Before practice this afternoon, a quick update on the linebackers.
Julian Burnett, who started the final eight games of last season and led the team in tackles, and Daniel Drummond, who was ineligible for most of last season, are working with the first team at inside linebacker. Drummond has moved to linebacker after playing B-back his first two years at Tech.
“Julian’s building upon what he learned last year and so in that respect, he’s playing even faster,” linebackers coach Joe Speed said. “He’s picking up his keys instantly.”
Given the learning curve associated with Al Groh’s defense, Drummond’s ascent to the first team is noteworthy.
“He’s willing to put in the time and the effort to put his nose in the playbook and learn what he needs to,” Speed said of Drummond.
An outside linebacker who has made considerable gains this spring is Jeremiah Attaochu, who played 12 games last year as a true freshman and had 3 sacks. You’ll remember Attaochu more or less followed Groh from Virginia to Tech. Groh recruited him to play outside linebacker in his 3-4 in Charlottesville, but convinced him to come to Tech after his dismissal at Virginia and subsequent hiring at Tech. Athletic with a 6-3, 223-pound frame, he has the ideal makeup for the position.
“The defense has looked as a whole. They’re very athletic, they all move very well, but I think Jerry’s stood out the most,” A-back Roddy Jones said. “He plays fast. He makes plays on the backside. He’s very physical at the point of attack. Just a very talented kid who loves playing football.”