Defensive tackle

Defensive tackle

  1. Dashawn Crawford (pictured, No. 95) 
  2. Jaevon Becton

Virginia Tech desperately needed one of the team’s 2019 signees at defensive tackle to step up before Week 1. Dashawn Crawford must have got the memo.

Crawford played with the first-team defense throughout the spring and made a strong impression on the coaching staff. Coaches knew he was physically ready to contribute — at 6-foot, 280-pounds — but what about his fundamentals? Would he pick up the playbook? He answered those questions in 15 spring practices.

“I’ve been pleased with DayDay -- that’s what we call him, DayDay -- and his picking up the scheme and doing things,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “He’s probably ahead of where I thought he would be, which I’m excited about.”

The slot behind Crawford features many of the same faces competing to backup Hewitt. It could be fellow junior college transfer Jaden Cunningham that emerges from the pack if he’s as developed of a player as Crawford.

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech starting defensive tackle Dashawn Crawford isn't dressed for Saturday's game against North Carolina. 

Crawford didn't play last week after suffering a lower injury against Miami. He was back on the practice field this week, but in a limited basis. He has 12 tackles (five solo) with two for a loss and one sack in four starts this season. 

“He was playing really, really well,” Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said.

Tech went with a rotation of Norell Pollard, Mario Kendricks and Rob Porcher at defensive tackle without Crawford in the lineup, but Porcher won't be available after entering his name in the transfer portal on Friday.

The Hokies could give some reps to true freshman Josh Fuga and junior college transfer Jaden Cunningham. Neither member of the Hokies' 2019 signing class has yet to play this season. They can play in up to four games without burning a year of eligibility.

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Recommended for you

Load comments