Grimes tweeted out the starting five this afternoon, along with a picture of him with right tackle Laurence Gibson, right guard Andrew Miller, center David Wang, left guard Caleb Farris and left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin.
Combined, the group has 36 combined starts. Miller (21 starts), Wang (10) and Farris (5) have starting experience, while both Gibson and McLaughlin will be making their first career starts on the outside.
Wang and Farris (Rockbridge County High in Lexington) are the only players who finished last season as a starter. Miller, from Bassett, missed the final six games after breaking his fibula and tearing ligaments in his left ankle.
McLaughlin is the first true freshman to start at either tackle spot under head coach Frank Beamer. He’s the first true freshman to start in a season opener at Tech since Sergio Render in 2006. Render started all 13 games that year.
Only one other true freshman has started on the line under Beamer. Jimmy Martin started the final eight games at right tackle in 2002.
Although Grimes mixed and matched since the spring, the starting five began to sort itself out after recent injuries. Junior Mark Shuman, who had worked at both tackle spots and left guard, is out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery. Augie Conte, another option at tackle, sprained an ankle sprain recently and missed some time.
Wang’s ankle issues kept him out a few days, but he was able to return and seize the starting center job. He has never played center in a game before.