It hasn’t taken long for South County graduate Ronny Vandyke to stand out during Virginia Tech’s preseason camp.
After Mark Gianotto of the Washington Post published an article regarding the possibility of Vandyke starting at the whip position, many anxious eyes have awaited to see how Vandyke would perform in camp.
The Hokies top-defensive newcomer of spring practice has taken one step closer to seeing the field this fall, as he passed Alonzo Tweedy for the number two spot on the depth chart today.
While witnessing some of practice today, I couldn’t help but notice that Vandyke was second in line for the individual drills after being third (behind Tweedy) in previous days. I also couldn’t help but notice the body language of Tweedy.
My thoughts were further evident when the redshirt freshman ran with the second-team defensive group in the team’s pass skeleton (seven on seven) drill.
Of course, those statements alone don’t mean that Vandyke passed Tweedy on the depth chart. The coaches could have just been attempting to get Vandyke more reps.
But after connecting with a source inside the team, it was verified that the two linebackers were indeed informed of the coaches decision before practice today.
The Hokies (unofficial) depth chart at whip is now as follows:
1. Jeron Gouveia-Winslow
2. Ronny Vandyke
3. Alonzo Tweedy
It now appears that the whip battle has transitioned into a two-man battle between Gouveia-Winslow and Vandyke, which contrasts the idea of Gouveia-Winslow being on the outside-looking in during camp.
Although it was a question mark heading into camp, Gouveia-Winslow has shown no ill signs of a Lisfranc sprain that sidelined him for eight games last season. Position coach Cornell Brown seems to be very impressed with the performance of the redshirt senior thus far while speaking with Hokiesports.com’s Andrew Allegretta.
While Vandyke is absolutely the long-term answer for the Hokies at the whip position, it certainly appears that Gouveia-Winslow has something to prove regarding the short-term solution.
If this writer had to take a guess, this is how the depth chart will look this season.
With that said, the coaches are definitely going to want to get Vandyke some playing time this year before he starts against Alabama in next year’s opener. The nickel-back position seems like it would be a perfect fit for Vandyke given his skill set.
We’re now less than three weeks away from Georgia Tech coming into Lane Stadium. (Be sure to start your stretching routine now in order to get prepared to JUMP!)
Photo courtesy of pycomall.com
UPDATE: Mike Barber of Richmond-Times Dispatch Tweeted at 10:05 EST that Vandyke is now officially the co-number two whip with Alonzo Tweedy.