Kyle Tucker of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot broke two stories Monday concerning possible Hokie entries into the NFL.
Tucker reported that cornerback Victor “Macho” Harris has reversed course and decided to stay for his senior
season, while running back Branden Ore will file papers with the NFL to make himself draft eligible. Ore may not be
wanted back by the Virginia Tech coaches, according to his high school coach.
First, the Macho Harris news: Harris text messaged defensive backs coach Torrian Gray Monday to tell Gray that he,
Harris, will return for his senior season. Harris will enroll for Spring semester classes, which started Monday. There
were no quotes from Harris.
situation is more complicated and is still up in the air. According to his high school coach, Elisha
“Cadillac” Harris of Indian River High School, Ore will file paperwork with the NFL to make himself eligible
for the draft (the deadline for declaration is Tuesday, January 15th). The reason? The Virginia Tech coaches might not
want Ore back after his recent involvement in a crack cocaine possession case (Friend of Ore found guilty — The Roanoke Times, 1/11/08).
Although the recent court case was the reason given for Ore’s return being unsure, Ore has a history of not
dedicating himself fully to the Virginia Tech football program. As a redshirt freshman in 2005, he showed great talent
but was given limited playing time for “off the field” issues. He rushed for 647 yards and six touchdowns on
109 carries, for a 5.9 yards per carry average. Ore took Spring semester 2006 off and rededicated himself, then had a
successful redshirt sophomore season in 2006, rushing for 1,137 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns while averaging 4.7
yards per carry.
Ore was not enrolled at Tech for second Summer session classes last summer and did not work out with the team — a
rarity, especially for a player expected to be a key contributor. He turned in a disappointing 2007 season, averaging
just 3.7 yards a carry on his way to 992 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Virginia Tech coaches are deciding whether or not they want Ore to return for the 2008 season, so Ore filed
papers with the NFL, in case he has to go pro. Cadillac Harris said that he does not think Ore is enrolled for Spring
Ore has until Friday, January 18th, to withdraw his name from the draft, assuming he does not sign with an agent. If
he signs with an agent or receives benefits from an agent, he is no longer eligible to play college football.