Virginia Tech's tailback situation this fall is a well-documented mystery: All-ACC workhorse David Wilson is off to the NFL as a first-round pick of the New York Giants, top backup Josh Oglesby graduated, junior Tony Gregory is recovering from major knee surgery and no other scholarship back on the roster has set foot on the field in a college game. Coming out of the spring, the depth chart was composed almost entirely of freshmen.
And now it appears you can strike off one of those freshmen, Exton, Pa., signee Drew Harris, for failing to make the grade:
Virginia Tech won the battle for highly-coveted Pennsylvania running back Drew Harrislast fall, but it will have to wait until next year to get him on campus.
Harris will attend Fork Union Military Academy for a year to improve his academics before attempting to enroll again in college, a long-rumored decision that was finalized in the last week.
"He's got a really good test score, but he didn't have a great semester in the classroom, so he came up a little short," said Hokies running backs coach Shane Beamer, who was Harris' primary recruiter.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Harris was listed as a four-star recruit by almost every major recruiting service, reportedly boasting offers from the likes of Georgia, Miami, Penn State and many others. Even more good news: Because enrolling at a prep school means Harris must sign a new letter of intentnext February, he's eligible to be recruited away from the Hokies in the meantime.
Harris' withdrawal from the race leaves a pair of freshmen, redshirt Michael Holmes and early-enrolling speedster J.C. Coleman, who shared the starting job in the spring. There's also another incoming freshman, three-star Chris Mangus, along with converted linebacker Dominique Patterson and walk-on Daniel Dyer in a pinch; touted freshman Trey Edmunds may also get a shot with the ball, though he's generally projected as a linebacker. But whoever winds up winning the lion's share of the carries will be running – possibly for his life – behind a completely rebuilt offensive line that's breaking in four new starters. If coaches are asking colossal quarterback Logan Thomas to carry the offense for a while, they might just mean that literally.