Tech’s coordinators excited about 2021 outlook, key additions

Football 2/10/2021 5:58:00 PM Hamilton discusses additions to defensive staff, key returnees Story Links BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen and defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton both addressed the media on Wednesday. Cornelsen addressed Tech’s quarterback situation, the development process for QBs, as well as the running back […]


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Hamilton discusses additions to defensive staff, key returnees



BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen and defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton both addressed the media on Wednesday. Cornelsen addressed Tech’s quarterback situation, the development process for QBs, as well as the running back and receiving corps. Defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton also provided a deep dive into the Hokies’ roster, as well as newly-minted Tech assistant coach J.C. Price, who is returning to TEch. Here are some of the key takeaways. 

Watch Coach Cornelsen’s Full Media Session 

Cornelsen QB Connor Blumrick – Transfer from Texas A&M 

“Excited about him. He’s here working out and is gonna be a good fit for this team. He’s got the tools to play in this system and do what we’re going to ask him to do … We have to get him ready to play quarterback. He’s got some catching up to do. Here’s here now, which helps as we know.” 

On the offensive line

Cornelsen indicated that with the experience Tech has returning on the interior of the offensive line, he’s hoping to audition a number of candidates at the right tackle position in the spring with Luke Tenuta slated to work at left tackle. He also didn’t rule out the possibility that one of the current veterans on the interior of the offensive front could move outside this fall. Also bear in mind that the addition of Maryland transfer OL Johnny Jordan after the spring semester could also shuffle Tech’s lineup with the goal of getting “the best five offensive linemen on the field.” 

On the return of WR Jaden Payoute who was injured in fall camp last season 

“We expect big things out of him. We’re excited about him. Hated to see that happen to him during fall camp. He’s in good shape and he’s on track to do a little bit this spring hopefully. We don’t anticipate him not being available to go for fall.” 

On TE James Mitchell returning 

“It’s like signing a new player almost. That was huge for us as a team, certainly offensively … He knows what he means to this team, what we have coming back. He’s a great kid from a great family. He’s one of the best players we have, not only on the offense, but also the team. He’s got experience and respect from his teammates. He checks all the boxes.” 

Watch Coach Hamilton’s Full Media Session

Hamilton on the return of J.C. Price to Virginia Tech 

“For us, he was the right guy, the right fit with Coach Teerlinck, also … I think once our kids are able to spend more time around him they’re going to see the same positive qualities that we see … It will be good for our kids to see those relationships do last forever. He’s a guy who is living proof of that and it’s not just folklore. J.C. is the same guy he was in 2002 when I was a 19-year-old.” 

On whether Devin Taylor will stay at safety or move back to corner

“Dev to me is a DB. I don’t think you label him as a corner, I don’t think you label him as a safety. We’ll see. We’ll start him (in spring) where he was at the end of the season (at safety), because he developed and learned a lot. I think the biggest thing for him this spring is to put him situationally that – whether he’s playing on the board that it says corner or on the board it says safety – he’s playing in spots where he’s playing some man-to-man, he’s playing some short zone coverages, he’s playing some deep zone coverages and he’s blitzing … Then I think we’ll have a better idea of what he does well and what he does best or what his limitations may be and we’ll be able him in spots to better accent the good traits that he has.” 

On LB Dax Hollifield

“There’s a lot of expectations that they didn’t ask for or they didn’t create and Dax falls into that category. There was a lot put on him that he didn’t ask for. He just wanted to come in and go to work. He’s already met those expectations. He’s one of the best teammates in our locker room … In my mind, statistically he hasn’t broken out like some people thought he would, but he’s already broken out. He’s an absolute foxhole guy whether he’s in the game or out of the game. If he’s in the game, the other 10 guys are going to know what to do. There’s a lot of value in there that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.”  

On DE Amare’ Barno

Hamilton indicated that while he’d like to see Barno add some bulk to his lean frame, he’ll defer to Ben Hilgart and the strength and conditioning staff on how best to add functional strength to his body to help equip him for the long haul at defensive end. 

 

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