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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Virginia Tech
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  06/28/20 - Hendon HookerrJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-3, 228 (DS#19 QB) + More +

  Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker is back on campus looking to pick up where he left off. The Hokies started voluntary workouts on June 16, but Hooker was one of the players that left campus back in March and wasn't brought back until last week. Before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sports world upside down, Hooker went into the offseason looking to build on his successful stint as starter. He helped turn Tech's 2019 season around going 6-2 under center with 1,900-plus total yards and 18 touchdowns. Hooker focused his early efforts on further cementing himself as a locker room leader by frequently popping into the weight room to support his teammates before and after his own workout. Tech's strength and conditioning staff split the team up into three groups for the winter offseason conditioning program.

On one particular 'big squat Friday' in February, Hooker worked out in the early morning and was back in the weight room a couple hours later for the afternoon weight-lifting session to cheer on the likes of Maxx Philpott, Austin Cannon, Keshon Artis and Brock Hoffman lift upwards of 600 pounds. When the team parted ways a few weeks later, Hooker returned home to Greensboro where his focus shifted from building camaraderie to staying physically prepared while the team was apart. "He was always comparing what he would be doing back on campus (in a normal year)," Hendon's father Alan said in a phone interview with The Roanoke Times. "He was training hard, he was pushing himself because he was worried he wasn't doing enough. If he was at school he would have coaches constantly pushing him, so he always went a little harder." - Roanoke Times


(DS#19 QB) rJr/2022 QB Hendon HookerVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
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  Virginia Tech defensive end Jaevon Becton has entered his name into the transfer portal, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The Hokies announced Becton was suspended from the team on March 4 for a violation of the school's code of conduct, but declined to address the disciplinary action outside of a brief statement. He was removed from the team's online roster at the time. Becton's status with the team hadn't changed when he entered the transfer portal this week.

The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder had 12 tackles last season (six solo) with one quarterback hurry in 10 games as a redshirt freshman. He signed with the Hokies out of Ocean Lakes High School (Virginia Beach) as a three-star prospect in 2018. Tech addressed its depth at defensive end by signing five defensive ends in 2020. The Hokies most recent roster addition at the position came in April when Youngstown State graduate transfer Justus Reed signed with the program. - Roanoke Times


(DS#999 DE) rSo/2023 DE Jaevon BectonVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
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  05/08/20 - Evan FairsSr/2021, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 210 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Kansas receiver Evan Fairs tweeted Thursday night that he has decided to transfer to Virginia Tech. Fairs will be a graduate transfer, so he can play for the Hokies next season without having to sit out a year. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Fairs entered the transfer portal in February. He joins former Kansas teammate Khalil Herbert on the Hokies. Herbert, a running back and grad transfer, verbally committed to Tech last December and enrolled at Tech in January. He played in four games in 2018 (catching two passes) before opting to redshirt. According to the Lawerence World-Journal, he hurt his knee against Baylor and was told he would be sidelined for two weeks. Since he had only played in four games and was still eligible to redshirt, he decided to do so. - Roanoke Times

(DS#999 WR) Sr/2021 WR Evan FairsVirginia Tech
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  Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister had to hit pause last fall and now he's had to do it again. The Oregon transfer spent a couple weeks in August competing for the starting job before moving over to the scout team. He was able to get real practice reps again during prep for the Belk Bowl, but he wasn't allowed to travel with the team for the final week of practice in Charlotte. His role on the scout team didn't afford him many opportunities to showcase all of his teammates, but Tech coaches and players raved about his athleticism, which was put to good use leading up to the Virginia game when Burmeister was tasked with simulating Bryce Perkins.

