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The good news is the Hokies return perhaps their best all-around offensive linemen in junior center Andrew Miller.
The bad news is the team will have to replace four starters.
The Hokies lose four-year starter Blake DeChristopher, a two-time All-ACC selection at right tackle and Jaymes Brooks, a second-team All-ACC selection at guard.
Senior Vinston Painter will replace DeChristopher at right tackle. Painter, a former top recruit, has the size and athletic ability to be dominant. Early indications are Painter is handling the task quite well.
Brent Benedict, a transfer from Georgia, will replace Brooks. While not as athletic as Brooks, Benedict is big, strong and talented.
Nick Becton will take over at left tackle and the Hokies should be just fine. Becton alternated at left tackle with Andrew Lanier at times in 2011. If Becton would develop an aggressive streak to match his athletic ability, the sky would be the limit.
David Wang will be the starting left guard. Wang, somewhat undersized at 290 pounds, is one of the strongest players on the team.
While losing DeChristopher and Brooks hurts, it shouldn't be too crippling of a blow. Overall, the Hokies offensive line didn't play to its potential at times in 2011.
Nonetheless, any time you replace four starters on an offensive line, you have to be a bit concerned. The Hokies have one of the top quarterbacks in the country, so protecting him is urgent for the team's success in 2012.