BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech’s freshman offensive linemen are spread out to start fall camp.
Jesse Hanson, the lone early enrollee of the 2019 group, remains at left guard. The Hokies are starting Doug Nester out at right guard, Bryan Hudson at right tackle and William Pritchard at center.
“Since we’ve only practiced with them one time, I’d say it’s pretty fluid,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said, on Saturday. “I mean, we haven’t even put pads on. I don’t know where they’ll end up. Will is probably a little more of a center body, kind of was our vision for him. The other guys, we’ll just see. I don’t really know how they’re all shakeout. We’re just trying to get them pointed in the right direction right now.”
Pritchard, a three-star signee (247 Sports composite rankings), mostly played guard at Manchester High School (Virginia), but always took reps at center throughout his high school career. The 6-foot-2, 301-pounder also played center during the World Bowl, a high school all-star game.
“Growing up since little league, I’ve played center all the way up,” Pritchard said, before signing. “During practice my high school coach would let me snap the ball just to keep it sharp.”
Virginia Tech’s depth chart at center to open fall camp features Coastal Carolina transfer Brock Hoffman, Zachariah Hoyt and Louis Mihota as well. Hoffman’s status for the 2019 season remains up in the air with the Hokies still waiting on the NCAA to rule on the offensive lineman’s waiver request.
Nester played tackle during his high school career at Spring Valley (West Virginia), but moves to the interior of the line where he feels more comfortable, according to an interview he did at The Opening before his senior season.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pounder is the highest rated offensive lineman signee in Virginia Tech history. He was verbally committed to Ohio State until changing his decision on national signing day. The four-star signee (247 Sports composite) was the No. 106 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Nester is the No. 6 ranked guard in the country, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
Hudson thought he might have to move positions as well, but is staying at the spot he manned throughout high school for now. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder was a four-star signee (247 Sports composite) out of Scott County in Kentucky.
“They have said obviously there is an opportunity to compete for a spot,” Hudson said, before signing day. “Some of the things they have talked to me about just being able to learn multiple positions to where I can come in and play wherever they need me.”
That opportunity still exists for all of the freshmen linemen thanks to the pledge Virginia Tech offensive line coach Vance Vice made during the spring.
“The day after spring ball is over, there’ll be five open spots,” Vice said.