Today is June 2, 2019, which means we are officially 90 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. In today’s edition of our countdown, we take a look back at number 90, Jeff King, who was a Hokie from 2001-2005
King, a 6’5”, 253-pound tight end from nearby Pulaski County High School in Dublin, arrived in Blacksburg in 2001 and would redshirt his first season on campus.
As a Cougar, King played in a Wing-T offense led by legendary high school coach Joel Hicks. King would not only star at tight end, being named an All-AAA first-team selection his senior season, he also sacked opposing quarterbacks eight times as a defensive end.
After redshirting in 2001, King played in all 14 games in 2001. He caught only pass, but it happened to be a 19-yard touchdown. He showed his outstanding blocking ability and also became a standout on special teams. He became one of many Hokies to block a kick, as he blocked a field goal in a win over Western Michigan.
In 2003, King became a bigger part of the offense. He played in all 13 games and made two starts. He caught six passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. His ability as a blocker was a crucial part of the offense that featured Kevin Jones at tailback and Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick under center. King also blocked another field goal in 2003 and also was named offensive team MVP in the spring.
In 2004, Tech’s first year in the ACC, King was named the most valuable player in spring practice. King would go on to become the full-time starter at tight end, establishing a nice rapport with Randall on a team that would win the ACC. He caught 25 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns. He also led the team in special teams snaps, too. After the season, King would also happen to play in 16 games for the men’s basketball team under former coach Seth Greenberg.
Finally, as a senior in 2005, King again played in all 13 games, catching 26 passes for 292 yards and six touchdowns. King again provided the stellar blocking Hokie Nation was accustomed to and developed into an NFL prospect. When King left Blacksburg, he held the school record for touchdown receptions by a tight end and also blocked three kicks.
King became a fifth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2006 NFL Draft. He would play four seasons for the Panthers before signing a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals, where King would play three more seasons. He finished his NFL career with 156 receptions for 1,323 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was among the league’s top blocking tight ends during his seven-year NFL career and also was a nice red-zone target for his quarterbacks.
These days, King is currently living in Illinois and is a pro scout for the Chicago Bears.
King was a terrific player for the Hokies. He was the perfect tight end in the sense that he was a true two-way player. He was one of the best blocking tight ends in school history and his presence encouraged coaching to involve the tight end more in the offense.
So, Hokies, what’s your favorite memory of King?