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August 4, 2013
Summer Questions #7: New Impacts?
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Summer Questions Series No. 7: Which players will step up for the first time this fall for Virginia Tech?
After each college football season, players run out of eligibility and move on. This forces new players to emerge and step into a bigger role than they previously were comfortable with. Who will it be for Virginia Tech this season? Let's identify five.
1. Trey Edmunds, Running Back
Not surprisingly, the offense struggled to be any kind of consistent without another threat in the backfield. After redshirting in 2012, Edmunds is the most likely to emerge as the top dog at tailback and take control of the rushing game. J.C. Coleman is a year older and will likely take a step forward, but Edmunds is the new option for assistant coach Shane Beamer this year.
2. Jonathan McLaughlin, Offensive Tackle
3. Joel Caleb, Wide Receiver
Caleb was the top recruit in the state of Virginia two years ago and could be a big-time threat this season for the Hokies. We reported last week that he's suspended for the season opener, but that hopefully won't prevent him from playing in the final 11 games of the year.
4. Laurence Gibson, Offensive Tackle
Virginia Tech has experience at guard and center, making the tackles the focus of the offensive line entering the season. Gibson doesn't have to protect McLaughlin's blindside, but he is a critical part of the team as well.
5. Kendall Fuller, Cornerback
It wouldn't be shocking to see Kendall start opposite of Kyle in the season opener, although he will face stiff competition from the likes of Donaldven Manning and Brandon Facyson. If Fuller can pick up the defense in August, look for him to have a big role in 2013. If Fuller succeeds at one of the corner positions and Exum returns, older brother Kyle could be moved back to the nickel position he excelled at in 2011.
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