By Mike Platania, sports staff writer
Note: As part of the Collegiate Times’ coverage of Virginia Tech football, we’ll be breaking down the 2012 football roster every weekday until March 28 when the Hokies begin spring practice.
Weight: 217 pounds
2012 Year: Redshirt-Freshman
After a standout career at Robinson High, Brian Laiti has yet to break out onto the scene as an impact player at Tech.
A traditional middle linebacker, Laiti has suffered mostly from his size and the talent surrounding him. At only 217 pounds, he is a tad small to be a starter at middle linebacker, but as the offseason marches on he has an opportunity to add some weight.
But perhaps the biggest thing preventing Laiti from seeing action is the talent ahead of him on the roster. Laiti was fourth on the depth chart at middle linebacker last season, with Bruce Taylor, Jack Tyler and Barquell Rivers ahead of him, all of whom have been impact players for the Hokies. Unless he improves drastically in the offseason, its unlikely Laiti will be seeing more snaps than Taylor or Tyler.
Laiti’s dominance at Robinson High showed that he has the mental ability to play linebacker at a high level, but he will need to improve his physical skill set if he hopes to get on the field more. There’s no questioning his knowledge of the game, so he does have the potential to be a good player for the Hokies; it’s just a matter of when.
Next season Laiti could be a sleeper to make an impact, but it isn’t likely. If injuries mount in the Hokies’ front seven, Laiti may see some action, but it likely won’t be for another year until he starts making an impact.