Not Quite Doom and Gloom For Hokies With Evans Out

Scott GlesnerCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 01:  Darren Evans #32 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with his MVP trophy after he and his team won the FedEx Orange Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Dolphin Stadium on January 1, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Another starting running back for Frank Beamer gone.  Time for another to step up to the plate.

With the news of Darren Evans' torn ACL, Hokie fans felt that punch in the stomach again.  Questions arose from "Did he tear it on Friday before?" to "How much does this damage Tech's chances for a BCS title?" Like any other questions in preseason, there are a lot of possibilities, but there are no certainties at this point.

The Good

The coaching staff has had to replace a running back quite frequently in the past year-and-a-half. Brandon Ore's dismissal and Kenny Lewis, Jr.'s back-to-back injuries left the staff looking for more greatness.  With Darren Evans record-breaking season last year, Beamer and staff found a great replacement. They still have most of camp to figure everything out again.

Waiting in the wings are three possibilities for Coach Beamer:

Ryan Williams, r-fr: With Evans having a break-out season as a r-freshman, why can't the Hokies do it again with another r-freshman? Williams appears to be more of a slasher with speed. With Tech's issues with their red-zone offense, why not have a back that could get to the end zone outside of the twenty?

David Wilson, fr: Pure athlete, David Wilson was going to see the field this year.  Initially as a special teams returner, Wilson will be needed to get his fair share of carries. Hokie fans have heard the talk, but they want to see what this speedster can do.

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Josh Oglesby, r-so: Oglesby could be the glue that holds this RB stable together.  Oglesby is most like Evans in that he finds the middle and pushes the pile. This is the type of back that Beamer and Coach Billy Hite love. This type of consistent back will help get those holes open for the other two backs with more speed. Tech will also need this type of back to hold on to leads and control the clock.

The Bad

There is always a bad for an injury.  Lost is the experience that Evans had for not only running, but helping in the pass-blocking schemes to ensure a healthy year for Tyrod Taylor. The leadership is gone, though Evans' sideline presence could help the other backs here and there. Also, many of the defenses Tech will face were already ready to load up against the run while questioning Taylor's passing abilities. There is no let-off with this game plan with Evans out.

Ryan Williams: Though Hokie Nation is waiting to see Williams play, could he carry the burden of carries that Evans had last year? With the number of backs left, it is highly doubtful he will have to worry with this situation. Will the offensive line become more athletic and be able to block for a back that will likely want to kick it to the outside? Will his freshman instincts kick in and try to take every carry to the house when a good four-to-five yard gain and ball security will do?

David Wilson: The same question about ball security goes for this true freshman. It doesn't help to run a 4.3-40 if you give the ball up. Will the big stage be too much for someone just out of high school, especially starting out in primetime against Alabama? Will adjusting to playing against the best of this country be too much compared to the best of France or Mexico?

Josh Oglesby: The big question is if he can handle the load of hand-offs and take control of the game, and not hide when game-time rolls around. There is a lot of promise still with Oglesby, and if Beamer gives him the start, will he show his talent, or that he is a second-string back at best? Can he become the leader that Evans was becoming and take the two freshmen under his wing?

Finally, the loss of Evans does not give Coach Hite the number of backs that he initially thought. What happens if another injury creeps into this backfield? If one of these backs struggle, can the Hokies survive with everyone questioning Taylor's passing abilities?

The Ugly

The ugly is reserved just for Darren Evans. Virginia Tech will go out, play the games, and continue on in their success. Evans has a tough road ahead, though many athletes have gone through this procedure. He will have to prove himself again when he comes back to show off his durability.

The other knee is a concern for Evans now. Whether athletes put too much strain on the good knee or whether the healthy one is almost as bad off as the injured one was, rehab for both knees will be key in Evans future football career. I wish him the best, and will gladly let him know that without him, no Hokie would be holding that trophy in the picture.


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