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Loudoun linebacker update

When Virginia Tech closed its fall training camp to begin the regular season, Coach Frank Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster indicated that freshman linebacker Chase Williams, son of former Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, would be forced to redshirt this season after a nagging hamstring injury limited the amount of reps he saw during practice.

But with the 2009 All-Met 100 percent healthy again, and little depth at linebacker after three games, those plans changed thanks to a phone call last Sunday afternoon. Foster asked Williams if he wanted to give another try at getting some playing time at outside linebacker.

Beamer said Tuesday he’s been impressed with Williams’s play on the scout team the past couple weeks -- "He has some natural instincts," the coach said -- and that the team would be “giving him a look” in practice this week in hopes of being ready to play at some point in the near future.

Beamer said he isn’t sure when a final decision will be made, but there is a possibility Williams could still redshirt. That has left the young linebacker to weigh the pros and cons of the situation while trying his best to impress the coaches.

"If I’m not gonna redshirt, there’s a potential for me to get out on the field," said Williams. "I just wanna play, this is the game I’ve always loved, so I definitely wanna play. But there’s huge upside to redshirting. Getting bigger, faster, stronger waiting for next year, and also give a gap between the guys that are already there and my eligibility.

“If the opportunity presents itself, I’m not gonna say no. But the feel I get now is I’ll probably be dressed on the sideline, and if they need me, I’ll be ready."

Ashburn native Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, meanwhile, has seen his playing time decrease dramatically after starting at whip linebacker during the Hokies first two games. The Stone Bridge grad played just nine defensive snaps against East Carolina as Virginia Tech played mostly in nickel coverage to offset the Pirates’ pass-heavy attack.

By Mark Giannotto  | September 21, 2010; 11:03 PM ET
 
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