Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer can't remember the last time he's taken so many rookies on their first road trip.
Beamer said 10 true freshmen and 15 redshirt freshmen are likely to play when the Hokies face East Carolina in Charlotte on Saturday. In all, there will be 30 players on the travel squad who have never played in a college game, meaning 41 percent of the travel squad will be new.
"It's a little bit scary," Beamer said. "I think it says a couple of things. We lost a lot of kids from last year, but we are very impressed with our freshman class. Very impressed. We had some discussion on some other kids, sometimes it's the need, too. A large percentage of those freshmen, whether they're playing this year or next year, I think we're going to be happy they're here before it's all over. I'm really happy with that class."
What's the biggest thing they're going to have to overcome?
Beamer paused. Sighed.
"Ohh, probably throwing up before the game," he deadpanned. "It might be me. I don't know when we've had 41 percent of our team that's never been in the game before, but we do have a lot of good players. If you know what you're doing, you're OK, even thought the setting is new and you're in a new situation. We had a good preseason and hopefully we can get them confident in knowing their assignments. If they're confident that way, then I think they'll be able to play OK. That's the challenge to us as coaches, make sure they know their assignments so they can be confident."
Among the freshmen likely to see playing time are flanker Jarrett Boykin, flanker Dyrell Roberts, running back Ryan Williams, cornerback Lorenzo Williams, cornerback Eddie Whitley, linebacker Quillie Odom, linebacker Jake Johnson and linebacker Bruce Taylor. They're all most likely to contribute most on special teams.
As for who will start at quarterback, we'll find out Tuesday.