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Virginia Tech Hokies Fall 2020 Football Roster Review

It’s about that time of the year. We are about to embark on the great 2020 Roster Review, and continue to pray that it’s even going to be relevant. Bryan and I will be doing podcasts to match up with each position subgroup but for now, we’ll just cover the general roster the old fashioned way. GO HOKIES!!!

Getting Ready for 2019, will the stands be that empty for 2020?
John Schneider - SB Nation

The first and most important thing to note in this introduction to the Fall 2020 Roster Review is that we might all be wasting our time, here. The 2020 football season is still in limbo and completely up to the powers that be in Richmond. Take a look at the letter sent out, yesterday, by the athletic department’s External Operations office. There is just not much to go on as to whether or not there will even be a season. Even the AD’s office is preparing for the worst, if it happens.

With all of that in mind, the following roster review has a sort of tragic element to it. If the season doesn’t happen, or if it’s seriously crippled by onerous regulations and demands, a season might not even be worth having and the young men on this list will be set back an entire year in their careers, plans, and goals. It will also mean a potentially crippling loss of revenue for an Athletic Program that is just now beginning to turn the financial corner on the Money part of the Championship equation. (M+P)*N=T - Remember?

So, with an abundance of hope, we start into the general review and give you a sorted table of the currently listed roster from Hokie Sports. (Note: We prefer to work from official publications from the Athletic Department, via HokieSports whenever possible.)

