Attrition strikes the Hokies

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Lots of attrition has struck the Virginia Tech football program this weekend.  Three players have left the program, one is considering his future, one is done for medical reasons, one might be done for medical reasons, and another has given up football entirely.

Here’s the quick list…

Davion Tookes and Jarontay Jones

CB Davion Tookes , r-Fr. – Tookes is behind two true freshmen, plus sophomore Donovan Riley.  He is leaving the program, likely because he’s going to be buried on the depth chart for quite sometime.

DE Jarontay Jones , r-Fr. – The ultimate tweener, Jones wasn’t quick enough for defensive end or big enough for defensive tackle.  He is leaving the program.

CB Donaldven Manning , So. – For the second time in his career, Manning is taking time to consider his future with the program.  With true freshmen like Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller standing out, Manning’s future playing time is in doubt.

S Greg Jones, r-Fr. – The one-promising walkon is giving up football because of a shoulder injury.

OL Jake Goins , r-So. – Goins is contemplating his football future for medical reasons.

OL Adam Taraschke , r-Fr. – Taraschke has decided to give up football entirely.

DL Justin Taylor , r-So. – Like Jarontay Jones , Taylor is too much of a tweener to contribute.  He chose not to return to the team.

We’ll have more on the potential impact of these decisions soon.  However, it won’t be today.  Between Media Day and tonight’s scrimmage, there is a lot to do.  One note: Virginia Tech has been searching for a scholarship for r-freshman wide receiver Charley Meyer, and now they clearly have room.

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29 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I remember when I gave up high school football. One of the best players on the team was a good friend of mine, and I’ll never forget he said I looked good all dressed out. But I took a couple of wicked hits and realized football was not for me.

    College football is a step up, and some of these guys may just be realizing it’s not for them. Unwilling to go the whole nine yards, to sacrifice, to be looking up the depth chart despite a lot of effort.

    After what I went thru you’re not going to find me criticizing these guys. No, I’m going to sympathize.

    There will be guys who will step up to the plate with the chance they’ve gotten. That’s one of the fun things about football, is watching these unknowns develop.

    1. I get that. I gave up football in the 9th grade, for many reasons, not the least of which was that I was tired of the headaches. Literally, as in having a horrible splitting headache each day after practice. Suspect I may have had a concussion along the way and didn’t know it. I also didn’t have the “meanness” factor that you have to have to be successful. I don’t hold it against guys who make the decision to stop playing, that they feel the time they put toward it isn’t worth the rewards.

      The guys who leave because they don’t get to start in their r-Fr or r-So years, well…either they have to realize that they can hang around and push for a starting job their last two years, or go someplace they can start. I hate to see that happen, but as I mentioned elsewhere, I think we put the kids on a pedestal, and they expect they’ll be a star immediately.

  2. To those leaving the team, thanks for your sacrifice. It is a tough sport and it is too bad though that sometimes things just don’t work out. This is true in all things not just football. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

    I am especially sorry for those that are leaving due to injury. This is the toughest part of any sport; the talent is there but yet one hit and it can be gone. Hence, stressing education is imperative. I do hope to see you cheering on your teammates at the games.

    GO HOKIES!!!!!

    1. Good post. I hate to see things not work out as hoped for any kid who chooses VT. I wish all these guys nothing but the best.

      But at the same time, the sliver lining is that now we will have more scholarships available for the 2014 recruiting class, if we need them.

      Also, now a kid like Charley Meyer can get the scholarship that he clearly deserves.

    2. “To those leaving the team, thanks for your sacrifice.”

      …Sacrificing what exactly? They aren’t going to war as a draftee for ‘Nam.

      Giving up football to be a “regular student”? Welcome to the real world, then.

      I love Hokie football, but let’s not make this out to be more than that — they’re not “Sacrificing” anything. Let’s not put them up on a pedestal.

      1. But they did make some sacrifice even if was short. They gave a chunk of social life to play football. They sacrificed their body to more punishment than many of us may have ever experience. And they sacrificed their chance for a “free” education to come and be a commoner. They also came to the realization that perhaps the sacrifices they make to play football, was not one they continue to want to make.

        Am I putting them on a pedistal, no, but they did offer time and effort and that can be a sacrifice from doing other things. Please understand the term of sacrifice; it is to giving up one thing to do another. And they did that even if it was only for a year or two, they did make a sacrifice in their life. They also gave up a scholarship of which they could have lagged it off and stayed 3rd string. This gives it to hopefully a more deserving player and student.

        GO HOKIES!!!

        1. I’d have to disagree. It’s not a sacrifice if they weren’t forced to do something — they could’ve stayed on and had their free education and stayed on the team. They were subjected to brutal punishment due to the nature of the game, but that’s what they signed up for and were getting a FREE education for.

          I understand the word sacrifice — getting a free education, while other students don’t, to play a game you love so you can potentially go make millions professionally is not a sacrifice to me.

  3. The one that really surprises me is Taraschke. Hopefully all these guys have good futures regardless of what path they choose but only being a r-Fr it is very surprising to see someone give up football altogether when they have a solid future at their position.

    Depth on the OL will continue to be an issue so it is good they have a big class coming in next year. Hopefully that can be followed up with another big class to ensure we don’t run into more depth issues in upcoming years.

  4. Best of luck to these players.
    Please don’t blame them or think anything less of them for trying to live there dream.
    I hope they all decide to continue to persue there education.
    Go Hokies!!

