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May 18, 2012

Hokies didn't lose a beat with Tyler and Williams in lineup

By: Jimmy Robertson

Jack Tyler

Spring practice provided defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who doubles as the linebackers coach, an opportunity to get some younger guys plenty of reps, as starters Bruce Taylor (Lisfranc) and Tariq Edwards (leg) missed the spring while recovering from injuries.

Their absences proved beneficial for Jack Tyler, a five-game starter in his career, and especially Chase Williams, who looked healthy for the first time since arriving on campus and comfortable at his position. The two of them were constantly around the ball this spring.

“Those guys played really well,” Foster said. “I think we’ve improved our depth. Jack’s obviously played for us in some big games, and we’ve won with him in there. He’s a proven guy.

“Chase was primarily a special teams player last year, and he’s been injured, but this is the first spring when he’s gotten all the reps. He showed great improvement. He’s showed playmaking abilities, and he’s got a great football IQ. He’s been a good blitzer, and he plays hard. He’s doing all the right things right now. I’m excited about that.”

The remaining linebackers probably figure in more on special teams this fall than on defense. Foster said he liked the way Brian Laiti improved and that he plans on keeping Derek DiNardo at backer. DiNardo had been a whip linebacker.

Josh Trimble, who played safety in high school and was redshirted last season, may be one to watch in the future. A walk-on from Ashburn, Va., he showed potential in the scrimmages.

“I think Josh has an upside,” Foster said. “He’s got some twitch [flexibility] and can run. Every day was a new experience for him, but he shows some flashes. I think he can help us down the road, whether it’s on special teams or giving us some quality depth at the linebacker position. I’m curious to see where he’ll be a year from now.”


Mike linebackers

58 Jack Tyler (5-11, 230, r-Jr.)
47 Brian Laiti (6-3, 223, r-Soph.)
50 D.J. Ward (5-11, 227, r-Fr.)


36 Chase Williams (6-1, 224, r-Soph.)
31 Josh Trimble (5-11, 200, r-Fr.)
41 Derek DiNardo (6-0, 215, r-Soph.)

(Injured: mike linebacker Bruce Taylor, who is recovering from a Lisfranc injury, and backer Tariq Edwards, who had surgery on his leg, missed spring practice.)