From Prep to Pro!, EST 2001
Bookmark and Share









 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Virginia Tech
Previous 15 Notes |Back to Page One| Next 15 Notes

  04/08/21 - Changa HodgerSr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 200 (DS#64 WR) + More +

  Changa Hodge went eight straight games to start his Virginia Tech career without a catch. That wasn't an experience Hodge was very used to. The Villanova transfer had at least one reception in 30 of the 32 games he played at the FCS level. He had more yards in his second career game as a true freshman in 2016 than he did all last season. Hodge's three catches for 25 yards was a far cry from the breakout year he had in 2019 when he tied for No. 14 in the FCS with 1,118 yards, but Tech's coaching staff didn't give his lack of production much consideration when making roster decisions in December.

Offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen and wide receivers Jafar Williams asked Hodge to come back as a super senior and take advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted. They were impressed with the way he handled himself in the face of some significant adversity and had the talent to play a significant role in the offense this fall. "He got here late, to camp, about halfway through camp, then had a hamstring and then had COVID, and it was like one thing after the next," Williams said, in March. "So he never really got a chance to catch his breath." By the time Hodge was cleared to fully practice, the team was so focused on game prep that he didn't get much to learn the offense and different techniques specific to Tech's offensive scheme. - Roanoke Times


(DS#64 WR) rSr/2022 WR Changa HodgeVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  04/01/21 - Amare BarnorJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-5, 235 (DS#6 DE) + More +

  Tech still plans to rely on a deep rotation on the defensive line, so the Hokies will really be three deep at both defensive end and tackle. Barno had a breakout season last year, and the coaching staff doesn't believe he's reached anywhere near his ceiling. He would make for a strong first team pairing with Belmar, one of Tech's super seniors who opted to take advantage of the free year of eligibility. - Roanoke Times

(DS#6 DE) rJr/2022 DE Amare BarnoVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  03/29/21 - Jaden PayouterFr/2024, Virginia Tech, 6-1, 206 (DS#41 WR) + More +

  Virginia Tech receiver Jaden Payoute's spring camp was short-lived. Tech coach Justin Fuente announced Payoute would miss the rest of the spring after he underwent an additional surgical procedure on the season-ending leg injury he suffered in fall camp. The training staff recommended the receiver go through with the surgery after he participated in Tech's first spring practice on March 16. The Hokies are scheduled to practice three times a week for five weeks this spring. "I have an update on Jaden Payoute, he practiced in the first practice and we really felt it was best that he get the remaining plate from his foot or leg," Fuente said. "He will be out the rest of the spring recovering and be ready to go, full go, come fall camp." The 6-foot-1, 210 pounder was a four-star signee in Tech's 2019 signing class. He redshirted that year after playing in four games. Fuente had high expectations for Payoute going into last fall before he suffered the leg injury. - Roanoke Times

(DS#41 WR) rFr/2024 WR Jaden PayouteVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  03/29/21 - *Caleb FarleyrJr/2021, Virginia Tech, 6-1, 207 (DS#3 CB) + More +

  There have been some awkward moments at the NFL Draft when players invited to the event had extended stays in the green room waiting for their name to be called. Former Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley is confident he won't join that list. Farley accepted an invite to this year's draft earlier in the week within days of having back surgery. The defender's latest injury setback prevented him from working out in front of scouts in Blacksburg at Tech's pro day. It was supposed to be a big moment for Farley since he opted out last fall. He anticipated wowing scouts with his testing numbers (particularly in the 40-yard dash) and lessening doubts about his football readiness in the position drills. He was a spectator on Friday instead, but that didn't impact the cornerback's confidence. "If a team wants the best corner in the draft they will come and find me," Farley said. - Roanoke Times

(DS#3 CB) rJr/2021 CB *Caleb FarleyVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here


  Projected first-round pick Christian Darrisaw won't be running the 40-yard dash on Friday. Darrisaw told The Roanoke Times on Tuesday he won't be participating in the majority of tests draft prospects are asked to do at NFL combine, and will stick to position drills later this week when scouts and other league personnel travel to Blacksburg. "Looking like position work only right now, still playing it by ear on the bench," Darrisaw said. "[40-yard dash] That's out the window." Top draft prospects normally are put through a series of tests including the 40, shuttle run, three-cone drill, vertical jump, broad jump and bench press at the annual combine in Indianapolis.

