Tech Talk Live Notes: CJ Carroll Talks No. 25 Magic, Justin Fuente Discusses Virginia Rivalry

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Tech Talk Live

Virginia Tech’s CJ Carroll and Justin Fuente were the guests on Tech Talk Live on Monday night, as the Hokies prepare to take on in-state rival Virginia on Saturday. Here are the highlights from the show.

CJ Carroll

Getting to wear No. 25 vs. Notre Dame

“Let me tell you something, that No. 25, it’s something about it. Every time someone wears it, someone makes a play. There’s something magical about that number.”

Being more involved in the offense than last year

“It’s been fun. It’s been a long journey and to finally step on the field and play big-time college football, it’s been a dream come true and I’m just enjoying it.”

Earning a larger role on offense

“When I first heard about the hire, I was really excited, just because of the offense and knowing that Coach Fuente ran a spread offense. During the winter time, we worked and I didn’t really know where I was, and then during spring time, I just kind of found my way in there and worked my way in there. During summer ball, I made some plays and now I’m sitting here in front of everybody.”

Playing at Our Lady of Good Counsel, a Maryland powerhouse, how that prepared him for next level

“I think sophomore year, we arguably had the best football team ever. We had me, Kendall Fuller, Stefon Diggs (receiver for Minnesota Vikings), Blake Countess who plays for the Rams and the starting center for Notre Dame (Sam Mustipher) was also on the team, the list goes on and on. I’ve been playing with bigger guys for most of my life, so I’ve been preparing.”

What the seniors have meant to him

“I was talking to Sam (Rogers) the other day and I was like, ‘Wow, you’re not going to be here in a couple months,’ actually a month or something like that. They’ve been unbelievable and it’s going to be tough without them. It’s going to be different, but new people are going to step into different roles and it’ll be good.”

CJ Carroll’s role has increased dramatically this season, and he figures to be an important part of the offense next season too.

Thoughts about future seasons

“It’s exciting. It’s definitely something to look forward to but for now, just focusing on UVa. and getting that Commonwealth Cup.”

Justin Fuente

Thoughts on CJ Carroll

“He’s done a great job since we’ve been here, learning the system and being productive when he’s been in there and obviously filling in for Greg (Stroman) on punt returns, I can tell you that we haven’t missed a beat and that’s a tribute to CJ and his readiness. The moment’s not too big for him. He’s a competitive kid. Twice in the game at Notre Dame, after a punt return he had this look like he was mad, like ‘CJ, that was a good play, the wind’s blowing 30 miles per hour, just the fact that we got the ball back is fine,’ almost like he was disappointed because he didn’t score every time he touched the ball. Obviously had the big reception. It was pretty cool when he had that reception. It was the first drive of the second half and it was a third down, it was a big play and I heard somebody behind me, I don’t know who it was, very distinctly, they said, ‘There goes No. 25.’ I don’t know if it was a player or a coach.”

Losing his cool on the false start penalty vs. Notre Dame

“I don’t know what effect it had on the kids. I was upset, obviously, and they were wrong, for whatever it’s worth. They messed it up. I do believe I hurt our team with a penalty. I don’t know if the guys played better because of that or not, I have no idea. I just know that we found a way to win the ballgame. That’s another teachable moment. Some of the braver guys on the team, the one or two, kind of gave me a hard time about it yesterday at practice, asking if I was going to do up-downs after practice, and I said no. I was glad that there were one or two guys who were comfortable enough to do that, I was glad there was only one or two guys who felt comfortable enough to do that. I did like the way our guys responded.”

Reaching out to Frank Beamer about the Virginia rivalry

“Yeah, I did, just briefly, and I said, ‘Hey, 12 straight and 16 out of 17, you got a little something for the kid? Like is there anything, got any advice for me?’ He said, ‘I think you need to have a really good week of practice.’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s probably going to help.’ He wanted to congratulate our team on going to Notre Dame and winning, and we talked a little about the Virginia game and that sort of stuff. It’s always cool to have a resource there and I’ve talked to John Ballein twice just today about the game, surrounding games and emotions and those sorts of things, just to make sure I have a proper pulse on our kids and perspective on how we need to attack the week.”

Playing a team who isn’t bowl eligible by the end of the season

“Yeah, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. You know you’re going to get their best shot. You’ve got to be prepared to give them your best shot. You’ve got to understand that they may be more willing to roll the dice. I saw a quote from one of the players that said that it’s kind of like their bowl game, which I understand that. I’ve been a part of teams that are heading into their last game and it’s one or the other. Either they’re really excited to play or they’re really excited to get it over with, and I think the team we’re going to play is going to be excited to play.”

Having good traditional rivalries

“It makes the game… it’s part of what makes collegiate athletics so special, and the Virginia Tech-Virginia rivalry, in my opinion, is special because it’s the clear rival. Like there’s no, ‘Well yeah, they’re our rival but this other team is kind of our rival too.’ It’s clear, from day one, it’s Virginia Tech and Virginia. That’s the way it should be.”

Breaking down 62-yard pass to CJ Carroll

“It’s a perfect example of running another play that only gets four or five yards to set up a bigger play. We had thrown the little bubble to Cam earlier in the game. Now they had made some adjustments and gone to man coverage and basically what we did was, Cam ran the same bubble and CJ came off, we call him the alley player, the defender over him, he came off and kind of stuttered a little bit and the guy on CJ, his eyes, you can see it on film, go right to Cam, and he takes one-half a step outside, and then CJ runs the slant, Jerod puts it right on the money, hits him where he can run with it. If you think about that, the difference between 71-yard gain or 12-yard gain is the accuracy of the throw from Jerod to hit him in stride. That little action there, and CJ selling it and then running the slant, gave us enough space in there and Jerod put it right on the money, and CJ did a great job crossing the field and he even gave the guy a little stutter move there and got an extra eight or 10 yards.”

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4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. It’s great having Justin Fuente as our head coach. He doesn’t beat around the bush, and tells it like it really is, rather than spinning an issue. He and Frank have had a seamless transition, with respect and appreciation to one another. Also, Justin made an excellent decision in using Frank’s #25 as a weekly special teams honor! Kudos to Whit for his fine judgement in getting Justin on board early after last season. Go HOKIES!!!

  2. VT with Whitt Babcock in command hired a Winner for our Football Program. I think he will be another frank Beamer.. stays along time.

    1. I hope you are correct. Excellent coach and fits the VT program. Managers always try to find the right person for the right job. Not everyone is a “fit.” Excellent hire and excellent job by the AD.

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