Five questions that must be answered during the Virginia Tech football team's preseason camp:
1. Can Marcus Vick get the job done?
Hokies Coach Frank Beamer says Vick has done all the right things since returning to the team this past spring from a university-imposed suspension. Vick is more athletic than Bryan Randall, the 2004 ACC player of the year, and has a stronger arm than his older brother, former Tech all-American and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. But Marcus Vick hasn't played in a game in more than 19 months and must restore his teammates' confidence in him.
2. Can the right side of the offensive line be replaced?
The Hokies shuffled their offensive line after losing right guard James Miller and right tackle Jon Dunn to graduation. Also, senior Will Montgomery moved from center to left guard, and Jason Murphy switched to right guard. Virginia Tech needs Danny McGrath to play well at center, and Reggie Butler has to prove he can handle starting at right tackle.
3. Who is going to replace Jim Davis and Mikal Baaqee in the middle of the defense?
The Hokies might actually be better at inside linebacker if sophomore Xavier Adibi stays healthy and plays to his enormous potential. Adibi, a prep all-American in 2002 as a senior at Phoebus High in Hampton, Va., is a natural playmaker. Carlton Powell had six sacks playing behind Davis at defensive tackle last season, and Kory Robertson, a 331-pounder last year, lost weight and should be quicker.
4. Will the secondary be any good after losing three starters?
The Hokies lost starting cornerback Eric Green and safeties James Griffin and Vincent Fuller. But Tech has a solid anchor in cornerback Jimmy Williams, an all-American candidate who had 60 tackles, 14 pass breakups and 5 interceptions in 2004. District native Roland Minor, who returned an interception for a touchdown against Georgia Tech last season, will replace Green.
Tech will have spirited battles at free safety and rover. D.J. Parker seemed to have the edge at free safety after spring practice, but converted tailback Justin Hamilton was challenging him for the job. Three players were still battling at rover, too.
5. Will Tech get better on special teams?
The Hokies ranked 15th in the country in kickoff returns and blocked a few more kicks, but they were uncharacteristically poor in punt coverage and punt returns. Tech must replace punter Vinnie Burns and snapper Travis Conway; top return man Eddie Royal is coming back from compartment syndrome, a sometimes painful condition in his leg.
-- Mark Schlabach