The Virginia Tech Hokies held their final preseason scrimmage on Saturday, closed to fans and media alike.
“I thought the scout team guys did a nice job giving us a Georgia Tech look,” said Frank Beamer, head coach. “Overall I thought we got accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished. Now it’s on to Georgia Tech week.”
While the Hokies prepare to face the Yellow Jackets on Monday, Sept. 3, here are a few storylines to keep an eye on.
Edwards struggling to get back on the field
The Hokies hoped to have one of the key pieces of their defense back in time for Georgia Tech, but it doesn’t seem like that will be the case.
Tariq Edwards, who tallied 71 tackles in 14 starts last season, will likely miss the Hokies’ first game after having surgery to remove a pin in his leg to alleviate pain stemming from offseason leg surgery.
“It’s coming along,” Edwards said. “I’m doing therapy day by day, and it’s getting a lot stronger. My knee bend is all the way to where it’s supposed to be.”
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster has switched several of his linebackers with the absence of Edwards. Bruce Taylor is practicing at backer and Jack Tyler is playing mike linebacker.
“It’s hard watching just all the guys out there,” Edwards said. “Defensive ends, cornerbacks, anybody out there playing. People I was doing therapy with like D.J. (Coles) are out there running, catching and getting hit. I’ll be back with them.”
Edwards, who is using one crutch to walk around, hasn’t circled a date for his return, but is holding out hope he can contribute in a major way this season.
“I still feel like I’ll be able to play the season and do that well, because everything as far as my actual therapy has been a lot faster than I thought it would be.”
Freshmen look to have impact
Every freshman approaches a learning curve in college football, yet several young Hokies have stood out in the coach’s eyes.
Head coach Frank Beamer is expected to dress 11 to 12 true freshmen for week one, including standout running backs J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds.
Edmunds, who has impressed Beamer as well has his position coach Shane Beamer, is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound tailback from Danville, Va. He was a four-star prospect during his recruitment according to Rivals.com.
“What we’re going to do with Trey is get him a package and get him a few plays with the varsity each day and a few plays in pass (skeleton) each day and keep bringing him along,” Beamer said. “Then we’re just going see where this thing goes for a few weeks.”
Beamer hopes to get the true freshman into games, whether it’s at their regular position or on special teams.
“(Deon) Clarke’s getting work at second linebacker, (Joshua) Stanford’s getting work at third wide receiver and (Donaldven) Manning and (Donovan) Riley are getting work at second corner,” Beamer said. (Desmond) Frye’s getting work at free safety.”
Clarke, in particular, stands out among the true freshmen.
“He’s athletic,” Beamer said. “He’s got some size to him. Part of him is, we’re not sure how long Tariq Edwards (is going to be out). So we’re giving him the second team reps right now.”