Per pretty much every Virginia Tech beat writer on Twitter Nick Dew and Theron Norman are no longer with the football team and will presumably transfer. This was confirmed by a university spokesman.
No reason was given for the players' decision to leave the program, but you would have to think it comes down to playing time. For more on the players' impending transfers and what this means for the Hokies, keep reading after the jump.
According to this Andy Bitter story, Dew was the #4 Whip linebacker, behind Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (recovering from surgery on a lisfranc injury in his foot), Alonzo Tweedy and freshman Ronny Vandyke. Norman was #3 on the depth chart at the rover position behind Kyshoen Jarrett and Boye Aromire. Neither of them was likely to see much playing time this fall. However, Dew carved out a niche on special teams where Dew played 187 snaps a year ago (he also played 29 on defense). He may have featured on one of those units this season.
It appeared that the coaches had so little faith in Dew at the point of Alonzo Tweedy's injury that they tasked cornerback Kyle Fuller with replacing him and ran more of a nickel package defense. That trend continued over the course of the season, hindering Tech schematically and putting other inexperienced players on the field at cornerback, where the Hokies rely heavily on 1-on-1 single-man coverage.
Dew was a highly rated recruit for the Hokies in the 2010 class out of First Colonial HS in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was rated a 4-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals and a high 3-star prospect by Scout. ESPN and Rivals ranked him the #63 and #201 player in the nation respectively. Scout ranked him as the #39 safety prospect in the nation. He redshirted in 2010 and was given spot duty on defense after the injuries to the two players ahead of him on the depth chart.
Norman was a member of the 2009 recruiting class out of Hermatige HS in Richmond, Virginia, but did not join the Hokies until after prepping one year at Hargrave. He was not ranked overall nationally, but Rivals ranked him the #42 athlete in the country and the #18 player in the state, assigning him 3-star status. Scout rated him as a 2-star prospect while ranking him the #147 safety in the country. ESPN gave him a grade of 80 (which means absolutely nothing to me) and ranked him the #17 player nationally at his position...which ESPN failed to list on his recruit profile.
Dew finished his Virginia Tech career with 7 tackles in 14 games. Norman played in 3 career games, contributing 2 tackles. Dew and Norman were both rising redshirt-sophomores. While there is not a big loss of production with the departure of either player, it is a little depressing not to see how Nick Dew's career would've played out considering his lofty recruiting rankings (also considering I wrote a story about him and not rushing to judgement just days ago).
The one good piece from this is that it will now open up two scholarships for incoming players, and presumably deserving walk-on's who are seniors. Some attrition is always necessary in the game of college football, and this is the case here as well. The Hokies only graduate 27 scholarship players in the next two years, well below what they'd like to take in for the 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes, particularly considering the homegrown talent in those two classes.
At this point it has not been determined where the two players will transfer, but Gobbler Country will have an update on their destinations as soon as it is made available.