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Tech's D-line keeps some depth as junior opts to return

BLACKSBURG

Virginia Tech went 2 for 2 this offseason in retaining underclassmen considering the NFL.

Defensive tackle Luther Maddy announced via Twitter on Thursday that he will return for his senior season with the Hokies, two days after safety Kyshoen Jarrett did the same.

"I'm grateful that I was blessed with an opportunity to accomplish my dreams of going to the NFL this year, but after lots of prayer, I've decided it's best I return to get my degree and be an asset to reaching our goal of a championship #HokieNation," he sent out in separate tweets.

Maddy's return is a boost for a defensive line that was already losing seniors James Gayle, J.R. Collins, Derrick Hopkins and Tyrel Wilson.

The 6-foot-1, 296-pound Maddy had the best year statistically of the group in 2013, finishing with 55 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks, leading the defensive linemen in all three categories. He earned third-team All-ACC honors.

Like Jarrett, it led him to seek feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee.

"I think I was one of the better D-tackles in the nation," Maddy said prior to the Sun Bowl.

Maddy's return at tackle, along with fellow Atlantic High and Delray Beach., Fla., product Dadi Nicolas coming back at end, gives the Hokies some experience along the line going forward. Soon-to-be sophomore tackles Woody Baron and Nigel Williams return from Tech's two-deep as well, with youngsters like Ken Ekanem and Nansemond River High grad Dewayne Alford expected to compete for playing time at end.

It has not been decided if junior end Corey Marshall will return for 2014. He redshirted last year and worked on the scout team after a brief leave from the team in August for personal reasons.

Maddy's return means Virginia Tech will not have lost a junior to the NFL for two straight years. Running back David Wilson and cornerback Jayron Hosley were the last underclassmen to declare early for the NFL following the 2011 season.

Posted to: College Football Sports Va. Tech Football

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