BLACKSBURG — Injuries forced Virginia Tech to shuffle its offensive line for the home opener against Old Dominion.
Right guard T.J. Jackson is out with a foot injury and Zachariah Hoyt won't start after suffering a lower body injury late in the game against Boston College.
Tech's starting offensive line in Week 2 is left tackle Christian Darrisaw, left guard Lecitus Smith, center John Harris, right guard Doug Nester and right tackle Silas Dzansi.
It's the first career start for Harris, a redshirt freshman and Nester, true freshman. Nester is the highest rated offensive line recruit in program history. He was a long-time Ohio State verbal commit before deciding to join the Hokies on national signing day.
The 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds immediately got the coaching staff's attention when he enrolled over the summer.
“He’s incredibly diligent,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “He’s got some element of perfectionist to him in terms of wanting to do well and concentrating and focusing on the mental part of playing offensive line, which, it’s quite a load in there.”
Nester's focus in the fall was improving his pass blocking. Spring Valley High School (West Virginia) ran the ball 87 percent of the time in Nester's senior year.
“It’s good Play-Doh, if you will, to play with right now,” Vice said.