Virginia Tech participant survey: Hokis identify breakout candidates, hardest teammates and extra


BLACKSBURG, Va. It is okay to get opinions from coaches, however generally it is the gamers within the warmth of the struggle who’ve the most effective perspective on issues.

Issues like potential breakouts, the quickest participant, who presents issues on the opposite facet of the ball and, maybe most significantly, if a struggle breaks out, who do you wish to hold in your facet?

athletic On Media Day on Wednesday, Virginia Tech surveyed gamers to pattern:

Who’s the participant who shouldn’t be talked about a lot, who might have a breakout season?

This query obtained the best number of solutions, referring to a variety of gamers (a few of whom are barely extra recognized than others). Listed below are the names that got here up:

• WR Da’wain Lofton

“Stud. Got here in a stud,” mentioned cornerback Dorian Sturdy. “And I wish to see him undergo the roof, as a result of he has a lot potential and I actually wish to see him succeed.”

Quarterback Jason Brown mentioned, “He is somebody I, Grant and the opposite quarterbacks belief 100% that if we give the ball 50-50, we’re assured he’ll come down with it.” “If we knew he needed to run to a sure depth, we all know he would get that as a result of we have now that form of belief in him. The best way he carried out, the best way he labored, that Unprecedented. We have now full religion in him.”


Da’wain Lofton caught seven passes final 12 months as a freshman. (Reinhold Matte / USA At this time)

• LB Jaden Keller

“He is undoubtedly somebody who caught my eye early on,” mentioned left guard Cayden Moore. “He is combating arduous for the struggle.”

“He has actually gone forward and is taking part in at the next degree,” mentioned heart Johnny Jordan.

• CB Brian Murray

“I believe Bryan is an incredible cornerback,” Sturdy mentioned. “The time and the work and the accuracy that he places in day by day, I take stuff from him. Even after I first got here in, seeing him getting ready for the Video games, I used to be amazed. I used to be similar to ‘That is actually what I’ve to do now? And I believe Brian nonetheless hasn’t obtained the popularity he deserves, and this 12 months he will do a present.

• DT Josh Fuga

“He misplaced weight, he obtained quicker. Simply taking part in with a greater pad degree,” mentioned fellow defender Mario Kendrick.

• RB Keshav King

“He is tremendous quick,” Laughton mentioned. “I believe he’ll flip a number of heads. He’ll work in a number of totally different locations.”

• OLB Kelly Lawson

“He performs the sport the fitting approach,” mentioned linebacker Dax Holyfield. “He is solely taking part in Sam and a little bit little bit of will, however he can play. He is aware of the best way to play and it is fairly clear he’ll be excellent at what he does over the following few years.

• WR/TE Conor Blumrick

“He is most likely one of the eccentric athletes I’ve ever seen,” mentioned Holyfield. “His ball abilities are unbelievable.”

• DE Kyree Moyston

Linebacker Keonta Jenkins mentioned, “I believe he is doing nice in apply, simply exploding, getting off the block and dominating, working to the ball.”

• WR Cole Beck

Quarterback Grant Wells mentioned, “Cole Beck is a kind of guys who has been a highly regarded identify round this city, and for good purpose.” “The man could be very fast, he has good ball abilities and while you use him with the fitting planning, he could be arduous to cease.”

• Jenkins and receivers Jaden Blue and Caleb Smith have been additionally talked about.

Who’s the participant on the opposite facet of the ball that you just discover troublesome to deal with?

, S Chamri Conner

“The toughest hitter for me needs to be Chamari Conner,” Laughton mentioned.

“I have not performed towards a man who’s as gifted as him in a very long time, most likely ever,” Wells mentioned. “And going up towards him each single day, has undoubtedly opened my eyes to search out him earlier than each snap and attempt to get the ball as distant from him as doable. He appears to be in the fitting place on each play, which could be very disappointing. Simply his catch-up velocity when he’s within the unsuitable place. Seems like he must be very fast after that. ,

• DT Norrell Pollard

“She’s undoubtedly elusive and has discovered her finest strikes and methods,” Moore mentioned. “He’s undoubtedly arduous to dam in most positions. I’ve to actually zone out and research his craft quite a bit to ensure I slot in effectively with him.”

“I’d most likely say Norell or (Mario Kendrick),” Jordan mentioned. “They’re each very comparable. They’re each very robust, very fast, fast individuals and are actually good with their arms. I’m glad I’m on their group.”

