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For the casual fan, there are going to be a lot of unknown names on offense, defense, and special teams when the Hokies take the field. That’s why we are here to give you a little run down of the players you need to know about before the Hokies run out of the tunnel against Alabama just 9 days from now.
FB Sam Rogers – Freshman
Who would have thought a month ago that our starting fullback would be a true freshman walk-on out of Mechanicsville, VA? However, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Rogers is a workout warrior, a team player, and a very tough guy. He has the potential to be a four year starter at fullback and could give VT a nice duo there with Jerome Wright, who I’m hoping the coaches will now redshirt. Expect to see a little bit of Rogers on offense and a good bit of him on special teams this year.
WR Josh Stanford – R-Freshman
After playing in the Georgia Tech game a year ago, Stanford injured his knee, which allowed the coaches to redshirt him. That case has been finalized by the NCAA and Stanford is a redshirt freshman officially this season. While most fans know him after a few catches in the spring game, Stanford figures to be one of our top pass catching targets this year. If the spring is any indication then expect to see a lot of no. 3 to no. 5 this season.
WR Charley Meyer – R-Freshman
Three players in and we’ve already discussed two walk-ons. Meyer walked-on to Virginia Tech, turning down a scholarship to Navy in the process. It appears that decision may make him a lot of money some day. Meyer is currently our 4th WR on the depth chart and is expected to see significant playing time this fall.
RB Joel Caleb – R-Freshman
Most fans will know Caleb due to his lofty ranking on both Rivals.com and 247Sports.com for the 2012 recruiting class. After a redshirt year, the Hokies have now moved Caleb from wide receiver to tailback. That move appears to be paying off as Caleb has looked sensational at times in practice. While he is suspended for Alabama, Caleb will factor into this running back rotation at some point this season.
OT Jonathan McLaughlin – Freshman
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Offensive Line coach Jeff Grimes has yet to name his starting five but I think we have a good idea of who those five players are. McLaughlin looked good in the spring and I believe Grimes will likely opt to go with McLaughlin as our starting left tackle for the Alabama game. If that’s the case then the young freshman has a tough challenge ahead of him in his first collegiate action.
PR Deon Newsome – Freshman
Another 2013 recruiting class member that’s going to spurn a redshirt year is Deon Newsome, who will likely be Tech’s starting punt returner. Newsome will also factor into the discussion at wide receiver but I’m unsure where exactly he fits in right now. All of that will be worked out in a few days when the final pre-season depth chart is released. Still, get used to see Newsome back deep on punts. He’s going to be a good one in that aspect of the game.
DT Woody Baron - Freshman
Woody Baron is the young nephew of Jim Baron, as once talented defensive lineman that played here in the 90’s. Now, it’s Woody’s turn and the talented youngster is currently 3rd on Tech’s depth chart at defensive tackle. As it stands now, he will play a major role this season.
CB Kendall Fuller – Freshman
Highly touted as a five star recruit out of Maryland, Fuller is the youngest in a family of Hokies. He is also the starting cornerback at field corner and will slide over into the nickel when Tech goes without a WHIP linebacker. Technically sound and football smart, Kendall has the highest ceiling of any cornerback that has ever played at Virginia Tech.
CB Brandon Facyson – Freshman
If one potential All-American cornerback isn’t enough the Hokies might just have two budding superstars that are going to be thrown into the fire this fall. Facyson is going to play behind Fuller at field corner but will come onto the field with Fuller slides down into the nickel. With several interceptions already in practice, it would not shock me to see this young freshman lead the team in interceptions this fall.
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