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Virginia Tech DE Jake Johnson to Transfer

Jake-a-mania is no more.

Rising junior Jake Johnson, who lost his starting job at the "backer" linebacker position in the middle of last season has decided to transfer, according to Norm Wood of the Newport News Daily Press:

Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 232-pound native of Fredericksburg, has to be a particularly disappointing loss for the Hokies. After spurning scholarship offers from U.Va. and Maryland in 2007 to accept one from Tech, Johnson quickly gained a reputation that summer at Tech's recruiting camp as a physical specimen with the potential to be far better than many recruiting analysts figured he'd be (he was considered by many analysts to be among the nation's top 125 linebackers).

Johnson was replaced by Lyndell Gibson during the loss to North Carolina and played sparingly the rest of the season with Gibson starting at backer the rest of the season. He was a fan-favorite entering the 2009 season, but his struggles in pass defense eventually forced him down the depth chart.

Johnson moved to defensive end during spring practice to improve the depth at the position following the losses of Jason Worilds and Nekos Brown after last year. Johnson did not accumulate any stats during the spring game.

The loss means the Hokies will have to look elsewhere for depth at defensive end behind presumptive starters Steven Friday and converted tight end Chris Drager. Most of the remaining defensive ends are younger players, including freshmen J.R. Collins, Duan Perez-Means and James Gayle. Sophomore Isaiah Hamlette will also compete for playing time.

Wood reports rising junior wide receiver Patrick Terry will also transfer.

(H/T: NatP0wers posted this info here before the story became official.)