Because of that, it is expected he will be the primary ball carrier from the tailback position when the Hokies take the field September 3.
Though this article is about the entire Virginia Tech ground game, we have to bring in the running ability of quarterback
Thomas ran for 469 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and was particularly deadly on quarterback sneaks and read options out of the shotgun. He won't be surprising anyone this year though and he certainly doesn't have someone as feared as Wilson to fake handoffs to, so it will be interesting to see how defenses defend him on the ground.
The Hokies installed a little bit of the pistol formation this spring to take advantage of Holmes' more downhill running style and that could be the adjustment Thomas needed to keep the read option a lethal weapon within the offense.
In 2011, Wilson was hands-down the top tailback and received 70.9% of the carries given to running backs over the course of the season. The season prior to that, the Hokies had three legitimate tailbacks (
However, that was under the guidance of former running backs coach Billy Hite. Under Shane Beamer, I don't think the rotation will be as strict or well defined, and the leading carrier (Holmes) will get somewhere around 55% of the carries given to tailbacks.
As for Coleman, it's extremely difficult to predict his numbers as he could very well end up third on the depth chart behind Scales, and then he would be in Tony Gregory land. Regardless, this season's top backup is going to get more carries than
Thomas received about one-fourth of all carries last season and if there's one thing you don't do, it's reduce the amount of plays your top playmaker is involved in. I think that number stays the same.