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Virginia Tech football: Hokies move back start of spring practice

Spring practice now begins on March 20.

NCAA Football: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente
Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

For all of you hoping for some spring football to tide you over until the season, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. On Thursday, the Virginia Tech Hokies announced they would delay the start of spring practice by 17 days. Spring practice was set to open on Sunday, March 3, now it will begin on March 20.

A big reason for the Hokies delaying the start of spring practice is injuries. Tech has 13 players either not medically cleared to practice or not medically cleared for contact. It’s not ideal but expected.

Virginia Tech has a pair of players recovering from Achilles’ injuries in cornerback Jeremy Webb and defensive lineman Xavier Burke. Defensive end Houshun Gaines tore his ACL in November and is still fairly early in the recovery process.

In typical Fuente fashion, he didn’t discuss the injuries in depth. There are several players who we are unsure of exactly why they are out. Dalton Keene, Christian Darrisaw and Khalil Ladler’s situations are most interesting as they are all starters from a year ago. Hopefully, there’s nothing serious and all of these players will be full participants come fall camp.

Another reason for pushing the start of spring practice back is Tech’s spring break. It runs from March 9-17 and Fuente won’t have to deal with any breaks during the spring sessions.

The delay won’t affect the spring game, at least initially. As of now, the spring game is still set to take place on April 13. And it likely won’t affect the type of game we see either. It’s been nothing more than a heavily controlled scrimmage in recent years and I don’t see that changing this year.

Another hope is the extra 17 days will help some of the injured players in getting on the practice field. With such a young team, every rep is imperative.

The delay also shouldn’t affect the number of practices the Hokies receive. As of now, it looks like Tech will get three practices after the spring game before shutting down things for until the summer.

In the next couple of weeks, we will do a position-by-position preview of the Virginia Tech roster in preparation for spring practice. Until then, let’s root for a deep run into March for Buzz Williams and the gang.