Brace yourself: Attrition is coming

Attrition is coming soon to the Virginia Tech football program. In fact, it has already begun. Kris Harley’s decision to leave the program has already been officially announced, and there’s a strong rumor that Corey Marshall will be gone as well. But that’s just the beginning.

At this point in the year, it’s impossible to get an accurate count of scholarship numbers for the 2014 season. We don’t know exactly how many players the Hokies will sign. We do know that it’s going to be a big class, and to make room for it, there is going to have to be a lot of attrition (forced and unforced) in the offseason.

I’m going to run through Tech’s scholarship numbers to the best of my ability. I’m not sure of a couple of things. For example, Michael Branthover was on scholarship once, but I don’t know if he remained on scholarship after he lost the starting punting job (why would you have two scholarship punters?). I kept him on the list, but I’m not certain that he’s still on scholarship.

I included 2013 signee Holland Fisher, because he has apparently qualified (according to a Tweet by fellow recruit Cequan Jefferson). I did not include 2013 signees Cequan Jefferson and DJ Reid because their qualification status remains up in the air. If they qualify, they would increase the number even more. I also included 2014 recruits Derrick Nnadi, Raymon Minor and Isaiah Ford, because I believe they will all sign with Tech.

With all that figuring, I came up with the number 93. The Hokies are currently scheduled to have 93 players on scholarship next season. And that number could still go up, if Tech makes any late offers on the recruiting trail (Kevin Bronson, for example). Obviously programs are only allowed 85, so there is going to have to be some attrition through transfers, guys giving up football, injuries, VT not renewing scholarships for certain guys, or incoming recruits not qualifying.

As we say every year: don’t worry about the numbers … the numbers will work out. I think it’s pretty obvious that the Hokies are signing a lot of players this year, particularly on offense, because they know they have a number of players currently in the program who aren’t good enough to play at this level. As we go through this article, I think it will be pretty clear who will not be in the program next year. We can probably expect some surprises, but there are a group of guys who are buried on the depth chart (and with no chance to move up) who I don’t expect to be back.

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Quarterback

Virginia Tech is expected to have five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster next season, as of right now. In the end, I think it will be four. I believe Bucky Hodges will be at tight end, if not in the spring then at some point in August. It’s possible that the scholarship number could go back up to five however, if transfer rumors we’ve been hearing (of a QB transferring into VT) turn out to be true. Considering that the new semester starts next week, I kinda doubt it’s going to happen, or we’d know already.

Here’s a list of the returning QBs:

Mark Leal (r-Sr.)
Brenden Motley (r-So.)
Bucky Hodges (r-Fr.)
Andrew Ford (Fr.)
Chris Durkin (Fr.)

Your guess is as good as mine as to how the quarterback situation will work out. From a numbers standpoint, Tech is fine, and they can afford to move Bucky to tight end, especially if that’s his best position.

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Tailback and Fullback

Barring changes, Tech will have six tailbacks on scholarship, one fullback,

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