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Virginia Tech football: Hokies feature ACC-high 6 players invited to NFL combine

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The Hokies have more players in Indianapolis than Clemson?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies finished Justin Fuente’s final season in Blacksburg with a record of 6-7. Fuente’s record was 5-5 when he was dismissed in November. A big issue for Virginia Tech over the last few seasons was a lack of depth, a boring and unimaginative offense and zero quarterback development.

One thing Virginia Tech did have was talent. That’s evidenced by the NFL inviting six former Hokies to the annual NFL combine, scheduled for the first week of March. No other ACC team had more players invited to the combine than Virginia Tech — even Clemson.

Wide receiver Tre Turner, offensive tackle Luke Tenuta, tight end James Mitchell, guard Lecitus Smith, defensive end Amare Barno and cornerback Jermaine Waller were Virginia Tech’s six representatives.

Defensive tackle Jordan Williams, guard/center Brock Hoffman and running back Raheem Blackshear were combine snubs, who could still impress NFL scouts with an impressive pro day in Blacksburg next month.

It’s an impressive group of Hokies heading to Indianapolis. Mitchell can’t participate in the on-field drills, but the interviews and team meetings are just as important. Anyone who has watched Mitchell knows his athleticism is not an issue. And he will crush those team meetings.

Barno has the size, length and athleticism NFL teams covet. A smart defensive coordinator will take a chance on Barno earlier than expected and look to find a specialized role for him.

Turner should’ve broken every Virginia Tech receiving record. Instead, he was wasted. It’s a crime how the previous coaching staff didn’t take advantage of players like Turner, Mitchell, Dalton Keene and Tayvion Robinson. Someone will get a steal with Turner in the draft.

Smith is an All-ACC performer at guard. When teams were watching Christian Darrisaw last season, they noticed Smith. Smith should be a day-one starter at guard.

Tenuta leaving was a bit of a surprise. His size and power will do him well in the NFL. Tenuta is an ideal right tackle in the NFL.

Waller is the latest Virginia Tech defensive back who will be drafted. Waller had some good moments this season, but he also had some issues, specifically in the Miami game. We know Waller can play when healthy. The combine will be important for him as teams will want to see his speed and short-area quickness in drills.

Good luck to all of the former Hokies at the combine.