Ludwig, Sobczak Among Players Not Returning to Virginia Tech Football

Mitchell Ludwig (90) will not play for Virginia Tech next season.

Punter Mitchell Ludwig and defensive tackle Steve Sobczak are among several players who are no longer on Virginia Tech’s roster and¬†currently are not with the team.

The players who are no longer listed on the roster include Ludwig, Sobczak, tight end Chris Durkin, defensive lineman Clay Dean and cornerback DuWayne Johnson.

The Roanoke Times’ Andy Bitter reported Tuesday evening that Ludwig would graduate after the spring semester and would not return for next season. Bitter also reported that Johnson would finish the spring semester at Virginia Tech but would not play on the team.

A Virginia Tech spokesman said Tuesday evening that Sobczak would not practice in the spring with the team, but that his situation was fluid and that he could return to the team.

Durkin, Dean and Johnson’s situations are not surprising. None of the three were able to earn playing time during their careers. Durkin started out at quarterback for Virginia Tech, but switched to tight end in hopes to carve out a role. Dean, a preferred walk-on, was stuck behind a crowded group on the defensive line and Johnson could never break into the Hokies’ secondary.

Ludwig started all of last season as Virginia Tech’s punter, averaging 38.8 yards per punt. Thirty-one of his 68 punts were downed inside the opposing team’s 20-yard-line and Ludwig seemed to improve throughout the year after a rough start. Sobczak was in line for serious playing time at defensive tackle with the losses of Woody Baron and Nigel Williams. Even though Tim Settle and Ricky Walker are the likely starters there, the depth at defensive tackle is now a serious question without Sobczak on the roster.

16 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. One of the early enrollees that just joined the team this month is punter Oscar Bradburn (Australian-style punter). The writing is on the wall.

  1. I dont get Johnson either… hard to criticize or say he had not broken in for playing time yet. He was a r-freshman.. Alexander, Stroman, Edmunds will all be gone in 1-2 years. Playing time was going to be had for anyone who was patient. Maybe he thought it would not happen until his r-junior or r-senior year. Maybe Facsyon staying another year made it harder to get back up time.

    I get Durkin given the influx of TEs who are going to come into the program this year but still.

    1. The author made the implication that Johnson leaving was based on not earning playing time. Nothing says that is actually the case. He could be homesick. Maybe he hates college. Lots of reasons.

      Also, there are a bunch of reasons that players don’t earn playing time. And some of them can’t be fixed by “being patient.” Base talent is one. Work ethic is another. Performance in school is another. Personality conflicts with players or coaches. Only the latter two can be fixed, but it depends on if the coaches want to allow the player to fix those. Or sometimes its just better to part ways.

      1. “Also, there are a bunch of reasons…Or sometimes its just better to part ways.”

        I very much agree, especially under the new Fuente regime. With how much importance they place on being a team/family/all the way in, it would not surprise me that a few leaves get shaken from the tree, especially after the first year. All we can and should hope is that it is first best for the kid, and then best for the team.

  2. Dean is a little surprising. Guessing he was hoping for a scholarship in the spring and didn’t get it

  3. Of all of them – I thought Mitch did such a great job and really helped us as the season went on…

    Good Luck fellow Hokies!

  4. Crowded defensive line? With Woody, and Williams gone, plus now Dean and Sobczak that DT spot is mighty thin after a good group of starters. Sobczak could almost certainly get himself a lot of playing time this year.

    1. He wasn’t talking about the future defensive line…he said that Clay Dean WAS stuck behind a crowded group, referring to years past. But now the departures are thinning out that group.

    1. Probably 4 (Ludwig, Sobczak, Durkin, D Johnson) because Durkin was a walk on. Plus Shai and Seth from last week. And then Evans, Ford, and Hodges declaring early gives us 9 scholarships that weren’t “expected” last month. More to come after spring, I would imagine.

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