"Braxton when we were uncertain about his eligibility he was in there taking reps headed into the season and was effective," Fuente said last week. "He was in the process of doing a really good job then we kind of got word about how that appeal was going to turn out and he had to migrate towards the scout team stuff and did a great job with the scout team all season long. In bowl prep, we had a chance to put him back in there to run our stuff and he did a good job." Fuente was going to let Tech's quarterbacks compete for the starting job this spring, but those plans are on hold with the COVID-19 outbreak forcing the program to cancel the entirety of spring camp. - Roanoke Times


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2022 QB Braxton BurmeisterVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
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  The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has come out against making changes to the transfer waiver process at this time. The Transfer Waiver Working Group recommended a one-time transfer waiver in the five sports (men's basketball, women's basketball baseball, men's ice hockey and football) that don't allow for immediate eligibility earlier this year. The Division I Council is still expected to vote on the proposal this month, but the Board of Directors' guidance could delay any change for the 2020-21 academic year. "The board agreed to lift the moratorium on transfer legislation for the 2020-21 legislative cycle but recommended to the Council that changes to the waiver process as suggested by the working group are not appropriate at this time," the NCAA's statement said. "Board members recommended the waiver process be sensitive to student-athlete well-being, especially those impacted by COVID-19 in the interim period."

That would mean Virginia Tech running back Raheem Blackshear will have to go through the same waiver process Brock Hoffman and Braxton Burmeister went through last year. The Hokies were 0 for 2 in 2019 with Hoffman's case getting national attention. Blackshear, who enrolled at Tech in January, likely faces an uphill battle without the one-time transfer rule. Virginia Tech was still gathering the paperwork for the Rutgers transfer in mid-April and had yet to submit his waiver. - Roanoke Times


(DS#8 RB) rJr/2022 RB Raheem BlackshearVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
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  04/18/20 - Ryan WillisrSr/2020, Virginia Tech, 6-4, 225 (DS#43 QB) + More +

  The last time former Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis spoke to reporters he was near tears. Willis offered brief answers to three questions before leaving the Jamerson Athletic Center in September after an embarrassing loss to Duke in what turned out to be the final start of his career. He couldn't say then what he can say now that injuries derailed the 2019 season for him. Willis hasn't had that problem with NFL scouts, who know what he went through at the time and have instead focused on talking to him about his 2018 season when he threw for 2,176 yards (58.5 completion percentage) with 24 touchdowns as Tech's starting quarterback. "They know injuries kind of screwed up my year," Willis said.

Willis would clam up when talking about his health when he was in Blacksburg, but with his collegiate career now in the rearview mirror he opened up to The Roanoke Times about the challenges he faced in 2019 for the first time and his optimism heading into next week's NFL Draft. Willis' eventful collegiate career didn't get the final chapter he was hoping for. He turned the ball over four times in a 35-28 season-opening loss to Boston College, and was benched after a 45-10 loss to Duke a month into the season. - Roanoke Times


(DS#43 QB) rSr/2020 QB Ryan WillisVirginia Tech
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  04/17/20 - Justus ReedrSr/2021, Virginia Tech, 6-3, 270 (DS#18 DE) + More +

  Virginia Tech landed a commit from Youngstown State defensive Justus Reed on Friday night. Reed, who entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal in February as a grad transfer, tweeted out his decision. Tech has struggled the last two seasons to generate a consistent pass rush edge. Emmanuel Belmar led the defensive ends with four sacks last season, and the group combined for 8.5 sacks. The Hokies defensive ends combined for 11 sacks in 2018. Reed had 12.5 sacks all by himself in 2019 along with 42 tackles (30 solo) and 19 tackles for loss. He was the first Youngstown State player to earn first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors since 2016.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder also has the size new co-defensive line coaches Bill Teerlinck and Darryl Tapp have made a priority. He signed out of high school back in 2014 with Florida. The Clearwater native sat out two of the three seasons he spent in the SEC. He redshirted as a true freshman and missed most of the 2016 with a knee injury. Reed transferred to Youngstown State, but suffered a series of injury setbacks including a torn achilles that forced him to miss the entire 2018 season. - Roanoke Times


(DS#18 DE) rSr/2021 DE Justus ReedVirginia Tech
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  03/31/20 - Deshawn McCleaseJr/2020, Virginia Tech, 5-09, 190 (DS#43 RB) + More +

  Virginia Tech running back Deshawn McClease isn't going to let a canceled pro day get in the way of his NFL aspirations. McClease spent the two months leading to Tech's pro day working out at Bommarito, a 20,000-square foot athletic complex in the Miami area that counts dozens of current and former professional players as clients. He wrapped up the training session a week before the coronavirus virus outbreak shut down much of the country. The NFL quickly applied restrictions that prevent teams from sending personnel on the road, effectively canceling pro days scheduled after March 13. Pro days are the best chance for players that weren't invited to the NFL combine to perform for a large group of scouts.

