Monday Thoughts: Go Time

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Justin Fuente Virginia Tech
Here’s a man with a lot to prove. (Will Stewart)

Four days from now, Justin Fuente begins a pivotal season at the helm of Virginia Tech football.

I’ve been thinking lately about the article I wrote two years ago in July 2019 titled For Justin Fuente, 18 Important Months Lie Ahead. It was a critical look at a program that appeared to be trending in the wrong direction on the field and in recruiting, and some fans were starting to question Fuente’s ability to lead Virginia Tech.

I won’t rehash everything I wrote there in detail, except to say that I wrote it because things were starting to feel “off” about the program. After starting his VT career 21-8 (two games into the 2018 season), Fuente had gone 4-7 over his next 11 games, including a bowl loss to Cincinnati that ended 2018 at 6-7, Virginia Tech’s first losing season since 1992. As you all remember, several of the losses in 2018 were blowouts.

That was followed by some high-profile exits from the program, some of whom were dismissed and some of whom transferred out, led by Trevon Hill, Eric Kumah, and Chris Cunningham. Many of the players who left were vocal on Twitter on their way out the door. That was January of 2019, and over the next six months, recruiting cratered,