The Hokies lose only three offensive starters from last year's team. However, there are still a lot of fresh faces that I'm looking forward to hearing about when Tech starts spring practice April 1. The biggest key for Hokies will be developing depth on the offensive line. They'll get the chance to do so as only two returning starters (LT Ed Wang and RT Blake DeChristopher) will participate in spring drills. Guard Sergio Render had surgery on his left shoulder and won't be available.
RB Ryan Williams
This is a no brainer. Hokie fans are excited to finally see the redshirt freshman in action. Williams was redshirted last year because he was unable to earn enough playing time at running back to justify playing him in his first year. Williams had trouble with pass blocking, which will get you on Billy Hite's bad side quickly.
Williams will at least return kicks for the Hokies next season and is expected to provide the lateral-moving shifty type running style in the backfield that complements the hard-nosed running style of Darren Evans. I think you could also see Williams line up in the slot a lot next year as well.
WR Brandon Dillard
Dillard was the star of last year's spring game but tore his Achilles’ tendon in July and missed the 2008 season. I'm interested to see if Dillard's speed is anywhere close to what we saw last spring out of him.
The Hokies need a speedy wide receiver and Dillard can provide that if he's back. If he isn't, hopefully he can at least provide much needed depth at the position.
OL Jaymes Brooks
Brooks played well during the Orange Bowl against Cincinnati for the ineligible Nick Marshman. I'm interested to see which guard position he plays during spring practice. In the Orange Bowl, he played right guard and Render moved to the left spot. We'll find out if that move is permanent this spring.
The key for the Hokies will be maintaining the chemistry and progress the offensive line made toward the end of last year. They have to replace the main cog in center Ryan Shuman, who graduated, and if they can do that they should be able to hit the ground running in 2009.
Who are you interested in seeing perform during spring drills?
- BCO welcomes a new writer in HokieJayBee. He announces his presence with authority.
- The A-Line looks at the ACC's postseason performance, including that of the Hokies.
- The North End Zone is glad Tech's basketball season (and the weekend) is over.
Atlantic Coast Conference
- The Legacyx4 has an in-depth look at Georgia Tech's first day of spring practice.
- Brendan at From Old Virginia gives his thoughts on the guys at the top of UVa's bball coaching search.
- Impressive research by Tomahawk Nation. Leonard Hamilton does a much better job of improving his players than another hoops coach I know.
- David Glenn at ACCSJ interviews Aaron Curry.
- South Park will have a Jimmy Buffett influence tonight.
- An Oklahoma team claimed a hoops national title.
- Burnt Orange Nation took a trip to G'boro for the NCAA Tournament.
- OMG! Miller's back! Too bad the season's dead. However, one Sabres fan still enjoys going to the games. Is she a fellow masochist?
- If The Captain can't hit OR field, what was the point of bringing him back?