"I'm not bummed out about it, there's still an opportunity to make it," McClease said. "My main focus is trying to control what I can control." McClease relied on that same philosophy in Blacksburg as he dealt with injuries that sidelined him for long stretches of his college career - including the 2016 season. "Early in my career, I was given lemons," McClease said with a laugh. "I had my first two years taken away from me. I really had to fight my whole time at Tech. I had to fight some uphill battles. I felt like I definitely responded in a way not many people could say they have. There's visible and tangible evidence every single year I've gotten better and continued to get better." McClease intends to still "put on a show" for NFL scouts - he ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at Bommarito - but they won't get to see it first hand. - Richmond Times-Dispatch


(DS#43 RB) Jr/2020 RB Deshawn McCleaseVirginia Tech
News Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
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  03/26/20 - Deshawn McCleaseJr/2020, Virginia Tech, 5-09, 190 (DS#43 RB) + More +

  Virginia Tech running back Deshawn McClease isn't going to let a canceled pro day get in the way of his NFL aspirations. McClease spent the two months leading up to Tech's pro day working out at Bommarito, a 20,000 square foot athletic complex in the Miami area that counts dozens of current and former professional players as clients. He wrapped up the training session a week before the coronavirus virus outbreak shut down much of the country. The NFL quickly put restrictions in place that prevent teams from sending personnel on the road, effectively canceling any pro days scheduled after March 13. Pro days are the best chance for players that weren't invited to the NFL combine to get in front of a large group of scouts.

"I'm not bummed out about it, there's still an opportunity to make it," McClease said in a phone interview with The Roanoke Times. "My main focus is trying to control what I can control." McClease ran for 1,833 yards with 12 touchdowns and caught 28 passes for 231 yards for Tech. He had his best season in 2019, with 177 carries for 843 yards as the team's primary running back with three 100-yard games. "I can catch the ball out of the backfield, I can run between the tackles, I can run outside, you can line me up in the slot and kick returns," McClease said. "I've been working on punt returns. I can pretty much do anything they ask me to do and I'm going to come to work every single day with a chip on their shoulder and get better." - Roanoke Times


(DS#43 RB) Jr/2020 RB Deshawn McCleaseVirginia Tech
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  03/16/20 - Reggie FloydSr/2020, Virginia Tech, 5-11, 222 (DS#18 SS) + More +

  Virginia Tech won't be holding its annual pro day on Friday. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the NFL is prohibiting team personnel from visiting schools and hosting draft-eligible prospects for the foreseeable future. Tech postponed the event "indefinitely", but it might not happen at all with the league committed to holding the draft on April 23-25. The NFL released a press release on Monday saying the draft will proceed as scheduled without the public events that were planned in Las Vegas. The Hokies didn't release an official list of participants for Friday's pro day, but it was expected to feature draft-eligible prospects from the 2019 team and some other recent graduates looking to catch on with NFL teams. Tight end Dalton Keene was the only Tech player invited to the NFL combine this year. Other Hokies players hoping to impress scouts ahead of this year's draft include running back Deshawn McClease, safety Reggie Floyd and quarterback Ryan Willis. - Roanoke Times

(DS#18 SS) Sr/2020 SS Reggie FloydVirginia Tech
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  Virginia Tech defensive end Jaevon Becton has been suspended from the football team, according to a statement released Wednesday morning by the athletics department. "Virginia Tech football student-athlete Jaevon Becton has been suspended from the program, effective immediately," the statement said. "He is subject to the policies set forth in the Virginia Tech Code of Student Conduct. There will be no further comment on the matter." Becton's name was also removed from the team's 2020 online roster. According to a Virginia Tech spokesperson, the football team is following the same protocol it has used in similar disciplinary situations. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder had 12 tackles last season (six solo) with one quarterback hurry in 10 games as a redshirt freshman. He signed with the Hokies out of Ocean Lakes High School (Virginia Beach) as a three-star prospect in 2018. - Roanoke Times

