It's not that offensive lineman Mark Shuman didn't work hard last year. But under new line coach Jeff Grimes, it's been a big difference.
There's more expected, more accountability, more toughness. It's taken some adjusting to, but Shuman, who will likely be a starter on Virginia Tech's offensive line this fall is really earning a spot this spring.
"I think it's a big benefit just because he's big on technique and he teaches us a lot," Shuman said of Grimes. "But if you mess up, he just wants you to go back out there and give it your all the next play. He'll bring you down, but he'll build you right back up with something positive. I like working with him and I'm looking forward to the season."
Grimes has been moving around Shuman and the other linemen this spring, trying to find where they best fit. Shuman, who has played mostly on the left side, has spent time on the right side as well.
"Right now, I'm just trying to play hard and show them what I can do," Shuman said. "Hopefully, one of the tackle jobs will be open. Right now, it's open so I'm going out there every day and competing with the guys, It's not given to you, so I'm trying to go out there every day and just compete for it."
Whatever Grimes asks of Shuman, the soon-to-be junior obliges. Shuman believes it's what will help make him a better player, plus give him firm footing on a starting spot.
"We're just playing hard," Shuman said. "If someone gets hurt, I guess someone gets hurt. That's how it is. Everyone's out there competing, so we just go hard every day and hopefully that's how we'll do it all season."