Virginia Tech has five first-year players (four true freshmen) from the team’s 2019 signing class that have already burned their redshirt.
Three of those players are on Tech’s defensive front — Dashawn Crawford, Mario Kendricks and Norell Pollard. Crawford has 12 tackles (five solo) with two for a loss and a sack.
Pollard and Kendricks got their most playing time of the season against Miami with Crawford going down with an injury at the end of the first half. Pollard has 10 tackles (three solo) and a sack while Kendricks has six tackles (five solo) with 3.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks.
“Norell went from playing 13 plays the week before to 44 plays this last week,” Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “So there’s a significant number of plays that he played much more than a week before. And that’s what those guys have got to be ready for. Every day, they’ve got to continue to work hard in practice and do the little things right.”
Running back Keshawn King is Tech’s second leading rusher through five games. He has 46 carries for 210 yards (4.6 yards per carry) with a touchdown. He played a key role in Tech’s win over Old Dominion with his first career 100-yard game, but King isn’t the only freshman with big offensive role this season.
Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson has emerged as Tech’s go-to receiver. Robinson has 19 catches for team-high 197 yards with a touchdown. He also has four carries for 27 yards and three kick returns for 64 yards.
“He’s one of those people that’s different, we all learn differently. Very rarely has he repeated a mistake,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “He can take it from the classroom to the field. He can take correction. He understands the big picture. When you’re communicating with him, he kind of understand how his piece of the puzzle fits in.”
- Dashawn Crawford (DL): Five games (four starts)*
- Mario Kendricks (DL): Five games (no starts)
- Keshawn King (RB): Five games (one start; pictured)
- Norell Pollard (DL): Five games (no start)
- Tayvion Robinson (WR): Five games (three starts)
* JUCO transfer