Competitions continue at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s season opener against Georgia Tech is just a week away, and the Hokies are still unsettled at a few positions. Coach Frank Beamer held his first weekly teleconference of the season on Monday, and addressed some of the few position battles still remaining:

RIGHT GUARD: Michael Via, a redshirt senior, has lined up at every position on the offensive line during his career, but he will compete with Brent Benedict, a redshirt sophomore, for the starting job at right guard this week. “He’s the guy we’ve got a lot of confidence in,” Beamer said. “He’s smart, he can play all of them. ... We’ll practice both of them and see who starts and who’s the backup.”

PUNTER: The Hokies are counting on two freshmen walk-ons at punter, and the competition between A.J. Hughes and Hunter Windmuller continues.

“We’ve got their stats over the preseason, and their times are about equal -- their operation time, their hang time, their distance,” Beamer said. “Hughes is listed No. 1, Windmuller No. 2, and that’s how I think of it right now, but I tell you, we’re going to continue this week. Both of them certainly have had their moments. They’re two good punters, I can tell you that.”

KICKOFFS: The Hokies are still trying to replace kickoff man Justin Myer, and Michael Branthover, Cody Journell and Ethan Keyserling continue to push each other, along with freshman Brooks Abbott.

“They’ve all done very well, along with Abbott,” Beamer said, “but we’re going to next couple of days figure out who’s going to be our kickoff guy.”

NOTE: Beamer also said that linebacker Tariq Edwards (knee) will not play in the opener. Bruce Taylor will start in his place.