A few players were out from Virginia Tech football practice on Friday. Running back Malachi Thomas and wide receiver Jadan Blue were the most notable names. At Wednesday’s media day, head coach Brent Pry said there were no injuries.
Thomas, a sophomore running back from Hartwell, Ga., was not at Wednesday’s practice due to an “academic commitment,” per a Tech spokesman. On Friday, he was labeled as “unavailable.”
His absence comes after running backs coach Stu Holt said he and redshirt senior Jalen Holston were “1a and 1b” (in no order) on Wednesday. Thomas missed some time in April due to an injury and did not appear in Tech’s spring game.
Last week, Thomas spoke with the media and said he’s up to 203 pounds, the biggest weight he’s ever played at, and he felt good about his first few fall camp practices. As a true freshman last year, he posted 93 carries for 440 yards (4.7 avg.) and three touchdowns, all three of which came in the Hokies’ loss to Syracuse. He rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games against the Orange and Georgia Tech, too.
Blue was at practice but was in a blue “non-contact” jersey. The Temple transfer from Hightstown, N.J. is one of two veterans in the wide receiver room alongside Kaleb Smith. In 35 games the Owls, he caught 169 passes for 1,672 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Virginia Tech was also down two other wide receivers on Friday: Stephen Gosnell (Jr.) and Dallan Wright (r-So.). Gosnell was not dressed out, while Wright wasn’t in attendance (same as Wednesday). That means the Hokies practiced with just seven scholarship wide receivers.
Blue is expected to be a boost to the wideout room, while Gosnell and Wright should be in Tech’s two-deep for the season opener at Old Dominion.
As Mike Niziolek of The Roanoke Times reported, defensive tackle Maxx Philpott has not practiced through two weeks of fall camp and his status is up in the air. He did not play last year due to injury, but he appeared in nine games in 2020.
Virginia Tech is scrimmaging on Saturday for the second time in the past few days. Pry and offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen said those opportunities will help decide who will start at quarterback, an announcement expected this upcoming week.