As we continue our countdown to kickoff for the Sun Bowl, this week was a bit like old home week for a former Hokie.
Collin Carroll was a long snapper for Frank Beamer's team from 2007 to 2011, not to mention a former intern at WDBJ7.
Four months ago he accepted a job as a general assignment reporter in local TV here in El Paso.
Collin Carroll goofed around with a camera and microphone at Virginia Tech's football media day back in 2011, a precursor to his current occupation.
Almost as unlikely as the Hokies’ appearance in the Sun Bowl, is Carroll's trip from his native Minnesota to Blacksburg to televisions across West Texas.
“I thought I'd be doing TV but never in a million years did I think I'd be doing TV in El Paso, Texas,” Carroll said. “But I love it. In TV journalism you kind of have to be willing to go anywhere, and it really couldn't have worked out any better. I feel like it's been a really good opportunity and a really good station to learn at. They are putting me on important stories even though I am butchering half of them and embarrassing the station most of the time.”
Collin has had a chance to catch up with old friends and share memories of bowl games past.
“The coaches get to be bugged by me one last time and I get to ask coach Ballein some more dumb questions, but everybody has been so great to me and really welcoming and glad to see me,” Carroll said. “Coach Beamer took time to say hello so I feel like I am still part of the team. Just to come out and see the specialists, Joe St. Germaine, Trey Gresh. Not much has changed since I left. I think they're still over there picking their rear ends and making snow cones out of the Gatorade and the chopped ice.”
Using his connections to the program, Collin has done his best to educate his colleagues and the people of El Paso about his former team.
“When I tell them that I played football at Virginia Tech, it gives me an ounce of credibility even though I probably don't deserve it because I don't know a lot about the x's and o's that these guys talk about,” Carroll said. “But I think I bring a unique perspective. My goal this week now that the team is here is to expose the culture of the Virginia Tech football team. You know, what it's like to be in the locker room, the different vernaculars that are used, nothing crude or anything but we talk different in a football locker room.”