Hokies prepare to transition to young, talented defense

Fuente, players speak at Roanoke Valley Hokie Club event

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Valley Hokie club held its annual kickoff event Monday night.  With fall practice a couple of weeks out, it was a chance to catch up with Virginia Tech and hear what the issues are coming into the upcoming season.

We know there's been plenty of offseason news, including the Hokies defense losing seven starters.  That number includes four of five secondary players. The Edmunds brothers were a pair of NFL first- round picks.  They led the way along with a trio of players headed to the Redskins- defensive tackle Tim Settle and defensive backs Greg Stroman and Adonis Alexander. The team lost another to injury and a seventh to legal issues. It's a lot to overcome and certainly something defensive coach Bud Foster and dead doach Justin Fuente are focusing on as the 2018 season draws near.  So the Hokies will trade experience for youthful exuberance this fall.

 "You certainly want experience and veterans at every single spot and it doesn't work that way you know?   That's what we were last year on defense. We had veterans, returning players with experience at all 11 places. 

This year it's not that way, but we've got a good, hungry young group of guys that are hungry to be coached," Fuente said.

"I have a lot of confidence and all coming off the spring with these young guys, proving and working hard.  I'm very excited. These guys are hungry and of course, like you said, we still got Bud Foster, so there is no doubt," senior defensive lineman Ricky Walker said.

The Hokies open the season at Florida State in prime time on Labor Day evening.