Virginia Tech spring practices are officially under way. It is now time for fans and players alike to look forward to the upcoming season. There are plenty of questions that Frank Beamer’s squad must answer during the next few weeks; on both sides of the ball. However, the biggest issues are on the offensive side. So the question is what is the Hokies most pressing issue on offense?
The answer may surprise you. The obvious answer is the running back situation because of David Wilson’s early departure, but Ryan Williams and Darren Evans have shown that a freshman (redshirt or not) can succeed even excel with the Hokies. Others may point to the offensive line because of the loss of four starters, but that isn’t that big of a question (barring injury) because many of the backups from last season have a lot of experience.
The biggest question during this spring practice will be the wide receiving corp. It would be difficult for any program to replace players like Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale, but Virginia Tech appears to have the people to pull off this feat. But all of them have major questions surrounding them.
Marcus Davis has all of the tools to become an elite receiver. He is a tall receiver at 6’4” and has the speed and athleticism to make him a tough match up for even the best corners, but his hands remain an issue. Last season, Davis caught 30 passes for 510 yards and five touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns came in the first game of the season against Appalachian State.
Davis’s biggest problem is drops. Through his first three seasons as a Hokie, Davis has had a flare for the dramatic. He can make the difficult catch, but he would also drop the easy one. Hokie fans hope that Davis can live up to his potential in 2012.
D.J. Coles is expected to be the No. 2 receiver and err apparent to Danny Coale. Coles had 36 receptions last season for 480 yards and three touchdowns. The biggest question about Coles is his relative lack of experience. He only has 39 career catches. He was buried on the depth chart during his first couple of seasons in Blacksburg, but in 2012 he will have to be a major contributor for the Hokies.
Dyrell Roberts only has one question about him and that is his health. Fans know how explosive Roberts is as a receiver and a kick returner, but his health is a major issue. He has suffered season ending injuries during the past two seasons. If he is healthy then he could be the Hokies biggest asset out of these three, but his durability has to be questioned after so many injuries.
The reason that the receiving corps is the Hokies biggest spring question is simple; Logan Thomas is now the offense. Without David Wilson in the backfield, a lot of pressure is falling on the second year quarterback. Virginia Tech’s offense will still be a two dimensional attack, but there will be a lot more passing than most Hokie fans are accustomed to.
Thomas can only throw the ball; it is up to the three players mentioned to catch it and make the play. If the Hokies want to make it to another BCS bowl in 2012, then it is essential that the wide receivers live up to their potential. That all starts in the spring.