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Virginia Tech football: Spring game preview

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NCAA Football: Boston College at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech freshman quarterback Quincy Patterson
Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a quiet spring for the Virginia Tech football program. There are a multitude of reasons why things have been so quiet in Blacksburg. The worst season in 26 years followed by a rash of transfers had many Hokie fans ignoring spring football. There was also, arguably, the greatest season in the program’s basketball history and subsequent coaching search.

Well, now, the spring game is upon us.

And, from all appearances, it is going to be a beautiful day in Blacksburg for the annual spring game. There will be plenty of future recruits in Lane Stadium on Saturday as well as numerous Hokie legends.

So, after a quiet spring, the Hokies are wrapping up until August and we get our first true glimpse at the 2019 Hokies on Saturday afternoon.

The most intriguing position, of course, is quarterback. We expect senior Ryan Willis to be the starter in 2019. He won’t be handed the position, though. Redshirt freshman Quincy Patterson is the future of the position and fans are looking forward to getting a glimpse of Patterson on Saturday. Sophomore Hendon Hooker will also compete for snaps, too. Hooker is a dynamic athlete, however, hasn’t taken the necessary steps as a passer yet. Can he make this a three-way battle?

The skill position players will be exciting to watch. At running back, Deshawn McClease and Jalen Holston lead the group, but it’s sometimes tough to gauge anything in a spring game. Wide receivers Tre Turner, Damon Hazelton and Hezekiah Grimsley are the starters, but can a freshman like DeJuan Ellis stake his claim to playing time with a big performance on Saturday?

Something else to watch is who will offensive line coach Vance Vice bring out to begin the game as his top five offensive linemen? Vice likes to rotate his group and he’s had to battle some injuries this spring. So who you see out there first on Saturday is not how this unit is going to look in September.

Defensively, people are excited about the talented linebackers. But what about the defensive line and secondary? Virginia Tech’s lack of depth on the defensive line has been talked about frequently this offseason, can some young players show fans this group is much better than expected?

In the secondary, the hope is young players like Caleb Farley, Bryce Watts and Jermaine Waller have taken a step forward this offseason. We should get a glimpse of how far this group has come in a few short months.

Come out Saturday, Hokie Nation. Enjoy a beautiful day and some football. Sure, this isn’t Thursday night in Lane Stadium in October, however, it is football. After Saturday, you’ll have to wait almost four months for Hokie football again.

Stay tuned as we’ll have you covered here at Gobbler Country for updates from the spring game.