Virginia Tech Spring Football 2014: Dahman McKinnon is a Potential Starter


Nov 30, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Jack Tyler (58) and Hokies cornerback Brandon Facyson (31) tackle Virginia Cavaliers running back Kevin Parks (25) in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. The Hokies won 16-6. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dahman McKinnon has been working his way up the Virginia Tech depth chart over the last two seasons from his first year in 2012 spent as a redshirt through last season when he spent a lot of time on special teams. McKinnon knew that he would have a chance this offseason to make a run at a starting job though it would be competitive as Josh Trimble has seemed likely to be one of the starting linebackers. Now, McKinnon has proven that he is up to the task of being a starter in the fall and is in the hunt for a starting job.

Dahman McKinnon had a strong offseason in the lead up to Spring Football and that hard work is showing on the field and putting McKinnon in position to start in the fall. McKinnon’s hard work showed in the offseason when McKinnon ran a 4.4 flat in the 40 with a 10 yard split of 1.59 which is extremely impressive and was the fastest on the team. McKinnon also showed his explosiveness when he had a 39 inch vertical jump. McKinnon showed his explosiveness in these tests and McKinnon has continued his strong offseason into Spring Football.

Dahman McKinnon’s strong Spring Football performance so far has put him in a great place to be a starter next fall for the Hokies. McKinnon opened the first scrimmage with a solid four tackles including three solo tackles. McKinnon would continue to get a lot of playing time in the second scrimmage which was another good sign for McKinnon that he can earn the starting job. McKinnon backed it up with eight tackles in the second scrimmage and has made himself a strong contender.

The biggest issue Dahman McKinnon has though is his lack of size as he is still under 210 pounds and needs to add around 10 to 15 pounds. For linebackers, explosiveness is nice but McKinnon could really seal the job if he bulk up some over the next few weeks. Deon Clarke and McKinnon will be the two top battlers. Clarke gained some in-game playing time on defense compared to McKinnon being stuck on special teams but that gap has been erased as both battle for the chance to start next to Chase Williams and Josh Trimble. McKinnon did not seem likely to earn a starting job entering the offseason and Spring Football but McKinnon is in position to do exactly that.

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