Virginia Tech Spring Practice Notes 4-13


It was a blustery day in Blacksburg today and was surprisingly chilly despite there not being a cloud in the sky. That being said, I sat in Lane Stadium for about two hours today and got my fourth viewing of Virginia Tech football during the spring. Here are my notes on what I saw today:

  • Let me start off with something that I know everyone wants to know about – Logan Thomas. Logan Thomas looked outstanding today, especially coming off a 7-17 outing last Monday during the first open scrimmage. From the first series it was obvious that Thomas was dialed in today. He started off by throwing a beautiful ball to D.J. Coles who unfortunately dropped the pass. The next play Thomas went downfield to Dimitri Knowles who reeled the ball in. Shortly after, Thomas again threw a great ball, this time to Josh Stanford who was running an out-route. Later in the scrimmage Thomas threw a 23-yard dart to Charley Meyer, who was then leveled by Der’Woun Greene. Meyer held onto the pass. Toward the end of the scrimmage Thomas threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Dimitri Knowles, who burned Kyle Fuller on a stop-and-go route. And Thomas’ final highlight was a touchdown run coming off a naked bootleg to the left against the first-team defense. Logan Thomas looks much quicker on his feet when running the ball, his form is improving every time I have seen him this spring, and he is definitely playing with more confidence.
  • All in all, Thomas looked much better today than he did last Monday, and it looks like all the time he’s spending with new quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler is paying dividends. If he keeps this type of play up, we’re going to see a Logan Thomas better than the one we saw in 2011.
  • The offense did leave a bit to be desired in short-yardage situations, especially in the run game. The offensive line still isn’t getting enough push against defensive linemen in order to effectively run in short-yardage or goalline situations. In fact, the running game as a whole seemed kept in check for the most part today. Michael Holmes had a nice 16-yard run up the middle against the first-team defense. Other than that, many of the runs were short and ineffective.
  • Virginia Tech debuted a new Oklahoma drill before practice that was a replacement to the “bull in a ring” drill that the team had been running before practices all spring. This new Oklahoma drill features three offensive linemen/tight ends going against three defensive linemen/linebackers with a “running back” on one end and a safety or defensive back on the other end. Ideally, the linemen mash at each other while the running back shoots through a hole and ends up in a one-on-one situation with the last line of defense, the defensive back. It was a nice change of pace from the “bull in a ring” drill and it provided a cool moment as Joel Caleb, acting as the running back, leveled linebacker Josh Trimble after getting through the linemen.
  • In the cornerback department, freshman Brandon Facyson had a good scrimmage today. He picked off one of Mark Leal’s passes and almost intercepted another later in the scrimmage. He seems to be improving but he is still getting lost in coverage at times. I really like the potential for Facyson at corner and I think he could be a playmaker one day. He seems to have great ball skills once the ball is in the air.
  • Dadi Nicolas looked impressive today making his presence known in the backfield plenty of times. Nicolas recorded 6 tackles including a sack. Defensive end Ken Ekanem also had a neat moment where he reverse-pancaked offensive lineman Johnathan McLaughlin. Ekanem is 70 pounds lighter than McLaughlin, so that was pretty impressive on his part.
  • The second-team offensive line looked dreadful for the second time this week. Mark Leal had very little time to make his reads and get passes off, running backs had little time to make moves before being met in the backfield, and at one point I literally saw a snap go about seven yards over Mark Leal’s head. This is a major project for new offensive line coach Jeff Grimes. He’s got his work cut out for him. The starting offensive line, on the other hand, looked pretty solid today.
  • Jack Tyler got injured today while tackling Dimitri Knowles on an end-around play. It looked like a right-arm injury, but it didn’t appear too serious. I expect Tyler to be alright moving forward.