  5. I don’t mind this…if they’re not tough enough to suck it up and compete (those leaving for PT reasons, not those retiring for medical reasons), we don’t need them. In my opinion, this speaks to different, renewed emphasis on toughness needed in this program. We were sorely lacking toughness last year. It takes mental toughness to stick it out and work hard to try to get PT later in your career (like your r-So or Jr year)…we don’t need guys who can’t hang in and pay their dues. We were too soft mentally and physically last year

    1. I don’t fault them at all. It is obvious to them (actually the coaches) that they cannot compete successfuly for playing time. This gives them more time to get an education, and us more room to bring in others who have a chance to be successful.

  6. This is what happens in every program. Similar to giving names to criminals, why even give them the space on the site?

    Shoot, Alabama is famous for taking too many players. I don’t call this attrition as much as I call it cutting the fat. Manning has been toeing the line since he accepted the scholarship. Coach Gray’s reputation for developing DBs speaks for itself.

    The guys that chose to stop playing, all the best. But, the guys leaving obviously noticed that they were not getting it done, and will not go on to a better future, will be big fish in a small pond and hopefully be happy with that.

    Moving on….I love that VT is not in the Top 25. Do the work and lets…goooo….

    1. Very strange post!
      Similar to giving names to criminals?
      Why even give them space on the site?
      Will not go on to a better future?
      Changed my mind – very cruel post.

      1. Look, may have been excessive, but player that leave should not be glorified. They had a terrific opportunity but egos got in the way. Now, they will leave and go to a lower tier school where they will get the attention they feel they deserve.

        Criminals was the wrong way to put it, and I acknowledge that, but posting this information gives these kids what they want, attention.

        Again, I say to the players that are retiring, all the best. But, I’m not crying over spilled milk. Coach Gray flat out coaches DBs and puts them in the league.

        1. I personally got your earlier point. Of the list, we hate losing Adams (a two-star gamer from VA who seemed to be the next big story), Jones (a 4-star recruit from GA), Tookes (a 3-star from GA), and especially Manning, (a 4-star from Miami) but True Big Boy football is a business. Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, USC, South Carolina, Clemson, FSU, even Miami have seen it that way for a long time.

          Tech has tried to keep the laid back small-town approach for a long time but now players have been quietly nudged to consider their toughness, their commitments, their realty, and their futures wisely. Sounds like the real world to me. Good Luck to them, if they truly leave.

        2. I don’t think they were being glorified. If Manning all of a sudden stopped showing up on the depth chrt many of us would ask questions. It was a good informational post and now we as fans move on and these players get to go on with theor lives. For those interested in football good luck finding a new home and for those not interested in football good luck finding a career in something you do love. As for the injured pkayers you are welcome at our tailgate anytime!

  7. Are these kids leaving of their own accord, or are they silently being asked to “consider their future”? If it’s their own idea, kids are really self-centered these days. Maybe I am old, but I thought, a long time ago, a lot of kids would be pleased with the idea to be on the team, share the experience, get the FREE EDUCATION given to them, and maybe they’d get a chance to contribute on special teams, and maybe, as a senior, maybe be a starter or a primary backup.

    It seems the kids are told they’re awesome too often, so that when they’re not instant starters, they pout, and leave.

  8. Of all those, I though Taraschke would have a very nice future. Best of luck, but too bad. Manning also would have been a big contributor on sp. teams and possible getting a lot of playing time in the two deep if he stepped up his game.

  9. we can find playing time for certain people who you would think would never play positions but not others… And Manning is competing for a starting spot? I guess his long-term confidence is not great? I mean teams are great when they have more than two starting caliber CBs. Exum and FUller will be gone soon… So that leaves room for more than Fuller and Facyson….

    1. If these kids are de-emphasizing football in their lives, then more power to them and all the best going forward. If, on the other hand, this is all about PT and showcasing their skills for the “next level”, then I think they are making a big mistake (I’m wondering if that fits Manning). Tech is a great program, but a notch below elite. If they can’t break into the starting line-up here, and choose to try to do so elsewhere, I don’t think it bodes well for any NFL shot.

      There are a lot of reasons why you wouldn’t want to dedicate a huge portion of your life to football in college; I can respect that. Some guys realize how danged GOOD D1 football players are, and maybe want to drop back and get a chance to play at a lower level. I can respect that. I respect and feel for the guys for whom injury has crushed their childhood dreams, and they decide enough is enough.

      If there are guys whose egos are bruised by not starting and they want to bolt, they are making a mistake! I do NOT respect that. In any event, it is yesterday’s news. Onward and upward. I wish them well………..adios!

  10. I am more surprised by how early in their careers these players decided to call it quits. Yes, I understand he is a tweener but the coaching staff never seemed to take a liking into Jarontay Jones’ skill sets and fit with the team and I never heard them mention him in any of the articles I have read. With Tookes and Manning, there were no guarantees Facyson or Fuller were going to be gamers when the lights came on or even stay healthy and I think losing both players really hurts. I am just glad that we recruited a ton of dbs lately.

    Taraschke to me was the biggest shock! Must just have gotten tired of football because he was one of our up and coming players on the line and seemed to fit into what Grimes was looking for.

  11. Taraschke is the name that surprises me the most on that list. I thought he had been doing well and was actually a fit with the type Grimes wanted.

    Manning could be a big loss as well, at the very least a depth issue, but he has been hedging before, so maybe parting ways makes sense. We’ll see.

  12. Second time in as many years for manning, time to man up or hit the road, they call us DBU for a reason son.

  13. I view this as a positive. It is a testament to the high quality of recruits that are coming into the program right now.

  14. Ouch – down seven players. Thanks though to the above gentlemen for being Hokies. Best of luck.

  15. Wow, that’s 2 of our 7 2012 4-star recruits potentially out the door, as well as 2 more failed OL recruits in the last 2 years.

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