The NFL canceled the traditional combine this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and shifted testing and skill evaluations to the player's pro day. The timing didn't work out for Darrisaw, who had surgery on a core muscle injury in early January. "It was close," Darrisaw said on Tuesday. Darrisaw spent the last nine weeks training at the EXOS facility in Pensacola, Florida, and spent the majority of his time rehabbing an injury that was discovered by a precautionary MRI in December. - Roanoke Times


(DS#2 OT) rJr/2021 OT *Christian DarrisawVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here


  Virginia Tech running backs coach Adam Lechtenberg had simple advice for Raheem Blackshear when they reviewed film of the 2020 season before the start of spring practice. "Slow down," Lechtenberg said. That might seem counterintuitive considering Blackshear relied on his athleticism and 4.4 speed to become an immediate contributor for Rutgers in 2017 as a true freshman, but Lechtenberg made his point during those film sessions. "I was missing a lot of open gaps," Blackshear said. "I was like hitting a lot of stuff too fast. So as a player I was really not afraid of making my reads correctly. So by me slowing down, now I've got a chance to make my reads and make my right cuts."

Blackshear built his offseason training program around Lechtenberg's recommendation, and believes it's already paid off through four spring practices. The 5-foot-9, 194-pounder has shown improved (and slower) footwork amidst a crowded competition for playing time in Tech's backfield. The Hokies opened spring with eight scholarship running backs on the roster competing to replace Khalil Herbert, the program's first 1,000-yard rusher in a decade, and even more on the way (four freshman backs are enrolling this summer). "I feel like it's going to be big and I'm going to take advantage of it," Blackshear said, of spring camp. "I finally get a chance to learn the program and learn like everything, so I feel like this is going to be a big 15 practices for me." - Roanoke Times


(DS#11 RB) rJr/2022 RB Raheem BlackshearVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here


  Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister wants to make up for lost time this spring. He came down with the coronavirus during fall camp as he was competing for the starting job. In October, he got hurt in practice when an offensive lineman stepped on his foot. He suffered three broken toes and was limited in practice until Tech's bye week in late November. "I really only had two real weeks of practice in a full year," Burmeister said, on Monday. Burmeister took a back seat to Hendon Hooker during that stretch, but that time helped him get a full grasp on the offense.

"Just understanding what we're trying to do on every play and really just knowing exactly what the line's doing, exactly what the running backs are doing, exactly what all the receivers are doing and so it's just knowing it in and out like the back of my hand," Burmeister said. That helped him close the season out on a high note. He threw for 339 yards while completing 73.5% of his passes and averaging just shy of 10 yards per attempt. Tech put up 464 total yards in a 33-15 win over Virginia in the season-finale, the most productive game for the offense in six weeks. - Roanoke Times


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2022 QB Braxton BurmeisterVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  03/11/21 - Amare BarnorJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-5, 235 (DS#6 DE) + More +

  Virginia Tech co-defensive line coach Bill Teerlinck is excited to see what Amare Barno does for an encore. Barno was an immediate playmaker for the Hokies last fall at defensive end, a position that Teerlinck joked he had been at "for all of 10 minutes." The junior college transfer came to Blacksburg as an outside linebacker and redshirted in 2019. He wowed coaches with the plays he made in practice and in a few brief appearances late in the season on special teams.

Tech coach Justin Fuente and defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton thought the fastest way to get Barno on the field last season would be to shift him over to defensive end, and that was very much the case. Barno moved into the starting lineup midway through the season, and ended up leading the ACC with 16 tackles for loss (the most for a Tech defensive lineman since Woody Baron in 2016). "I knew the kid had a chance, I knew he was going to make plays," Teerlinck said on Wednesday. "How fast he made them? Might have surprised me a little bit." Teerlinck had good reason to be surprised. - Roanoke Times


(DS#6 DE) rJr/2022 DE Amare BarnoVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here


  Dax Hollifield is likely the next man up in the middle of Tech's defense. He has 182 career tackles (70 solo) with 14.5 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions. He's a proven playmaker and now gets the chance to play the position he was recruited at. That opens up the full-time job on the outside for Alan Tisdale, who has come off the bench for much of his career. - Roanoke Times

(DS#23 OLB) Jr/2022 OLB Dax HollifieldVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  02/18/21 - Changa HodgerSr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 200 (DS#64 WR) + More +

  Villanova grad transfer Changa Hodge was one of six super seniors who took advantage of the extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. Hodge arrived in Blacksburg coming off a spectacular junior season with 65 receptions for 1,118 yards and 13 touchdowns. Hodge never really got an opportunity to showcase his pass catching skills after getting a delayed start in the fall from signing late and going through COVID-19 protocols. He played 142 offensive snaps and was only targeted six times (five of those came in the last two games). The coaching staff encouraged Hodge to come back and are optimistic that his slight uptick in production at the end of the season was a sign of things to come for 2021. - Roanoke Times

