Virginia Tech’s Billy Hite talks about David Wilson’s potential and more

Earlier this week I sat down with longtime Virginia Tech running backs coach Billy Hite to discuss how he’s adjusting to his new role in the program as assistant to the head coach and senior advisor for a feature in tomorrow’s paper.

But after you finish reading the entire story – which includes Hite claiming he has “the best job in America right now” and why he thinks the transition to an administrative role has been harder for veteran assistant Jim Cavanaugh — come on back here and see what Hite has to say about the Hokies through three games.

Predictably, his most notable statement revolves around his former pupil, junior David Wilson.

“This is a hard statement for me to say because I’ve coached so many great ones over the years, but I think David Wilson will have a chance to be the best running back that’s ever played at Virginia Tech,” Hite said. “I don’t think he is yet, but I think if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he has a chance of being the best one that has ever played here.”

In terms of quarterback Logan Thomas and the progress of the entire team, Hite echoed what Coach Frank Beamer has said throughout the first few weeks of the season.

“I think we have a chance of being a very good football team. I think we’ve got to stay healthy, number one, and if we do that we’re going to be fine. Logan needs to get better every ballgame, and I’ve been very impressed with him. Obviously with a guy that’s starting for the first time, he’s made some mistakes, but that’s gonna happen. Didn’t I see the Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback [Ben Roethlisberger], didn’t he throw three interceptions last week or the week before? And he’s making $100 million. You know you’re going to have some growing pains with [Thomas].”

And finally, I asked Hite offered some thoughts on his son, Griffin, a freshman walk-on linebacker with the Hokies this year.

“I tell you who recruited him, it was Coach Beamer. He thought it was so important that Griffin came here because of Shane’s experience of playing here at Virginia Tech. Griffin is 213 pounds now. He played high school ball at about 185, so he’s gained about that much weight since coming here. He’s increased his speed. He ran a 4.75 when he came in here. We had him at our junior camp, going into his senior year [of high school], he ran a 4.88.

“If he continues to do that, getting in Coach Gentry’s strength and conditioning program, he’ll have a chance. He’ll knock your [butt] off, it’s just him getting there that’s his whole thing right now. I think he’ll end up being a helluva special teams player. That’ll be his first opportunity to help Virginia Tech, is on special teams. It is great seeing him out there every day. I see him more now than when he was in high school just because of the hours.”

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.

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