Fall 2020 Virginia Tech Hokies Football Team ed

17 Divine Deablo DB 6-3 223 R-Sr. Winston-Salem, N.C.
18 Tyree Rodgers DB 6-1 180 R-Sr. Camden, N.J.
3 Caleb Farley DB 6-2 207 R-Jr. Hickory, N.C.
7 Devon Hunter DB 6 227 R-Jr. Chesapeake, Va.
22 Chamarri Conner DB 6 211 Jr. Jacksonville, Fla.
28 Jermaine Waller DB 6-1 180 Jr. Washington, D.C.
37 Brion Murray DB 5-10 190 Jr. Milford, Del.
12 Nadir Thompson DB 5-10 188 R-So. Rocky Mount, N.C.
27 Armani Chatman DB 5-11 195 R-So. Virginia Beach, Va.
30 Tyler Matheny DB 6-1 202 R-So. Fairfax, Va.
31 Nasir Peoples DB 6 195 R-So. Abington, Pa.
32 Hunter Green DB 6-1 190 R-So. Knoxville, Tenn.
39 Byron Whitehead DB 6-3 197 So. Newark, N.J.
19 J.R. Walker DB 6 207 R-Fr. Elizabeth City, N.C.
20 Ny'Quee Hawkins DB 6 195 R-Fr. Orange, N.J.
47 John Ransom DB 5-11 177 R-Fr. Chesapeake, Va.
49 Ed Robinson DB 5-6 162 R-Fr. Mechanicsville, Va.
36 DaShawn Crawford DL 6 290 Sr. Bay Springs, Miss.
93 Mario Kendricks DL 6 293 So. Kissimmee, Fla.
96 Norell Pollard DL 6 265 So. Apopka, Fla.
5 Jarrod Hewitt DL 6-1 288 R-Sr. Venice, Fla.
8 Emmanuel Belmar DL 6-2 245 R-Sr. Suwanee, Ga.
46 Eli Adams DL 5-11 240 R-So. Rock Hill, S.C.
94 Nigel Simmons DL 6-2 231 R-So. Newport News, Va.
13 Zion Debose DL 6-1 246 R-Jr. Salisbury, N.C.
41 Jaylen Griffin DL 6-1 260 R-Jr. Rome, Ga.
45 TyJuan Garbutt DL 6-1 238 R-Jr. Fredericksburg, Va.
92 Jaden Cunningham DL 6-2 306 R-Jr. Lithonia, Ga.
58 Josh Fuga DL 6-2 308 R-Fr. Woodbridge, Va.
99 Maxx Philpott DL 6 297 R-Fr. Salem, Va.
95 Derrell Bailey Jr. DL 6-6 255 Fr. Greenback, Tenn.
93 Brian Johnson K 6-1 191 R-Sr. Washington, D.C.
96 John Parker Romo K 5-11 170 Sr. Peachtree City, Ga.
92 Mark Applegate K 5-11 155 R-Fr. Fairfax, Va.
99 Justin Pollock LS 6-2 235 R-Fr. Amelia County, Va.
97 Oscar Shadley LS 6 246 Jr. Naples, Fla.
91 Oscar Bradburn P 6-1 221 Sr. Sydney, Australia
55 Austin Rosa LB 5-10 213 Gr. Reading, Pa.
23 Rayshard Ashby LB 5-10 237 Sr. Chesterfield, Va.
38 Amari Barno LB 6-6 235 R-Jr. Blythewood, S.C.
4 Dax Hollifield LB 6-1 232 Jr. Shelby, N.C.
15 Keshon Artis LB 6 235 R-So. Chesapeake, Va.
34 Alan Tisdale LB 6-3 220 R-So. Greensboro, N.C.
35 Matt Johnson LB 6 210 R-Fr. Glen Allen, Va.
40 Ben Skinner LB 6-1 215 R-Fr. Spotsylvania, Va.
43 Michael Peterson LB 6-1 215 R-Fr. Fort Mill, S.C.
47 Dean Ferguson LB 6-2 228 R-Fr. Sterling, Va.
50 Tre Maxwell LB 6 205 R-Fr. Centreville, Va.
79 Tyrell Smith OL 6-3 308 Gr. North Brunswick, N.J.
52 Austin Cannon OL 6-2 323 R-Sr. Mechanicsville, Va.
71 T.J. Jackson OL 6-6 359 R-Sr. Cumberland, Va.
75 Zachariah Hoyt OL 6-5 305 R-Sr. Salem, Va.
54 Lecitus Smith OL 6-3 316 R-Jr. Fitzgerald, Ga.
60 Silas Dzansi OL 6-5 325 R-Jr. Woodbridge, Va.
76 Brock Hoffman OL 6-3 316 R-Jr. Statesville, N.C.
77 Christian Darrisaw OL 6-5 311 Jr. Upper Marlboro, Md.
58 Walker Culver OL 6-6 300 R-So. Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
69 Luke Tenuta OL 6-7 315 R-So. Crozet, Va.
61 Bryan Hudson OL 6-4 315 So. Georgetown, Ky.
74 Doug Nester OL 6-6 315 So. Huntington, W.Va.
72 Jesse Hanson OL 6-5 301 R-Fr. Blue Ridge, Va.
70 Parker Clements OL 6-7 270 Fr. Lugoff, S.C.
2 Hendon Hooker QB 6-4 228 R-Jr. Greensboro, N.C.
3 Braxton Burmeister QB 6-1 210 R-Jr. La Jolla, Calif.
4 Quincy Patterson II QB 6-4 245 R-So. Chicago, Ill.
6 Trevor Jackson QB 6-3 187 R-Fr. Leesburg, Va.
12 Knox Kadum QB 6-3 185 R-Fr. Rome, Ga.
26 Khalil Herbert RB 5-9 205 Gr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
13 Jalen Holston RB 5-11 218 Sr. Stockbridge, Ga.
24 Terius Wheatley RB 6 190 R-Jr. Ann Arbor, Mich.
29 Marco Lee RB 5-11 225 Jr. Columbus, Ga.
43 Cole Beck RB 6-1 202 R-So. Blacksburg, Va.
35 Keshawn King RB 5-11 182 So. Orange Park, Fla.
38 Nashun Overton RB 6-1 157 R-Fr. Suffolk, Va.
39 Tahj Gary RB 5-8 221 R-Fr. Atlanta, Ga.
44 J'Wan Evans RB 5-10 180 R-Fr. Philadelphia, Pa.
21 Raheem Blackshear RB 5-9 192 Fr. Philadelphia, Pa.
82 James Mitchell TE 6-3 252 Jr. Big Stone Gap, Va.
41 Ty Eller TE 6-2 223 R-Jr. Newton, N.C.
42 Cole Blaker TE 6-3 250 R-Jr. Narrows, Va.
89 Drake DeIuliis TE 6-5 250 R-Jr. Charlotte, N.C.
86 Nick Gallo TE 6-4 242 So. Richboro, Pa.
90 Sam Brooks TE 6-2 210 R-Fr. Rockville, Va.
No Num Evan Fairs WR 6-3 205 Gr. Fulshear, Texas
97 Keondre Banks WR 5-11 185 R-Sr. Raleigh, N.C.
11 Tre Turner WR 6-2 190 Jr. Greensboro, N.C.
16 Darryle Simmons WR 6-2 212 R-So. Philadelphia, Pa.
34 Tink Boyd WR 5-10 180 R-So. Chesterfield, Va.
40 Travis Williams WR 6-3 212 R-So. Lorton, Va.
45 Jacob Van Landingham WR 5-11 203 R-So. Franklin, Tenn.
80 Kaleb Smith WR 6-2 207 R-So. Bumpass, Va.
83 Tayvion Robinson WR 5-10 186 So. Virginia Beach, Va.
9 Luke Bussel WR 6-1 210 R-Fr. Chesapeake, Va.
48 Nikia Peerman WR 6-3 176 R-Fr. Gladys, Va.
49 William Kakavitsas WR 6-1 175 R-Fr. Charlotte, N.C.
85 Jaden Payoute WR 6-1 206 R-Fr. Chesterfield, Va.
88 Elijah Bowick WR 6-1 216 R-Fr. Charlotte, N.C.
94 Conner Dusenbury WR 6 175 R-Fr. Richmond, Va.
The 2020 Team by Position and Class

