Today is August 20, 2019, which means we are officially just 11 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. Yesterday, we profiled Maurice DeShazo, who is one of the better, and sometimes most underappreciated quarterbacks in the history of Virginia Tech.
For No. 11, we look back at former Hokie linebacker, Xavier Adibi. Adibi came to Virginia Tech back in 2003 after a standout high-school career at Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va. Adibi helped lead his high school to two straight championships in his junior and senior seasons, including an amazing performance in the 2002 state championship game where he rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns.
Adibi was a prized four-star recruit in the class of 2003, joining other future Hokie standouts like Chris Ellis, Vince Hall, David Clowney and his high-school teammate, DJ Parker. The 6’2”, 205-pound linebacker chose the Hokies over a host of offers.
Adibi redshirted his first season on campus in 2003, as the Hokies had some good players in front of him in Mikal Baquee, Brandon Manning and James Anderson. Those players returned in 2004, but there was no way Bud Foster and the Hokies weren’t going to carve out a role for Adibi. He would make his debut in the season-opener at FedEx Field against USC but was injured and missed several games. Adibi made his return in a Thursday night win over Georgia Tech and looked the part of a future star. Adibi was all over the field for the Hokies, leading them in tackles with eight and also finished with two sacks and a forced fumble. His sack late in the game iced the win for Virginia Tech.
Adibi would play behind the veterans throughout the rest of the season, but he saw the field often. He played in a total of seven games, had 25 tackles, 4.5 for loss and two sacks.
He would move into the starting lineup in 2005, finishing fourth on the team with 69 tackles, including seven for loss, three sacks and two interceptions. Adibi was the perfect linebacker for Bud Foster’s defense. He was fast, instinctive, could rush the passer or drop into coverage and wreak havoc in the passing game.
As a junior in 2006, Adibi would finish second on the team in tackles with 82, including 6.5 for loss, three sacks, three interceptions and forced two fumbles. He would be named to the All-ACC second team after the season.
Adibi’s senior season in 2007 was one of the best individual seasons for a linebacker in school history. He led the team with 115 tackles, including 12 for loss, three sacks and two interceptions. He was named to the All-ACC first team and won some All-American honors, too. The Hokies ended the season as ACC champions for the third time in five seasons.
After his college career ended, Adibi would become a fourth-round pick of the Houston Texans in the 2008 NFL Draft. He would spend three seasons with the Texans and one with the Minnesota Vikings before injuries took a toll. Adibi would spend some of 2012 with the Chicago Bears and part of 2013 with the Tennessee Titans before his playing career ended.
Adibi would join the coaching ranks in recent seasons. He spent time at Garden City Community College in Kansas as a linebackers coach before moving on to a defensive analyst role with the Arkansas Razorbacks for the 2018 season. He received another promotion last December as he was hired as the defensive coordinator for Texas A&M Commerce. As quickly as Adibi is moving up in the coaching ranks perhaps it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended up back in Blacksburg in some capacity in the future.
Adibi and Vince Hall will be remembered as one of the best pairs of linebackers in school history. They were outstanding together and led some really terrific defenses during that stretch from 2004-2007. Don’t be surprised when at some point in the future, Adibi earns his spot in the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.