(DS#64 WR) rSr/2022 WR Changa HodgeVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  02/17/21 - James MitchellJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-3, 242 (DS#8 TE) + More +

  Virginia Tech fans witnessed a string of high-profile departures from the team in December. Starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw announced he was leaving early for the NFL, defensive stalwarts Rayshard Ashby and Jarrod Hewitt opted to pass on the COVID-related extra year of eligibility from the NCAA and multiple starters transferred. Fans grew increasingly anxious about what starting tight end James Mitchell was going to do as they counted down the days to 2021. Mitchell posted a video on social media to announce he was coming back on Dec. 29, but told reporters on Tuesday that he had already made up his mind a week earlier.

Mitchell said it was a pretty straight forward process that started with putting his name into the NFL college advisory committee for feedback. He also sat down with his family and had multiple meetings with various Tech coaches from head coach Justin Fuente to defensive line coach Bill Teerlinck, who has maintained strong ties with NFL personnel. - Roanoke Times


(DS#8 TE) Jr/2022 TE James MitchellVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  02/12/21 - Devin TaylorrSr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-1, 200 (DS#46 CB) + More +

  Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton isn't sure where Devin Taylor will line up this fall. Taylor was one of six Tech players to take advantage of the NCAA granting all fall student-athletes an extra year of eligibility. He signed with the Hokies in late August as a grad transfer from Illinois State. The defender arrived on campus as Tech was wrapping up fall camp and wasn't cleared to practice until he went through COVID-19 protocols. He was a former third-team All-FCS corner - he had 24 passes defended with five interceptions in 2020 - but he didn't end up spending much time at the position once he got to Blacksburg. - Roanoke Times

(DS#46 CB) rSr/2022 CB Devin TaylorVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here


  Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente's philosophy with his quarterbacks going into spring camp for much of his tenure has been to let them "put the ball down and go compete." This year might be a little different. Braxton Burmeister is the lone quarterback on the roster with any significant experience and will open spring camp in March with a sizable advantage over the rest of the room including Connor Blumrick, the Texas A&M quarterback transfer the Hokies added to the roster in January. Blumrick has played in 18 games, but his lone pass attempt came in 2018.

The focus for Burmeister will be building on the momentum he established at the end of the season, helping Tech win 33-15 over Virginia to bring the Commonwealth Cup back to Blacksburg. Burmeister was 15 of 22 (68.2%) for 212 yards with a touchdown in the win and also ran for 36 yards. He threw for 687 total passing yards (57.1%) in four starts with two touchdowns and one interception. He had 182 rushing yards (4.0 ypc) with a pair of touchdowns. - Roanoke Times


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2022 QB Braxton BurmeisterVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  02/09/21 - Devon HunterrJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 227 (DS#999 SS) + More +

  Suspended Virginia Tech defender Devon Hunter's case is moving forward. A trial is set in Montgomery County Circuit Court for Aug. 30-31, according to his attorney Patrick Kenney. Kenney declined to comment on the case. A grand jury in January indicted Hunter on a felony charge of strangulation to cause wound or injury. Hunter is also facing a separate misdemeanor assault and battery of a family member charge, but that's considered an ancillary misdemeanor and will move forward in the same manner as the felony offense. - Roanoke Times

(DS#999 SS) rJr/2022 SS Devon HunterVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

  01/17/21 - Brock HoffmanrJr/2022, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 317 (DS#25 C) + More +

  Virginia Tech center Brock Hoffman announced he will be back with the Hokies for the 2021 season on Friday night. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Hoffman spent the last few weeks evaluating the feedback and projections he received from NFL scouts. Hoffman had scouts tell him he could go as early as the third round in this year's draft while others weren't quite optimistic and gave him a day three grade. He also put in for feedback from the official NFL draft advisory committee, but their evaluation is limited to first round, second round and return to school. - Roanoke Times

(DS#25 C) rJr/2022 C Brock HoffmanVirginia Tech
News Source: Roanoke Times
Share/Comment: Here

Previous 15 Notes |Back to Page One| Next 15 Notes


 BACK TO TOP


 Virginia Tech Football Videos

 Buy Draft Scout Weekly


** Draft Scout Data **

(Everything Online PLUS)

 Support Draft Scout

The Database Engine for NFLDraftScout.com, Draft Scout is being repurposed...Support the Future Development of ScoutNation.com...

 




 Draft Scout Archives


** 2010-2019 Draft Scout Archives **

(Yearly Player Data Exports, Prospect Lists & More)

 Draft Scout Future

100% Dedicated and Never Done
80% Innovated
45% Hidden
35% Built

Synergization