Former Virginia Tech starting quarterback Josh Jackson will transfer from the program. Jackson announced his decision via Twitter Wednesday evening following earlier reports that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal.
"First, I would like to thank Hokie Nation for all of your support throughout my time here at Virginia Tech," said Jackson on Twitter. "Thank you to Coach Fuente and his staff for giving me this opportunity. Along with Coach Hilgart and his staff for always pushing me to be the best I can be. But after much thought, consideration and discussion with my family, we think it'd be best for me to pursue my academic and football career elsewhere. It will be an honor to receive a degree from Virginia Tech and I will forever be a Hokie and cherish my time spent in Blacksburg."
It was first reported by The Richmond-Times Dispatch on Wednesday that Jackson had applied to have his name entered into the NCAA's transfer portal. Players do not have to transfer once they've entered the portal, it's simply used as a way to gauge possible interest from other suitors before making a final decision.
Jackson is just the latest Hokie to leave Virginia Tech. On Tuesday, both wide receiver Eric Kumah and tight end Chris Cunningham announced their decisions to transfer, and on Wednesday prior to Jackson's announcement, running back Deshawn McClease announced his intention to leave as well. The movements promoted this statement from Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente on Wednesday, just hours prior to Jackson making his decision public.
"As a head coach I certainly understand when young men desire to explore their options by entering themselves in the NCAA's transfer portal," said Fuente. "Immediate eligibility for graduate transfers has become another piece of the changing landscape for college football student-athletes and coaches across the country.
"I respect the fact that each individual's circumstances and situation are different. We will continue to support all our student-athletes and wish them best whether their future is at Virginia Tech or another institution. Our evaluation of all aspects of our football program is constant and ongoing. In my postseason one-on-one meetings with our student-athletes I asked for their input on what we can do better as a coaching staff and how I can better serve them as their head coach. I appreciate their feedback, as well as their willingness and desire to do whatever it takes to help us improve individually and collectively in 2019."
Jackson began the 2018 season as Virginia Tech's starting QB but suffered a season-ending leg injury during Tech's third game of the season. He was replaced by Ryan Willis, a transfer from Kansas. Jackson started 16 games in his Virginia Tech career, and the Hokies went 11-5 in those games, but he was recruited to Blacksburg by Frank Beamer's staff. As a graduate transfer, Jackson wouldn't be required to sit out the 2019 season.
Jackson is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, as he's the son of former Michigan assistant coach Fred Jackson, which is simply an interesting fact to point out considering the circumstances.