Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente spoke at this week’s ACC Kickoff in Charlotte and expressed excitement about the upcoming season.
Fuente also talked about several other topics, such as position changes. The head coach talked about redshirt freshman Wilfried Pene moving to defensive end, which we discussed earlier this week. Another freshman is on the move, as Jack Hollifield — Dax’s little brother — is now an offensive lineman, specifically at center.
Pene’s move to defensive end is almost out of necessity, although coaches were intrigued with him there earlier this year. Depth could be an issue at both defensive end and defensive tackle after the recent departures of Alec Bryant and Robert Wooten.
Another player fans are excited about is freshman Keli Lawson. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete from Sherando High in Stephens City will begin his career at wide receiver.
“We can see that there’s something there. He’s a long kid that’s athletic, but what is he? What he’s going to play?” Fuente said, per Andy Bitter of The Athletic. “I told the staff, we will offer him and figure it out.
Fuente noted how he watched some basketball film of Lawson and just had to try him at wideout first.
Another topic of discussion was safety Devon Hunter. Hunter, who was suspended last season, is back this fall competing at safety.
“I feel like I have a really good handle on Devon Hunter’s character from what I’ve seen from him every single day for whatever it is, the last three or four years,” Fuente said.
It truly does speak of what Fuente thinks of Hunter because he has had a zero-tolerance policy with some off-field issues in the past.
Fuente also spoke about NIL (name, image, likeness).
Fuente thinks the #Hokies are uniquely positioned in this era of NIL: "We are the No. 1 sports brand in the commonwealth of Virginia."— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) July 21, 2021
While I am certain Virginia fans would have an issue with Fuente’s statement, football is always king, regardless of a team’s record.
It was refreshing to get some answers from Fuente after what seemed like a long offseason. James Mitchell, Braxton Burmeister and Chamarri Conner also spoke to the media at the ACC Kickoff.