As fall camp begins for Virginia Tech, assistant coach Charley Wiles isn't quite sure what he has to work with.
Part of that is because of injury. Another part is because Wiles hasn't had enough time to see if his true freshmen can catch on quick enough to everything to be able to contribute early enough this season.
On day two, Wiles is making progress. He's identified some areas that need more attention and is keeping his eye on others that could come around.
For the next three-plus weeks, Wiles hopes to develop more depth. Much of his focus will be on his true freshmen, Vinny Mihota, Ricky Walker and Steve Sobczak, while bringing along junior Wade Hansen and redshirt freshman Seth Dooley, who have no experience at Virginia Tech.
And for guys like Sobczak, that includes helping him stay off the 'Most Wanted' list that the Hokies' nutritionist makes for players who need to watch their eating habits.
"He's like a lot of 'em, loves to eat and all that stuff and you can't," Wiles said. "You walk by the buffet, obviously, you gain five pounds. He's gotta watch his weight and stay conscious of that all the time. He does that, he's got all kinds of quick twitch. When he gets heavy, he doesn't have that same quickness. But one of those two kids, I wouldn't be surprise that play. And then it's gonna be, what happens with Woody. Does he come back? Is he a hundred percent? Then. We'll move forward with those guys."
Among Wiles' players, senior Luther Maddy, juniors Dadi Nicolas and Corey Marshall and sophomores Woody Baron, Ken Ekanem, Dewayne Alford and Nigel Williams have some experience. But among that group, Baron is recovering from off-season right ankle surgery and Wiles said Nicolas is battling tendinitis in his knee.
"You're young, you're getting into your depth at defensive tackle," Wiles said. "You have Woody and Nigel, with a lot of experience as backups and then of course, Luther and Corey coming back. But now, suddenly Woody's out of the mix and your defensive end, Dadi, has got a little tendinitis in his knee and that's bothering him a little bit. Now, you're into your depth at defensive end. Certainly, we need to stay healthy, especially with our eight top guys up front. If we can do that and continue to rep those guys, then I know we'll get where we need to be, to be successful and be good enough."
And by the time the season rolls around, Wiles hopes he has a few groups good enough to get the job done defensively, not just the buffet line.
Below is Wiles' full interview this morning:
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