Virginia Tech’s Duan Perez-Means will switch from defensive end to tight end

For the second year in a row, a converted defensive lineman will compete for Virginia Tech’s starting tight end job. Reserve defensive end Duan Perez-Means will move to tight end for spring practice, a position he played in high school, Frank Beamer’s official website announced Monday morning.

Perez-Means, who will be a redshirt sophomore next year, had eight tackles this past season in limited action. But the Richmond native was not on the Hokies’ two-deep chart at defensive end when the season ended, stuck behind starters James Gayle and J.R. Collins as well as primary back-ups Tyrel Wilson and Zack McCray.

Perez-Means, who had 22 catches and eight touchdowns as a junior tight end at Hermitage High, will compete with redshirt junior Eric Martin, sophomore Ryan Malleck and senior Randall Dunn to be the starting tight end next fall.

Beamer’s Web site indicated the position change was at Perez-Means’s request. Last year the coaching staff asked senior Chris Drager to switch from defensive end to tight end before spring practice, and he finished with 15 catches, 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Mark Giannotto covers high school sports for The Washington Post.

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