Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 15 No. 1 | August 2022

18 Inside Hokie Sports OTHERS IN THE MIX The trio of Jaylen Jones, Dallan Wright and Christian Moss could also figure well into Bowen’s offense. Jones caught a single pass in 2021 that went for 15 yards, while both Wright and Moss redshirted and continued to develop their game. North Carolina transfer Stephen Gosnell should also find himself in the mix now in Blacksburg, having played in 15 games the past two seasons with the Tar Heels. WR NOTES • Tech threw for 3,041 yards in 2021 • In Blue’s career, he’s recorded five games with 10 or more receptions and posted six 100-yard receiving games • Smith has seen action in 32 games during his time at Virginia Tech, making 20 starts POSITION OUTLOOK Smith and Blue will probably find themselves at the top of Tech’s depth chart, but do not rule out a breakout year from some of the Hokies’ younger athletes. TIGHT ENDS PLAYERS TO WATCH Drake De Iuliis has always been a contributing piece to Tech’s passing game during his tenure in Blacksburg. Now, after the departure of James Mitchell to the Detroit Lions (2022 NFL Draft, fifth round), De Iuliis is going to have an opportunity to become an even bigger playmaker in the Hokies’ offense. Of course, with Mitchell missing 11 games a season ago, we saw a glimpse of what the position group could look like in 2022. De Iuliis, listed at 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds, hauled in five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown for Tech during the 2021 season. His counterpart Nick Gallo caught 14 passes for 130 yards during his sophomore campaign. Gallo played in all 13 games, making 11 starts, highlighted by a career-long 27-yard reception in the Hokies’ 26-17 win at Georgia Tech. Both athletes have the capabilities necessary to produce a solid one-two punch at the tight end position. OTHERS IN THE MIX Returning to a position he once played during his time at Texas A&M, one-time quarterback Connor Blumrick is finding ways to affect the offense in Blacksburg. He has been spending time with Bowen learning the position group. TE NOTES • Gallo finished as Tech’s top tight end target in 2021, catching 14 passes for 130 yards • De Iuliis has played in 40 games during his time in Blacksburg, starting four POSITION OUTLOOK Bowen and the tight ends are in great shape heading into 2022. With a room full of experience and continuity along with Blumrick’s proven track record of athletic ability, the Hokies should feel good about this position group as the clock continues to tick towards September. OFFENSIVE LINE PLAYERS TO WATCH Though the Hokies lost a ton of talent with three NFL departures in Luke Tenuta (Buffalo Bills), Lecitus Smith (Arizona Cardinals) and Brock Hoffman (Cleveland Browns), plenty of talented pieces remain up front for Joe Rudolph, Tech’s offensive line coach. Continued from page 17 SILAS DZANSI KALEB SMITH Two veterans, sixth-year Silas Dzansi and graduate student Johnny Jordan, will set the tone up front for a unit that also returns Kaden Moore, who started all 13 games as a freshman last season. Dzansi, another Tech representative at ACC Kickoff, made starts at right tackle, left guard and left tackle in 2021. Jordan is on the Rimington Trophy Watch List, presented annually to the nation’s top center. He made three starts at that position in 2021, while also getting reps across other positions on the line throughout the season. As a senior at Maryland during the 2020 campaign, Jordan earned AllBig Ten Honorable Mention honors, helping lead the Terrapins’ pass protection effort that yielded the conference’s second most passing yards per game (264.0). Moore, who hails from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, earned The Athletic Freshman All-American honors for his 2021 body of work.