Each year, certain players emerge from the shadows and become known as "impact players." Last year, those included quarterback
Vandyke exploded in the spring and we haven't really stopped writing about him since. Simply put, he has the chance to be the best WHIP ever at Virginia Tech and by a pretty wide margin.
This year, Exum figures to be the beneficiary as teams avoid Fuller. Exum's transition to cornerback went about as smoothly as one could hope this spring and he continued working hard all throughout the summer in order to prepare for his new role.
He is a different kind of corner for the Hokies, as he is still built closer to a linebacker than a corner, but has managed to maintain his flexibility and ability to move freely.Exum was never a big ball-hawker at safety, but I expect him to get more than a few interceptions in 2012.
Holmes steps into the top spot in a backfield that returns exactly zero ball carriers from last year, meaning carries won't be hard to come by for the Harrisonburg, VA native. Holmes was solid all spring and provided the highlight of the camp with a long touchdown run during one of the open scrimmages and will look to get better each day leading up to kickoff.
There are a bunch of players jockeying for position on the depth chart behind them, but it is Holmes' spot that seems to be the most secure.
Maddy was essentially a starter last year and played a lot of snaps, so the transition is expected to go very smoothly as he becomes a starter in 2012. By the end of last year, teams were double-teaming Hopkins, as he was one of the key cogs that kept defensive coordinator
However, if Maddy plays as well as he did in the spring this fall, teams will be placed in a very precarious position when deciding how to block those guys.
Dunn had a breakout spring in the passing game and reminded me a lot of former UCLA tight end
Dunn's ability in the passing game figures to get him on the field in some capacity in 2012 and when he does, expect him to do some serious damage.