We've heard a lot of hubbub about the secondary this offseason. This is not without good reason, since they return 43 career starts between Jemea Thomas (DB), Isaiah Johnson (S), Louis Young (CB), and Rod Sweeting (CB). But with Young likely suspended for the VT game, and a spot at safety is still open, so questions still exist for this fortified position group. Let's take a shot at answering these two, shall we?
First the easy one. We all know that the spot at safety will most likely go to one Frederick Holton, held out last year due to injury. I talked to the DBs a few weeks ago, and every one of them said they were excited to see him get on the field. Asked about their blooming on field partnership, Isaiah Johnson said "Me and Fred, it'll be a good fit, he's a big hitter...and I just can't wait to see what I can do with him." He also mentioned that Fred has had a great recovery from his Achilles injury and looks ready to play. With that one out of the way, we move on: who will replace Lou Young at CB in the all-important first game?
My first guess out of thin air would be to go to Jemea Thomas. He's the only other DB on the roster with game experience. HOWEVAH, he is only 5-10, which makes me think he'd loose a good bit of those jump balls that begin and end their trajectory 8 feet off the ground thanks to VT having a mobile Redwood at QB and 6'3" and 6'4" Oaks downfield to catch them. Jamal Golden is listed next on the depth chart and stands a solid 6'0" 188, so that makes me think he'll get the nod. Neither of the aforementioned players started in the VT game last year, and 2 starts aren't much better than 0, so I think physicality might win the day here. Thus, I'll give the VT starting nod to Golden.
Odd post script: when I was looking up the heights of VT receivers, I was confused because they listed their WRs as "FL" (flankerback) and "SE" (split end), so the projected starter heights could be wrong.