While the defensive side for Virginia Tech has had less question marks than its offensive counterpart, defensive coordinator Bud Foster has still had a few to answer this fall camp.
Foster's biggest concern has been on the defensive front. The starters, including senior defensive tackle Luther Maddy and junior defensive end Dadi Nicolas, are of little concern. Instead, it's a matter of who will play behind them.
In yesterday's closed scrimmage, the defense allowed 183 yards rushing, but pounced for four sacks. But for Foster, it's been a matter of taking every practice and every snap into account when seeing who can contribute. And a few have caught his eye, particularly a few freshmen.
"Ricky Walker's a guy that could figure in right now," Foster said. "You're a play away from being the guy and that's one of those spots that can get nicked up pretty quickly. We've got Woody Baron back and he just really kinda came on this last half of the week. I think he's gonna continue to get better, but we played a lot of those guys a bunch today, so I'm anxious to see how Woody played and how Ricky played. Ricky does some really good things and then he does some things like a freshman. But I'm really excited about him and his future. We'll see where Mihota is in that mix. Ricky, with a fresh group talking, Baron, Nigel Williams, Corey and Luther, we're battling for who's gonna be that fifth guy right there."
Others, though, are pushing, including another freshman, Melvin Keihn, who made the switch last week from linebacker to defensive end, as well as another player who's gradually improved and grown for the past few seasons.
"The guy I'm really pleased with right now is Seth Dooley," Foster said. "He has really improved tremendously. I think he's really made great strides and is gonna be a heck of a football player. We moved Melvin Keihn in there and Melvin's done some really good things, but he's played defensive end for like three days. He's kinda learned on the run right now, but he does some things there very athletic and very natural as opposed to linebacker."
Depth might be more of a slight concern than an issue by the time the season-opener rolls around.
Below is Foster's full interview with the media yesterday:
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