKinnon was second fastest with Kendall Fuller and Chris Mangus just behind. That tells you just how freakish Dadi Nicolas' numbers really are.
Bucky Hodges worked at quarterback and tight end last season showing ability at tight end. Hiis 4.46 mark in the 40 and 38.5 inch vertical, are reasons to be excited about his potential there. At 6'6", Hodges has the frame and the skills to make a terrific weapon. Ryan Malleck will likely be limited this spring but Kalvin Cline will return from injury to get the first team snaps.
J.C. Coleman set a position record for his front squat of 455. He will certainly still be a factor at tailback especially with leading-rusher Trey Edmunds still out with a broken leg. Freshman Marshawn Williams stands to get a chance to earn playing time as a big back to counter Coleman's size and Edmunds' speed.
Most eyes will be focused on the quarterbacks, but only part of that group will be involved this spring. Of the freshman QBs only Andrew Ford enrolled early and will participate in spring. Chris Durkin and Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer will both be around for fall camp as will as freshman athlete Travon McMillian. Brendan Motley will compete with Ford and Leal to get a leg up on the depth chart heading into summer workouts.
Check back daily for updates on how VT Spring Football is going. Fingers crossed for a healthy and productive session as we build momentum for 2014.
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