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Virginia Tech football: It’s a big week for several draft-eligible Hokies

The Hokies have multiple players at the East-West Shrine Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NFL draft is still three months away, but the road to the draft opens this week. The Reese’s Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Bowl will hold practices this week, leading up to games on Thursday (East-West Shrine Bowl) and Saturday (Senior Bowl).

Both games will feature multiple former Virginia Tech stars. The Senior Bowl, held in Mobile, Alabama, is considered the premier showcase game for draft-eligible players. However, the game isn’t nearly as important as the week of practice in front of NFL coaches and scouts. Every NFL team is represented with the Jets and Lions’ coaching staffs on the sidelines this year.

The Hokies will have three players in the Senior Bowl. Wide receiver Tre Turner, guard Lecitus Smith and defensive end Amare Barno will all play for the American Team, coached by the Detroit Lions.

All three players will be drafted with Smith having a chance to contribute as a rookie in 2022.

As for the East-West Shrine Game, the Hokies will also have three players participating. Center/guard Brock Hoffman, offensive tackle Luke Tenuta and cornerback Jermaine Waller will all play for the East team.

The East-West Shrine Bowl will be played on Thursday, Feb. 3. The Reese’s Senior Bowl is set for Saturday, Feb. 5. The games usually take place on different weeks, giving a player in the East-West game an opportunity to be “called up” to participate in the Senior Bowl if injuries occur.

Hoffman, Tenuta and Waller should all be drafted. It should be a good year for the Hokies in the NFL draft.

We wish nothing but the best to each of these Hokies as they prepare to fulfill their lifelong dreams.