(DS#999 DE) rSo/2023 DE Jaevon BectonVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
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  02/17/20 - *Dalton KeeneJr/2020, Virginia Tech, 6-4, 253 (DS#11 TE) + More +

  2020 NFL COMBINE INVITE: Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech,...Keene played in 36 career games for Tech, hauling in 59 passes for 748 yards (12.7 avg.) with eight touchdowns. The versatile Littleton, Colorado native tied for fourth on Tech in 2019 with 21 receptions and was second on the squad with five receiving touchdowns. In addition to 240 receiving yards, he also carried the ball 11 times for 33 yards during his junior campaign. He was also selected to the 2019 ACC All-Academic Team. Keene made numerous memorable plays during his tenure at Tech. The longest play of his collegiate career came on a short pass in a 31-14 win at Duke (9/29/18) that resulted in a 67-yard TD catch that included several broken tackles and stiff arms.

His one-yard TD catch provided the winning margin in a dramatic 22-19 comeback win at North Carolina (10/13/18), as the Hokies' orchestrated a dramatic 18-play, 98-yard drive to get the win. Keene also played a pivotal role in a 34-31 OT win vs. Virginia (11/23/18). With Tech trailing 31-24 and only 2:29 remaining in regulation, he hauled in a 45-yard heave from QB Ryan Willis on third-and-10 from Tech's own 25 to propel the Hokies on the game-tying drive. - Virginia Tech Football


(DS#11 TE) Jr/2020 TE *Dalton KeeneVirginia Tech
News Source: Virginia Tech Football
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  12/04/19 - Caleb FarleyrJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-1, 207 (DS#3 CB) + More +

  2019 ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): CB - Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech; 136,...A former high school quarterback, Farley has blossomed into one of the ACC's top cornerbacks in just his second season playing that position.He leads the ACC with 16 passes defensed & ranks fourth in the nation averaging 1.5 passes defensed per game. He is tied for the ACC lead with four INTs and registered a 17-yard INT return TD in a 45-0 shutout of Georgia Tech (11/16). The Hickory, N.C. native posted a career-high four passes defensed in a 43-41 six-OT win vs. North Carolina (10/19). - Virginia Tech Football

(DS#3 CB) rJr/2022 CB Caleb FarleyVirginia Tech
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  12/04/19 - Rayshard AshbySr/2021, Virginia Tech, 5-10, 237 (DS#13 ILB) + More +

  2019 ALL-ACC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): LB - Rayshard Ashby, Virginia Tech; 120,...Named ACC Linebacker of the Week five times this season, the Chesterfield, Virginia native was the only defensive player in the league to win that many ACC POW honors in 2019. He also finished third in the voting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Ashby leads Tech with 106 total tackles and ranks fourth in the ACC. He also leads the Hokies and is tied for fourth in the ACC with 14.5 tackles for loss. He has held VT's Lunch Pail for Bud Foster the entire season and leads a VT defense that helped the Hokies become the first ACC team to post back-to-back shutouts against Power Five foes for the first time since 1978. The Hokies rank second in the ACC in Red Zone defense with a 71.8 opponent scoring percentage, trailing only Clemson (71.4%). - Virginia Tech Football

(DS#13 ILB) Sr/2021 ILB Rayshard AshbyVirginia Tech
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  12/04/19 - Jarrod HewittrSr/2021, Virginia Tech, 6-1, 288 (DS#36 DT) + More +

  2019 ALL-ACC HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): DT - Jarrod Hewitt, Virginia Tech; 33,...A redshirt junior, Hewitt received honorable mention accolades for Tech in 2019. The Venice, Florida native owns 27 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, four QB hurries and one pass breakup. He enjoyed a monster game in a 43-41 six-OT triumph vs. North Carolina (10/19), producing career bests with 3.0 TFL and 2.5 sacks to go along with five tackles. - Virginia Tech Football

(DS#36 DT) rSr/2021 DT Jarrod HewittVirginia Tech
News Source: Virginia Tech Football
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