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August 8, 2013Sign-up for HokieHaven.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster has been around long enough, 27 seasons now at Virginia Tech, that he knows the cycle of players coming in and out. A good player one season gives way to another good player the next season.
Foster begins this season without one defensive cog from the past few seasons, but welcomes in a few highly touted players that he hopes he can plug in where he needs and not miss a beat.
That will certainly be the hope at cornerback. This week, senior Antone Exum was told he'll need at least a month or two more in recovering from a torn ACL and meniscus he suffered in January.
"I know he's probably disappointed not to play in this first ball game because it's such a big ball game," Foster said. "The big picture for us, that first game is just the first game. It's a measuring stick for us, but we've got 11 more and we play as the most competitive conference top to bottom in the country."
One possibility is freshman Kendall Fuller. Rivals.com's No. 9 player in the 2013 class, Fuller is expected to start as a nickelback, but could move to cornerback as well.
"Where we've been really good and/or really bad in the last couple of years is when we haven't had that nickel guy or we've been trying to piece that position together," Foster said. "We haven't been able to run our defense when we haven't been as successful as we wanted to be."
And Foster also hopes there's at least one diamond in the rough. Last season, it was linebacker Jack Tyler and this season, it remains to be seen who will emerge.
"That's the thing about college football, every year is a new year," Foster said. "Every year is a new opportunity. There's gonna be new kids and different kids step up to challenges or they're gonna make progress that maybe you weren't counting on that does. I'm hoping, we've got some guys at several positions, especially in the backup role. I think our first-unit is gonna be pretty solid. But some backup guys that need to really grow, like our defensive tackle spots, linebacker is another. We've got some depth in the secondary, it's inexperienced, but I like what they've done through spring and their summer workouts. All those guys are a play away from being the guy."
The defensive beat goes on.
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