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Experienced Offensive Line Looks to Carry Virginia Tech Hokies in 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 1:  Cornerback Victor Harris #1 and offensive lineman Sergio Render #70 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrate after defeating the Boston College Eagles in the ACC Championship Game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium December 1, 2007 in Jacksonville, Florida. Virginia Tech defeated Boston College 30-16.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2009

The Virginia Tech offensive line has struggled in recent years, but the Hokies look to change that this season. Virginia Tech will be tied with Notre Dame for the most starts by offensive linemen, 100, for the 2009 season.

Sergio Render leads the way for the Hokies, and his versatility is proving huge. Render is moving from right guard to left guard primarily because the left side of the line is the most important for a right-handed quarterback. Also, Jaymes Brooks showed a lot of promise last season in the Orange Bowl, replacing suspended guard Nick Marshman.

Brooks will give the offensive line more athleticism and youth, while making the left side of the line strong and powerful with Render and senior Ed Wang. 

Wang has shown dominance at times, but sometimes injuries make him vulnerable. His health this year will define the Hokies’ success upfront.

On the opposite side of the line, Blake DeChristoper will start at right tackle for the second consecutive year, but his health is another question mark for the Hokies. DeChristopher missed time last year due to injury, and his absence really affected the offense.

Beau Warren is now the starting center and provides a bit more athleticism at the position than his predecessor Ryan Shuman. Warren will be helped out by the experience surrounding him, and his limited time as a starter shouldn't affect his play.

If the Virginia Tech offensive line remains healthy for entire season, you can expect an offense that will move the ball up and down the field, much like the Hokies did at the end of last season.

Run blocking is what this line is built for, and the biggest question mark for this unit is its ability to consistently pass block. With consistent pass blocking, junior quarterback Tyrod Taylor should mature into the type of passer he was recruited to be—an accurate one.



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