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Virginia Tech Hokie Football: News and Changes

The offseason is always time for the watch lists and the departures of players before Summer/Fall practice kicks in. Ryan Willis gets some eyeballs trained on him, Jimmie Taylor and Xavier Burke depart, House Gaines takes a break.

Spring Game 2019 warmups.
John Schneider - SB Nation

Watch List News

Ryan Willis has been placed on the Maxwell Award watch list. For those of you who think that he wasn’t the QB for the job, it seems some folks are disagreeing with you.

This is not a trivial list, and the 80 players named in preseason have definitely attracted positive attention. Good Luck to Ryan. Of course he has to win the starting job this season.


There is a no-fanfare sort of thing with this announcement. The new Virginia Tech Football Roster is out for the Fall 2019 Roster.

Per the Roanoke Times

Jimmie Taylor has been fighting an abdominal issue and it’s just not getting better. He’s hanging up his cleats and taking a medical retirement.

Xavier Burke tore an Achilles in the Pitt game, and didn’t practice in the Spring. He did graduate in May, so evidently he has decided to leave the program. No word on where he’s going or what he’s going to do. He has a year of eligibility remaining.

It’s always sad to see players go, and sometimes it’s even angering or frustrating. 2018 had too much of that sort of stuff.

It isn’t a departure for Houshun “House” Gaines, but it looks lie he’s taking the 2019 season off. He’s had a pretty tough time of it, losing his mother last season, and then the torn ACL just made things harder. Let’s hope that House gets it worked out and gets to feeling better. We’ll all be thinking about him and wish him well. “They” keep saying that 2020 is going to be an amazing year, maybe House will be back on the field for the Hokies to play in it.


This is an under appreciated award, sometimes. Collegiate Football Players are, after all, students, and it’s good to see a nice healthy list of those who put up good GPA numbers. Some of these folks have moved on, but all are to be congratulated.

Football Keshon Artis, Daniel Bailey, Cole Blaker, Oscar Bradburn, Sean Daniel, Sam Denmark, Coleman Fox, Brennon Garrison, Jaylen Griffin, Dax Hollifield, Zachariah Hoyt, Josh Jackson, Joe Kane, Gene Kastelberg, Connor Kish, Deshawn McClease, Vinny Mihota, James Mitchell, Yosuah Nijman, Bradley Parcell, Steven Peoples, Braxton Pfaff, Ishmiel Seisay, Tyrell Smith, Luke Tenuta, Zach Treser, Bryce Watts, Terius Wheatley

(BTW, check out the list in the link, there are lots of other sports with lots of names making the grade... congratulations to them all.)


The Playbook will be back with Special Teams Decisions tomorrow evening. With the new Roster, comes the chore of cutting it up and doing the roster reviews for the new season. The loss of House, Xavier, and Taylor are going to be issues for the depth chart. It’s also going to mean that we’ll see more of the freshmen in 2019.

As always!