Virginia Tech Searching for Receiving Options After Loss of Caleb Farley

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Justin Fuente Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is now down a potential receiving option for the 2017 season. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

The injury bug bit Virginia Tech football again on Thursday, as head coach Justin Fuente announced that wide receiver Caleb Farley had suffered a knee injury and would likely miss the 2017 season.

“Our medical team will do a great job getting him back and ready to go,” Fuente said. “It was a non-contact injury that happened on the first day of practice. Caleb is an incredibly hard worker, a good young man, and I know he’s going to work hard to get back.”

Farley, a freshman, switched from defensive back to wide receiver in spring ball. He took the spring game by storm, catching two long passes and making another play on a reverse. Now, Farley is likely going to have to sit out the entire season. Understandably, Farley is devastated but is in good spirits.

“Caleb is doing pretty well,” Fuente said. “He is a strong-spirited young man with a great family. I hurt for our players whenever they’re injured. I know how hard they work and how important it is. Unfortunately, it is a part of the game, and you hate it when it happens when there’s no contact either.”

“My first thought is always the player, and making sure we handle communication with his family right,” Fuente said. “I have a mom too, and I know if she heard I was injured, I know what the reaction would be. I want to make sure we do a good job communicating, and Mike Goforth does a fantastic job communicating with the family, and giving him all the encouragement he needs to get better.”

Farley was by no means an established player who was expected to make in impact in 2017. However, he was an option for Fuente, who’s trying to find just a few guys he can rely on at wide receiver.

“We, going into this season, we had two proven people, and that still hasn’t changed. We have Cam (Phillips) and CJ (Carroll),” Fuente said. “We have a whole pool of other people that are competing for playing time, competing to be dependable players. Obviously, losing Caleb means there is one less person in that group. I haven’t seen enough of anybody to know who those guys are going to be.”

Virginia Tech is likely going to fall short of the number of wide receivers they’d like to feel comfortable at that position.

“We liked to play with eight guys at Memphis,” Fuente said. “We haven’t had that since we’ve been here. We’ll do whatever we need to do, play with however many we need to play with, in order to make it work. Last year, we primarily played with three and then CJ, as he came along he played more, and that was pretty much it. We’d like to continue to grow that number, but I want to grow that number at every position.”

Running back still wide open ahead of season

Another position Virginia Tech is looking for help at is running back, which was a revolving door last season. Even though Travon McMillian was by a large margin the leading ball carrier among tailbacks, his play was inconsistent at times. Tech tried several running backs at different points in the season, including Sam Rogers, Marshawn Williams, Steven Peoples and Deshawn McClease. Add freshman Jalen Holston into the mix, and the running back competition is wide open.

“The job’s open,” Fuente said. “So, I anticipate (Holston) gets in there and competes for it, and tries to become a guy we can trust to carry the football. I don’t know if he will or not, but I’m hoping he gets in there and competes for it.”

Fuente pleased with future scheduling model

On Thursday, Fuente commented on Virginia Tech’s recent scheduling news, which added several games with in-state opponents and BYU. The Hokies added several games with Liberty and Old Dominion, as well as BYU.

“I’m excited to continue to play in the region,” Fuente said. “I like our kind of model, if you will, of trying to find a, I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone on the schedule, but trying to find a marquee game. I like that. I think we should accept that challenge. Then, with some of our other games, trying to keep it localized, or regionalized the best we can.”

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8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I’m surprised Wheatley wasn’t mentioned in the RB portion of the article. If I recall correctly, many on the message boards thought he would have a role early. Is he seen as a red-shirt candidate or is there something else going on with him?

    1. Likely a redshirt candidate. Loved his work in the spring game, but I think he could benefit from a year of getting a bit bigger.

      Holston could easily play as a true freshman, and I believe he will.

  2. How in the world did he find eight receivers he trusted to rotate at Memphis. That’s insane. I don’t even think Dabo or Saban has eight receivers they trust.

  3. I don’t have a problem playing ODU or any other state school in Basketball but the only state school we should play in football is UVA. The rest are worthless can’t win games. Don’t take us back to the Dooley era.

    Get healthy Caleb. Come back better then ever. Take advantage of this time off to adjust to college classes & get good grades.

    1. who would u suggest playing then? every D1 team has a cupcake on the schedule, why not make it against a school that we have history with?

      1. I’m OK with the concept of having a cupcake on the schedule, just to help get the team in sync under game conditions. But it should only be one cupcake, and play them as the first game.

        Are we serious about wanting to establish a rivalry with schools like Liberty, ODU, and JMU? It’s a poor risk/reward situation. VT has little to gain and a lot to lose with such scheduling.

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