• WR Da’wain Lofton

“Dan is youthful than me, so I’ve extra bother with the youthful guys,” Sturdy mentioned. “However he is quick, he will get out and in of his methods, he is robust, such a powerful hand, so after I come to interrupt a move or one thing, I’ve to give you some energy. He Have an important receiver throughout.”

, LT silas dzansi

“If it is shedding the books, then Silas Dzansi is simply ridiculously athletic and powerful,” mentioned Holyfield. “There actually isn’t anybody who comes near him in relation to sheer… You don’t need him to place an angle on you. He’s going to knock you again.”

, RB Bryce Duke

“Strolling the route? Bryce Duke,” mentioned Holyfield. “He is a technician together with his ft up. He is simply providing you with good shakes and separating locations.”

, LB Dax Holyfield

“Simply taking up everybody’s command in the course of the sector,” Brown mentioned. “He does an important job of it.”

, WR/TE Conor Blumrick

“Connor is a kind of individuals you do not know what to anticipate,” Jenkins mentioned. “He can break for 80.”

You now have an ACC monitor champion on the group at Cole Beck, whose velocity is verified. However is there a participant on the group who can sustain with him within the race?

Whereas a number of names have been tossed on the market, one participant was virtually a unanimous choice: RB Keshav King.

Junior hasn’t had a ton of alternative to show that tempo lately, lagging behind accidents and getting restricted snaps, however his teammates will. love To see him race Beck.

“Keshav King can stick with him,” Wells mentioned.

“That cat can fly,” mentioned Holyfield.

“I believe Keshavan may be capable of modify to him a little bit bit,” Laughton mentioned, “however as soon as they get to that ultimate stage, Cole Beck will kick him out, I believe.”

Some thought King may even be capable of tackle Beck.

“I do not care concerning the monitor. I believe Keshav King is the quickest,” Moore mentioned. “I wish to see that race. I want To look at that race. ,

A couple of different gamers have been talked about, together with cornerback Elijah Howard and Conner.

“I do know Chamari can fly,” mentioned Jordan. “When he is chasing somebody again or stops on a move, I do know Chamari hits some actually quick speeds, so I believe it will be a superb race.”


DB Chamri Conner has began every of the final 37 video games. (Ryan Hunt / USA TODAY)

Suppose an enormous struggle breaks out. Who’s the one participant on the group you need to have?

Due to the gamers for treating this query with the seriousness it requires. Whereas there was a superb pattern of solutions, two names popped up most frequently: Conner and Pollard.

“I want all my defensive gamers, but when it is a man, it is Chamari or Norrell,” Jenkins mentioned. “The best way they carry themselves, the brotherhood – it is simply the sensation of being on the sector and being in any brawl, you recognize they have your again.”

Conner was essentially the most constant response.

“She’s fierce,” Laughton mentioned. “He has that mindset.”

“Chamari is a canine. He isn’t afraid of something,” mentioned the strongman. “And I do know if I will run into one thing, I do know he’ll undoubtedly have my again utterly 100% Goes to do.”

“He is a canine,” mentioned Holyfield. “If I’ve Chamari Conner, I do know I will be positive. She’s a dude. It is a simple one, truthfully.”

Some gamers have been rolling with their teammates, which is comprehensible when you play within the trenches.

“Positively Norrell and Tyjuan (Garbutt),” Kendrick mentioned. “They’re my canine. We have been right here since day one. You at all times journey along with your first day. These are the individuals you need by your facet.”

“I’d most likely say Kaden Moore,” Jordan mentioned. “I really like taking part in subsequent to Kaden, I do know he has my again, and I do know he’ll have my again once more if we get into that place.”

Moore, who is a big dude, opted for the sheer dimension.

“I am calling Massive X, Massive Xavier Chaplin,” Moore mentioned of the 6-foot-6, 338-pound freshman. “He is huge. He makes Silas look small, and that is arduous to do. He packs a punch.”

And finally, quarterbacks start to know who has their again – actually. They each selected their left deal with, Dzansi.

“He is the form of man I do know will struggle for me, whether or not on the sector or off the sector, he’ll at all times have my again,” Brown mentioned.

“There is a fairly full offensive line, however I am sticking behind Silas,” Wells mentioned. “I do not wish to be close to that man when he will get mad, in fact.”

(High Photograph: Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics)



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