Andrew Motuapuaka Will Have a Breakout Season in 2015


Nov 22, 2014; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback John Wolford (10) gets sacked by Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka (54) during the second quarter at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Chase Williams emerged early on as a defensive playmaker at linebacker, and had a very strong senior season with 72 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks in 9 games. However, Williams missed four games in the middle of the season, and many wondered if the Hokies had a quality replacement.

Virginia Tech did have that quality replacement in linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka. Motuapuaka was very impressive in his four starts with over 10 tackles in each game. On top of that, Motuapuaka did that against 4 ACC teams in that four game stretch.

Overall, Motuapuaka appeared in 12 games and finished with 54 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Motuapuaka was quite good in 2014, but he is ready to have a breakout season in 2015 on a Virginia Tech defense that will be one of the best in college football.

Motuapuaka is the type of linebacker that can get 10 or more tackles in a game on a consistent basis. High-volume tackles commonly fly under the radar, but some of the best linebackers are those that can get plenty of tackles.

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Andrew Motuapuaka is a fairly quick linebacker that has good lateral movement to get outside, and cut off most holes for opposing running backs. Motuapuaka also has good reactions, and can help close up a hole for a running back quickly to prevent him from getting more than 1 or 2 yards.

Motuapuaka is a very good QB spy that can allow the Hokies to use Deon Clarke on plenty of blitzes this upcoming season. Motuapuaka is a decent blitzing linebacker, but his QB spy and pass coverage skills will be valuable in allowing Clarke to get plenty of opportunities to make the Hokies’ pass rush even more potent.

Motuapuaka is only six-feet tall, but his strength is above-average at 231 pounds which most of that weight not being fat or any sort of bad weight for a football player. Motuapuaka isn’t the fastest player though his speed is not a big issue and should improve this spring.

Motuapuaka showed as a redshirt freshman that he is already a very talented player, but he also still seems to be a player with tons of potential. Motuapuaka proved in a small sample size this past season how huge the ceiling is on his talent, and he should be able to make some significant improvement this offseason.

Andrew Motuapuaka was very good filling in for Chase Williams in 2014, but 2015 will be a breakout season for the Virginia Beach native.

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