Last season, Virginia Tech started two freshmen in the secondary who had big seasons in Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson. The Hokies might play a few freshmen defensive backs again this season, though their tracks might be different.
Through two and a half weeks of fall camp, assistant coach Torrian Gray has been most impressed with freshmen C.J. Reavis and Greg Stroman. Reavis has moved to second-string nickel back, while Stroman is filling in where needed at cornerback, playing with the third team.
Despite the freshman success last season, Gray is quick to point out that each player is different and has his own path to the field. But overall, their additions, as well as some solid play, has bolstered the Virginia Tech secondary as a whole.
"Kendall was that rare guy where he comes in and he already gets it," Gray said. "It's not, you've gotta take a thousand reps, he just gets it. Kendall's unique, so I don't compare the other freshmen's learning curve with Kendall because that's not fair to the freshmen. But when you put it into perspective, those guys are doing a good job, but they're still freshmen. They're just normal freshmen. It's gonna take reps, but they have upside, they have potential and we're gonna continue to work 'em in."
Where the freshmen have particularly come in handy, though, has been with a few injuries. Facyson and senior safety Detrick Bonner have been among those limited for much of fall camp, giving guys like Reavis and Stroman a few more opportunities.
"We've improved as a second unit, it's just because of injuries, we've had so many different combinations, so what has been your second unit?" Gray said. "We practiced out at the scrimmage and you don't have Detrick Bonner, you don't have Desmond Frye, you don't have Anthony Shegog, so you're out of your free safeties. Chuck Clark's playing free safety in the scrimmage just because we didn't have any. We haven't had a true second unit, but the freshman guys and all those guys have gotten better."
Below is Gray's full interview with the media yesterday:
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