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Vinny Mihota kicked off this 2014 class with an extremely early commitment almost two full years before he would enroll here at Virginia Tech. Between then and now, not much has changed. Alabama decided to toss their hat into the ring, hoping to sway the Virginia Tech commit. But, Mihota is truly a Hokie who is set to enroll this time next week.
The four star recruit will begin voluntary off-season workouts in two weeks trying to get strong enough to potentially find a home in the two-deep this spring. The Hokies need bodies at defensive end and Mihota has a very good opportunity in front of him if he can beat out several players on the depth chart.
The Hokies will head into spring practice with Ken Ekanem and Dadi Nicolas as the likely starting duo at defensive end. However, the depth chart behind them is unsettled and to an extent, the starting duo is not set in stone either. Seth Dooley, Dwayne Alford, and Matt Roth will battle with Mihota for those final two spots on the depth chart this spring.
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Without much senior film to go on, Mihota is entering this spring as a bit of an unknown. His size is impressive and judging on his junior highlights, he has the potential to be an inside out player for the Hokies. He’ll likely start his career at defensive end but he’s already 240-plus pounds, meaning that he’s already ideally sized for the position in our scheme. James Gayle played at over 260 pounds last season and admitted that he was too heavy for what was required of him.
To me, Mihota is a really solid defensive end prospect but I’m a little unsure of how he’s going to fit along our defensive line. On one hand, I think he has a terrific shot of being a future starter at our weakside defensive end position. That position requires less speed rushing and a slightly stronger player to help seal the edge. John Engelberger comes to mind here as does Orion Martin, both of whom compare physically to Mihota.
As for 2014, I don’t see Mihota cracking the two deep and I think a redshirt year would do him some good even though he is enrolling early. That said, it’s going to come down to who Coach Wiles likes best behind his two incumbent starters. Seth Dooley has done some good things in practice but he was a two star greyshirt out of high school. Can he beat out a four star in Mihota? That’s what spring practice is for and we’ll no doubt see if Mihota can step in and supply the Hokies with an additional option at defensive end.
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