In general, you will notice some interesting things that have been rare in the past roster reviews. The first is that there are four graduates on the roster; Linebacker Austin Rosa, Offensive Lineman Tyrell Smith, Runningback Khalil Herbert, and Wide Receiver Evan Fairs (who doesn’t even have a number listed, yet). Herbert and Fairs are graduate transfers from the University of Kansas. Austin Rosa is a Redshirt Senior transfer from Rutgers. We all know and love Tyrell Smith because he’s all Hokie. Tyrell graduated, but last season was injured, early, and received a medical redshirt. He’s back in action this Fall.

The other interesting thing about this roster is the other end of things; namely, we have a grand total of three true Freshmen in the program; Defensive Lineman Derrell Bailey Jr., Offensive Lineman Parker Clements, and Runningback Raheem Blackshear. This low number of true Freshmen is a direct reflection of the low number of scholarships and empty roster slots coming out of the 2019 season. This isn’t as dire as it might seem since we are stoked with Redshirt Freshmen with a whopping 26 on the roster. We also have 26 Redshirt Sophomores and true Sophomores. That’s 52 positions filled by players with experience and loads of eligibility remaining. The reality is that the Hokies are, again, going to be young. The other reality is that this young team is experienced. They have played through the tough times of 2017, 2018, and the bumpy grind of 2019. Most of them have time on the field, or know their support roles well (if they are scout team players).

This roster says that the Virginia Tech Hokies of 2020 are a team right on the cusp of making a major turn into a long term stretch run. The why of it is that the core players of the team (the 1’s and 2’s on the depth chart) all have game experience in high pressure situations. They’ve had to overcome failure, and deal with mismatches in experience level and conditioning. This team has everything good ahead of it.

One thing that might be useful for all Hokie fans to internalize and accept is that the old game of 5 year scholarship commitments is at an end, not just for Virginia Tech, but for most programs, even the elite. The court ordered Transfer policy and its portal response will forever change personnel management in college football, until the NCAA changes college football at a conceptual level. It looks like the coaching staff has come to terms with the Transfer Portal, and is looking to go ahead and use it to our advantage.

We will be breaking down each of the position groupings in articles accompanied by podcasts. It’s going to be interesting and fun. We’ll keep the positive energy up, and hopefully by September and the kickoff at lane we’ll be covering and the stadium will have enough fans to keep the noise level up there.

First up will be the Running Back situation, we’ll check back with Nate’s article, and do some of our own deep diving. It’s a position that’s been in a sort of doldrums performance wise, and changing that will be a real key to winning from now on.