There has been plenty of talk about some of Virginia Tech's defensive standouts as columnists and analysts across the country look ahead to the 2015 College Football season. Deservingly, the most talked about player has been Kendall Fuller who is one of the top 5 or 6 defensive players in all of college football.
On the defensive line, Dadi Nicolas has been the headline name after an impressive 2014 season. A strong 2015 season will likely have Nicolas projected as a late first to second round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Nicolas and Ken Ekanem have also been talked about as one of the best defensive end duos in all of college football.
One player who is surprisingly flying under the radar is redshirt senior defensive tackle Luther Maddy.
Maddy only played in four games and took a medical redshirt last season, but while he only had 9 tackles in those four games, his impact was so much bigger as he gave other players one-on-one matchups that helped build confidence.
Maddy shined in 2013 when he had 55 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 13.5 total tackles for loss (including sacks). Maddy was named to the All-ACC Third Team in 2013 and received Honorable Mention honors somehow this past season.
Despite all of this, it seems like Maddy has been forgotten about outside of Blacksburg.
If Maddy would have been healthy this season, he likely would have been selected somewhere in the late second to fourth rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft. Last season's injury has hurt Maddy's 2016 NFL Draft stock and has caused him to fly under the radar more entering this season, especially with the Hokies returning a more-proven defensive line this upcoming season.
Maddy is not the fastest defensive tackle, but he is way more than just a great space eater. Maddy has the strength and power moves to close down the middle for opposing tailbacks even against some of the best interior offensive linemen. Maddy is a tough, hard worker that is ready tog give it all he has and seems to play with a chip on his shoulder.
Entering this season, the senior defensive tackle will have a chip on his shoulder to make fans across the ACC and the country remember his name, and NFL scouts to remember how Maddy was a player that could have been a day 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft before his injuries.
Luther Maddy came out of high school as a lowly-rated three-star with few offers and proved that he had what it takes to start and shine on a Bud Foster defense. Now, Maddy will be ready to prove once again that he is one of the ACC's top defensive tackles and a player that analysts and columnists should not have forgotten about.
Don't be surprised if Maddy ends up on the All-ACC First Team at the end of the 2015 season.