- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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2012 record: 7-6
2012 conference record: 4-4, Coastal
Returning starters: Offense: 6; defense: 9; kicker/punter: 2
2012 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Thomas* (524 yards, 9 TDs)
Passing: Thomas* (220-of-429 for 2,976 yards, 18 TDs, 16 INTs)
Receiving: Davis (953 yards, 5 TDs)
Tackles: Tyler* (119)
Sacks: Taylor (5.5)
Interceptions: Exum* (five)
1. Secondary. Depth in the secondary was already thin, and the group got much thinner when starting cornerback Antone Exum tore his ACL during a pickup basketball game. But this spring revealed a rising star in true freshman Brandon Facyson, who enrolled in January. He, Donovan Riley and Donaldven Manning all played well this spring, easing some concerns.
2. Depth up front. The other area defensive coordinator Bud Foster wanted to work on was building depth on his defensive line. He believes he started to accomplish that this spring with younger players like Kris Harley, Nigel Williams, Alston Smith, and Woody Baron coming along.
3. Offense has a ways to go. That might not be the answer fans want to hear, but there is no doubt this group still has gains to make between now and the season opener against Alabama. Anybody who watched what happened in the spring game knows that. More on that down below.
1. Logan Thomas' growth. Just about everybody associated with Virginia Tech says Thomas made some significant strides this spring while working under new coordinator Scot Loeffler. But everybody wants to talk about what happened in the spring game, when he threw three interceptions, including two returned for scores. Thomas made way too many mistakes last season. No matter what other improvements he might have made this spring, he has got to learn to take care of the football.
2. Running back. The Hokies had nobody to shoulder the load last season, and after the spring, they still have nobody to shoulder the load. The ground game didn’t show much in the spring game. J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds appear to be the top two guys, pending what happens with Michael Holmes, suspended after he was arrested last month.
3. Offensive line. This group is not a finished product by any stretch, as players were shuffled in and out of the lineup this spring to try and find the right group. Or at least a group that can perform better than a season ago. One player to note is true freshman Jonathan McLaughlin, who ended the spring as the starting left tackle.