Spotlight for Hokies' spring game on Thomas

Spotlight for Hokies' spring game on Thomas
April 22, 2011, 4:27 pm
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Friday, April 22, 2011 By Rich Tandler
Staff Writer
CSNwashington.comVirginia Tech Spring GameMaroon vs. White
Lane Stadium
Saturday, April 23, 2011 1:00 p.m.
Admission and parking are freeWhat to watch forQuarterback Logan ThomasUnlike some other ACC teams, there is no battle for the top quarterback job here. Thomas was named the heir to Tyrod Taylor last fall and he has done nothing so far in spring practice to make Frank Beamer regret the decision. He has been poised both on an off the field and his passes have mostly been on the money. Thomas is a redshirt sophomore so if he works out, the Hokies will be set at QB for the next three years.The running gameStarter David Wilson will miss the game as he will be participating in the ACC track and field championship. Thats fine, a few long runs he broke in scrimmages demonstrated that hell be ready for the bell in September. But Wilson doesnt seem to be a 25-carry-a-game guy so his backup will be a key player. Right now, that seems to be Josh Oglesby, a redshirt senior, is slated to be first off the bench. He moved from tailback to fullback last year but after Ryan Williams and Darren Evans departed to the NFL draft, Oglesby was moved back. Redshirt sophomore James Hopper will compete with Oglesby for playing time and could gain on him with a strong showing on Saturday.Left tackleThe battle for the key position on the offensive line has flown under the radar but it could go all the way up to the season opener. Nick Becton was supposed to start last year after the departure of Ed Wang to the NFL but a turf toe injury opened the door for Andrew Lanier to get the lions share of the snaps in 2010. Now Becton, a redshirt junior, is challenging redshirt senior Lanier for the starting job. In one early scrimmage they were alternating series and even snaps with the first-team offense.Whip linebackerIn his spring teleconference, Beamer said that on defense the first priority is to get some really good playmakers at the whip position. The position demands elements of both a linebacker and a strong safety, making it a hard one to fill. Jeron Gouveia-Winslow got the first crack at replacing Cody Grimm there a year ago but he struggled and was reduced to a part-time role. This year he has stepped up his game considerably with a challenge from fellow redshirt junior Alonzo Tweedy. The two will compete for the starting job but the loser is likely to see considerable playing time in various defensive packages.An underclassman at kickerBeamer said recently that Cody Journell should be the field goal kicker. This is breaking news because Journell is a redshirt sophomore. The Hokies last four field goal kickersChris Hazley, Jud Dunleavy, Dustin Keys, and Matt Waldronwere seniors who won the job for the first time in the spring. Journell has a chance to add some stability to the position. Nearly half a dozen players are competing for the punting job, including wide receiver Danny Coale. This race should go down to late August.You can reach Rich Tandler by email at and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.