Oct 5, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas (3) tacked the snap as offensive linesman Caleb Farris (79) and Jonathan McLaughlin (71) block in the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
As we continue our countdown of the Virginia Tech Hokies’ top 10 football players entering the 2014 season, we take a look at our number 5 player on the list, Jonathan McLaughlin.
McLaughlin was one of the top contributors in a group of freshmen that made a huge impact on the field for the Hokies in their first season whether they had been redshirted for a year or were true freshman just like McLaughlin.
McLaughlin became the first Hokie in the Frank Beamer era to start a season opener at left tackle as a true freshman. McLaughlin also became the first Hokie in the Frank Beamer era to start every game at left tackle as a true freshman which is quite an incredible for any player at any FBS program.
Jonathan McLaughlin proved to be arguably the Hokies’ best offensive lineman last season and is ready to once again be the Hokies’ top offensive lineman this fall. McLaughlin did gain some weight this spring but has slimmed down this summer and has learned his lesson.
McLaughlin has been challenged in Fall Practice but he is ready to make a big impact on the field in protecting Virginia Tech’s quarterback and also creating space for Trey Edmunds to do damage in the running game. McLaughlin has a future in the NFL and while he might not end up being a first or second round pick, he will be selected in a future NFL Draft if he continues progressing.
McLaughlin is the long term left tackle for the Hokies and definitely could be a four-year starter in Blacksburg unless he has a couple of huge seasons and takes a jump to the NFL early. No matter thtat, McLaughlin is a big part of a Virginia Tech offensive line that is doing a great job of rebuilding for the future with this season being year 2 of that process.
Jonathan McLaughlin comes in as the top offensive player for the Hokies on this list and that just proves the value of having a talented, young left tackle.