Virginia Tech Football: 5 most valuable defensive players in 2023

Over the second half of the 2023 season, the Virginia Tech defensive unit had several players step up and make big contributions. Here are the five most valuable defenders for 2023.

Wake Forest v Virginia Tech
Wake Forest v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages
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Keli Lawson

As good as the Hokies defensive line was during the season at times, Lawson was a big presence in the second level for Marve. The sophomore from Stephens City registered 77 tackles this season and 37 of those were solo. His three best games were early in the season when he had 14 tackles against Purdue, 11 against Rutgers, and 12 at Marshall in three consecutive weeks. He also picked up his one interception on the season against the Thundering Hurd.

In ACC play, he had seven tackles against Pittsburgh and Syracuse in a pair of dominating Virginia Tech wins at Lane Stadium. Next season, the Hokies will add Middle Tennessee State transfer Sam Brumfield at linebacker and make the Hokies second level that much better.

Overall when push came to shove, the Virginia Tech defense stepped up when they needed to and had five outstanding defensive performances in their ACC wins. These players, as well as others, had a big hand in the success over the final eight weeks.