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With 24 days left until Virginia Tech takes the field against Appalachian State, we turn our attention to number 24 on roster, Mr. Tariq Edwards. Edwards finished the spring atop the depth chart at Backer but an injury here in the early going of fall camp may cost him that spot. Fellow competitor Telvion Clark has closed the gap and it appears that he is now the likely starter at the 2nd inside linebacker position. No matter who starts, the Hokies will likely go with a rotation this fall but its no secret that whoever wins the starting job will likely see more reps than the 2nd string guy. I fully expect this battle to continue well into the month of August.
Weight: 231 lbs
High School: Marlboro County High School
How Did He Get Here
Edwards and his twin brother Tyrell, were both highly recruited guys out of South Carolina. Sadly, Tyrell never did enroll here at Tech and decided to pursue a different route with his life and for that we wish him the best. His brother, Tariq, held offers from Illinois, Maryland, UNC, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, UVA, and of course, Virginia Tech. With his father, Bo Edwards, being a former letterman here in Blacksburg, Tariq decided to follow in his father's footsteps and commit to Virginia Tech.
Even with questionable production at backer, Edwards didn’t receive very many snaps at linebacker last season. His first action at the position came during the ECU game, which was the 3rd game of the season. However, Edwards did play in all 14 games last season while racking up 21 total tackles and one interception.
The Hokies Backer position has declined drastically since Xavier Adibi graduated and really hit an all time low last season. Lyndell Gibson was a solid player but he struggled to get off blocks and wasn't very effective. This year, that should change with Edwards and Clark likely being the top two at the position. Edwards is a bit more balanced in his approach. He's not an overly aggressive guy but he is big enough to assist in stopping the run as well as being the better option in pass coverage.
No matter who wins this battle, the Hokies will have two solid inside linebackers for the next three seasons. That should comfort the Virginia Tech faithful who are tweaking from not having a top 10 defense in three seasons. Edwards is a solid option and a player who certainly has NFL potential if he continues to develop. The only question left is can he beat out Clark for the starting job this season? Right now, that's a question I don't have an answer to.
Helped seal a win against Miami last season when he intercepted a pass with 2:26 left on the clock.
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Not being able to play with his twin brother here at VT. Tyrell was a good athlete as well.
Completely made up fact
Inspired by Danny Coale, Edwards is auditioning to not only be the starting Backer this fall but also the starting hokiebird on gamedays.
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