cornerback Stephan Virgil is academically ineligible following the fall semester
and will not participate in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Tennessee. This means
that Virgil’s Virginia Tech playing career is over, and he will begin preparing
for the East-West Shrine Bowl in January, and the NFL Draft in April.
Virgil, the Hokies most experienced cornerback, has been slowed by a knee
injury all season long. He hurt his knee on the last play of the opener against
Alabama, missed the Marshall and Nebraska games, and returned to start all nine
remaining games. Upon his return, Virgil switched from his boundary cornerback
position to the less-physical field cornerback position. Rashad Carmichael
manned the boundary corner.
Virgil had one interception and one pass breakup this season, after
registering six picks and four breakups last season.
It’s unclear how the Hokies will compensate for Virgil’s absence. The Roanoke Times reports that the Hokies are expected to start Eddie Whitley at the field cornerback spot, while the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that defensive backs coach Torrian Gray says that Virgil’s replacement would be Cris Hill or Jayron Hosley, depending upon who performs better in practice. The Lynchburg News-Advance says that Hill or Whitley will be the replacement.
Virgil has battled to stay academically eligible his entire VT career. In
both of the last two springs, he practiced only on Saturdays, so he could focus
on academics during the week. His talent at the cornerback position is
remarkable, considering how much practice time he missed during the spring, the
most valuable teaching time in college football.
Virgil has been diagnosed with an unspecified learning disability, but he
refuses to classify it as such, telling Daryl Slater of the Richmond
Times-Dispatch, “It’s not a disability. I just call it a difference. I
just learn different from everybody. If it was a disability, I would have a
handicapped sticker on my car.”
Virgil had his knee cleaned in minor arthroscopic surgery recently, and will
play in the January 23rd East-West Shrine Bowl in Orlando.
Hokies Sell Out Chick-fil-A Bowl Tickets
Virginia Tech has announced that it has sold out its allotment of tickets for
the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Tennessee. The Hokies sold 17,000 tickets
through their ticket office. The game is a sellout for the 13th year in a row.