Why Trey Edmunds Is the Key to Virginia Tech Football's Season

Alex Koma@AlexKomaVTContributor IIISeptember 19, 2013

Trey Edmunds managed to evade a stout ECU defense for some big gains.
Trey Edmunds managed to evade a stout ECU defense for some big gains.Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Not many people know about Trey Edmunds outside of Blacksburg, but the redshirt-freshman running back holds the Virginia Tech Hokies football team’s fate in his hands. 

Quarterback Logan Thomas gets all the ink nationally, which is understandable given his monstrous size, but it’s Edmunds that people need to watch.

There’s no doubt that Thomas’ play will continue to be important for the Hokies.

In fact, there’s little doubt that his early struggles have contributed to the offense’s issues—when your quarterback completes just 47 percent of his passes, the team’s going to have problems moving the ball.

But Edmunds is good enough to carry the offense while Thomas works out the kinks.

He burst onto the scene in the biggest way possible against the Alabama Crimson Tide, totaling 132 yards on just 20 carries. 

All of this came against the Tide’s legendary run defense, and as many noted, he even proceeded to make history against Nick Saban’s bunch. 

His 77-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter even gave the Hokies hope against the Tide for one brief moment.

His speed and explosiveness was so transcendent that it even made Alabama fans, question their team’s dominance, if only briefly.

While Tech ultimately made too many special teams mistakes to stay competitive, Edmunds almost single-handedly kept the Hokies relevant.

The long touchdown attracted the most attention, but as this video shows, he regularly gashed the Tide for long gains, en route to averaging 6.6 yards a carry in the game.

The Hokies’ recent game against the East Carolina Pirates didn’t exactly attract as much attention as the season opener in Atlanta, but it’s an even better example of Edmunds’ value to the offense.

The running back had a rough day on the ground, running for just 42 yards on 21 carries, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

ECU came into the game committed to stopping Edmunds, and that opened things up for the passing game, as some analysts noticed.

Thomas had his best game of the season against the Pirates, throwing for 258 yards and two touchdowns.

While some of this was due to the improved play of the team’s receivers, it was largely because the Pirates had to respect Edmunds in the run game.

ECU regularly dared Thomas to beat them through the air, and for the first time since his glory days of 2011, the quarterback rose to the occasion. He has Edmunds to thank for the opportunity.

Even though he had a lackluster performance, Edmunds still showed off his excellent vision on runs like this one.

Overall, Edmunds is the complete package at running back.

Despite running behind an inexperienced offensive line with little help from the passing game, he’s still sixth in the conference in rushing yards per game.

He’s flashed lightning fast speed, superior vision and elite physicality, and these attributes will continue to buoy a Virginia Tech offense that is still putting things together.

He has a pair of tough tests approaching, however. 

The Hokies’ next two opponents, the Marshall Thundering Herd and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, boast the eighth and eleventh ranked rushing defenses in the country, respectively.

But Edmunds is more than up to the challenge. 

His unique abilities will lift the Hokies’ offense to new heights, and combined with the team’s stout defense, the team can absolutely win the ACC’s Coastal division this season.