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August 21, 2012

Tweedy hoping to stay healthy and continue solid play from the end of last season

By: Jimmy Robertson

Alonzo Tweedy was starting to show his potential early last season.

He recorded eight tackles in Tech’s win over Miami and added six more in the Hokies’ victory over Wake Forest. Then, he got the starting nod at whip linebacker for the Hokies’ next game, one versus BC, after Jeron Gouveia-Winslow went down with an injury against Wake.

But that same injury bug, one that unfortunately likes Tweedy, bit him. Again.

Tweedy injured his ankle against BC and it cost him the next three games. He returned for the Virginia game, but didn’t return to form until the Sugar Bowl. The injury marked the second straight year he’s been limited, as he dealt with a groin injury for much of his junior year.

“It’s been tough,” Tweedy said. “I’ve tried to fight through it and help the team out. Hopefully, this year, I can stay healthy and play the whole year.”

Tech’s coaches hope to see the Tweedy they saw against Michigan in the Sugar Bowl. He recorded three tackles, including one for a loss, and he played well in coverage. He played with speed – something he possesses in abundance, at least, when healthy.

“I just wanted to step up and step out instead of putting a freshman [Nick Dew] into a predicament where he didn’t really know the playbook,” Tweedy said.

Because of that game and because of his offseason, he finds himself in the mix with Gouveia-Winslow for the starting nod at whip. The two bring slightly different skill sets to the position, but plenty of experience.

Gouveia-Winslow saw limited action this spring because of his injury (Lisfranc), and Tweedy took advantage of the extra reps. He played fast and physical and was all over the field. For his efforts, he received the Coaches Award as the defensive player who had an exceptional spring.

“I think it went well,” Tweedy said of his spring. “I tried to get better. I got more reps and I got back on top of stuff. I’m trying to get the starting job, or at least get some more playing time.”

Expect Gouveia-Winslow, Tweedy and impressive freshman Ronny Vandyke to be on most of Tech’s special teams. Tech’s staff loves Vandyke, a redshirt freshman who won the Paul Torgersen Award as the top defensive newcomer during spring practice.


43 Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (6-2, 210, r-Sr.)
28 Alonzo Tweedy (6-2, 193, r-Sr.)
37 Ronny Vandyke (6-3, 215, r-Fr.)


Returning starter: Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (12 career starts)

Starter lost: none

Projected new starter: none

Top reserves: Alonzo Tweedy (1 career start), Ronny Vandyke

Newcomer: Vandyke

Breakout candidate: Tweedy

Notes: Tweedy’s lone career start came against BC last season … Tweedy recorded 10 of his 11 solo tackles in three games (3 vs. Miami and Michigan, 4 vs. Wake Forest) … Gouveia-Winslow started the first four games of last season before going down for the season against Miami in the Hokies’ sixth game … Vandyke won the Paul Torgersen Award this spring as the top defensive newcomer of spring practice … Nick Dew left the program after the spring semester.