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Virginia Tech football: 67 days til kickoff with a look back at Don Thacker

Thacker was a part of a terrific defense in 1967.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl - Virginia Tech v Tennessee Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Today is June 25, 2019, which means we are officially just 67 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. Yesterday, we profiled former Hokie offensive lineman, Jaymes Brooks, a two-time All-ACC selection for the Hokies during one of the most successful periods in school history.

Today, for day 67, we go back to the defensive side of the ball and remember Don Thacker.

Thacker played for the Hokies during the mid-1960s, specifically during the 1965-1967 seasons. He was a defensive tackle on a squad that featured some pretty good football players and a living legend. On that defense, the Hokies had linebacker Mike Widger, defensive end George Foussekis and defensive back Frank Loria. Each of those three were All-Americans and all have a spot in the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

The most famous Hokie is Frank Beamer. He, too, was on that team.

The most unsung Hokie from those teams was probably Don Thacker. Playing inside at defensive tackle, Thacker did a lot of the dirty work while Foussekis got to the quarterback and Widger chased down ballcarriers all over the field. It was Thacker taking on double teams and forcing opposing runners outside. Thacker was your typical hard-nosed, tough-as-nails player during that era.

In his senior season of 1967, Thacker’s stellar play received national recognition as he was selected as an honorable mention All-American. Most people won’t remember that defense and how great it was because of the era, however, it will always be remembered as one of the best in school history, especially in the pre-Bud Foster era.

Do any Hokies have any memories from that era? If so, we’d love to hear them.