Today is July 24, 2019, which means we are officially just 38 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. For No. 38, it really came down to two guys: Shyrone Stith and Rick Razzano.
Stith was a terrific running back for the Hokies during his time. He probably never receives enough credit for how good of a player he was during his time at Virginia Tech. However, his 1999 season was outstanding and he was an ideal complement to quarterback Michael Vick that season.
But Razzano set records that will likely never be broken. He arrived in Blacksburg in 1974 from New Castle, Pa., where he helped lead his team to a state championship during his senior season. Once he arrived on campus, he wasted no time forcing his way into the lineup.
Razzano made an immediate impact, leading the Hokies in tackles as a freshman in 1974, finishing the season with 165 tackles. He followed that season up with an insane 177 tackles as a sophomore. In 1976, Razzano once again led the Hokies with 140 tackles and wrapped up his career in 1977 with 152 tackles. He earned first-team All-South honors in both 1976 and 1977.
So, for those keeping score, Razzano finished his Virginia Tech career with 634 career tackles. That is obviously a school record and one that will likely never be broken. Razzano averaged 158.5 tackles per season for his career. While the Hokies have had some outstanding linebacker play over the years, Scott Hill did tie Razzano’s single-season record of 177 tackles in 1987, Razzano has four of the top seven seasons in Virginia Tech history in individual tackles.
Razzano also holds the single-game record of 30 tackles in a game. He reached that number against Kentucky in 1977. He is also Tech’s all-time leader in unassisted tackles for a game, season and career.
Rarely does a true freshman come right in and lead his team in tackles. Razzano did just that and led the Hokies in tackles all four years.
After his fantastic collegiate career ended, Razzano played two years for the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL. After 23 games in the CFL, he landed with the Cincinnati Bengals where he would play five years, appearing in 65 games, making 10 starts. He was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Razzano play. But the stories I’ve heard about him during his time in Blacksburg are legendary.
As for our countdown, it’s been a good week in terms of some of the best linebackers in school history.