The next time someone mentions how the NCAA transfer portal is ruining college football, remember the name of Khalil Herbert.
Two years ago, Virginia Tech fans complained about all of the former Hokies entering the transfer portal. No one wanted to be a Hokie anymore, and this wasn’t happening anywhere else.
Fast forward two years, and it’s happening everywhere. Not only in football, but in basketball, too. It’s the new normal. And those who embrace it and learn to navigate the transfer portal are the ones who could benefit the most.
That leads us back to Herbert.
After beginning his career at Kansas, Herbert played in 10 games for the Hokies in 2020, rushing over 1,182 yards and eight touchdowns. Herbert didn’t just grind out the tough yards; he was a big-play threat as well, having finished second in college football with the 50-yard runs. He also averaged almost eight yards per attempt.
Herbert proved he could be a reliable receiver and punt returner, too, traits that will help him at the next level.
At Virginia Tech’s pro day last Friday, Herbert posted some tremendous numbers, especially in the 40-yard dash and 3-cone drill.
On Tuesday, Herbert joined the popular NFL show Good Morning Football on the NFL Network and discussed his draft prospects and his brief stay in Blacksburg.
Herbert explained why his year with the Hokies was so successful.
“I say the opportunity. The coaching staff, my teammates, they brought me in, loved on me, but they believed in me,” Herbert said. “They showed me they trusted me. Trusted me as a running back, kick returner and receiver.”
"They call me juice for a reason so I gotta get everybody going."— GMFB (@gmfb) March 30, 2021
We had some fun with @NFLDraft prospect, RB Khalil Herbert (@JuiceHerbert)!
We talk about his Pro Day performance, how his kick returns will improve his draft chances, being born with extra fingers/toes and more! pic.twitter.com/kdcnsJeYsX
Two players Herbert said he looked up to were NFL legends LaDainian Tomlinson and Tiki Barber. Herbert wore the No. 21 jersey in honor of Tomlinson, his favorite all-time player.
“I watched a lot of film of Tomlinson growing up, and Tiki Barber,” Herbert said.
An interesting fact about Herbert that came up in the interview — he was born with two extra fingers and one extra toe.
How did we not know this in 2020?
After a strong senior season with Virginia Tech and a good showing at the Senior Bowl and on pro day, Herbert certainly looks like he could be a steal for someone in the 2021 NFL draft.
Give the interview a watch. Herbert certainly represents himself and Virginia Tech very well. I know we are partial, but Herbert will make an offensive extremely happy in 2021, and it won’t come at the premium price of a Najee Harris or Travis Etienne.