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Florida State opener opponent Virginia Tech suffering unexpected attrition

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FSU will try to put Virginia Tech’s rookie cornerbacks on an island

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Update:

VT has tweeted that freshman defensive tackle Cam Goode will be moving on. Having just enrolled on June 11, Goode was unlikely to have seen much, if any, playing time against FSU in the opener. But he’s still another scholarship player whose services will be absent as the Hokies prepare for the Seminoles. Moreover, his is yet another exodus that further prompts the question: what’s going on in Blacksburg?


Update: Virginia Tech has formally announced the dismissal of defensive back Mook Reynolds from the the team effective immediately:

The loss of Reynolds is excruciating to a secondary who has lost close to every starter from last season. An early enrollee in 2015, the senior defensive back had been used in a variety of roles in Bud Foster’s pressure-based system. Reynolds amassed 70 tackles and 9 TFLs, good for 4th and 6th on the team last year respectively. Of returning players, those were the 2nd most and 3rd most, also respectively. However, VT does have a former blue-chip sophomore in Devon Hunter from Chesapeake, VA to potentially replace his production. Hunter played in 10 games and finished with one tackle (assisted) in 2017.

Side-note: Jackson’s status has been restored with the team, and the suspension is deemed over. He is fully expected to start at Florida State September 3rd.


Update: There is now this report to go along with the other departures. Jackson is not a star, but he has experience and had some good moments for Virginia Tech in 2017.

If true, Walk-on Ryan Willis could have the inside track to start. Redshirt Freshman Hendon Hooker could also be a possibility.

The Richmond paper spoke with Jackson’s father who said a this point nothing has been determined.


Original

FSU opens the 2018 season with Virginia Tech in Tallahassee.

Virginia Tech’s defense had already been hit hard this offseason with the losses of the Edmunds brothers to the first round of the NFL draft.

It also lost Tim Settle, one of the best defensive tackles in the league.

Starting cornerbacks Brandon Fayscon and Greg Stroman graduated.

Linebackers Andrew Motuapuaka, Sean Huelskamp, Deon Newsome, and Anthony Shegog also graduated.

Defensive end Vinny Mihota had surgery at the end of the season and it’s not certain he’ll be back for the start of the year.

But now the Hokies have lost even more players. Important ones.

According to multiple reports, cornerback Adonis Alexander (3rd-team preseason ACC in various publications) is no longer with the team and may pursue the supplemental draft. And JUCO cornerback Jeremy Webb, who was being counted on to play immediately, has a torn Achilles.

Both were potential starters at cornerback, leaving the Hokies in the lurch at the position, with little to no experience in the wake of the graduations of Greg Stroman and Brandon Facyson, who had combined to start 76 games in their college careers, with 14 interceptions between them.

Redshirt freshman Caleb Farley, a corner-turned-receiver-turned-corner who missed last year after suffering an August knee injury and was still on the mend and limited this spring, was a good bet to challenge for a starting spot even before Friday’s news, though he’s still never played in a college game.

The next group of cornerbacks on the depth chart — junior Jovonn Quillen, sophomores Bryce Watts and Tyree Rodgers and freshman Jermaine Waller — have little to no experience outside of special teams.

And the hits might not be done, according to multiple sources covering Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech’s aggressive blitzing defense puts its cornerbacks on and island. It will be interesting to see how coordinator Bud Foster, one of the best in CFB, adjusts. Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast offense promises to isolate those inexperienced cornerbacks on an island.

With both defenses in this matchup losing their best players at almost every position, this game could be a classic shootout.