Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente met with the press over the weekend to discuss the first week of fall camp. While Fuente talked about the quarterback situation and his love of all things Terrell Edmunds, one thing he said stood out, and that was his praise of three freshmen, per Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times.
There are guys that I believe strongly like Jalen Holston and Dalton Keene and Devon Hunter and there’s probably more that I’m forgetting—that if things continue to progress that they’re going to have an absolute chance to play. I would stop short of before our fifth practice saying certainly, no doubt those guys are going to play. But I would say after four practices, signs are indicating that they’re going to play. I’m sure there’s more than that. Just, off the top of my head, I can’t just recall them off the top.
We knew about how much this staff loves Hunter and rightfully so. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster spoke about him last week and said he will play this season, and could even start. Fuente took it one step further in his praise.
Caleb Farley is another freshman who would’ve played. He may have had the biggest impact of any of the newcomers, but a knee injury ended that chance in 2017. That’s opened the door for Keene.
A 6’4”, 240-pound tight end from Littleton, Colorado, Keene is one of the more physically impressive newcomers on campus. Yet, it’s his play that has him standing out. Fuente loves matchup players like Keene. He can line him up at fullback, tight end or in the slot. He will be a major part of the passing game as a freshman in 2017.
Holston, a freshman running back from Stockbridge, Georgia, already looks the part. And he plays a position that is completely in flux. Travon McMillian, Steven Peoples and Deshawn McClease are all competing to be the team’s starting running back. Holston is in a position to get significant time as a true freshman.
The next few weeks, particularly in scrimmages, are big for Holston. If he can create yards against Tech’s first-team defense amidst questions on the offensive line, the Hokies may have their starting back. One thing is for sure, he will play in 2017.
Other freshmen will play. Guys like Dylan Rivers, Kalil Pimpleton and Hezekiah Grimsley are in a position to receive playing time this fall.
One thing’s for sure, the Hokies haven’t had a class this talented in awhile and the results could be immediate.