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Hokies kick off 2021 football season with media and photo day on eve of fall camp

Virginia Tech is set to hold its first practice Thursday
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:29 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - To get a clear picture of who the Hokies might be three weeks from now, head coach Justin Fuente is looking in the rearview to the last three months of the offseason.

“We had a huge emphasis on player-led activities and leadership,” said Fuente. I’m really proud of the way our kids handled the summertime. We got great work in the winter through spring practice but the summertime is when you get a chance to have some great player ownership of your team and I think we took huge strides forward with that.”

“It’s a lot of work but we have our fun too,” added quarterback Braxton Burmeister. “We have a lot of funny guys on the team. We know when it’s time to push but also when it’s time to have fun as well.”

“This group here, we care for each other’s success and we care for the team’s success overall,” said wideout Kaleb Smith. “And I think with that being said, we have the potential to go out there and do whatever we want on the field.”

“The locker room is good,” said running back Raheem Blackshear. “Everybody here is gonna work. We have fun while we are doing it and everybody is here to compete and have fun.”

Nothing was normal about the 2020 season, right down to Tech’s 5-6 record for the program’s first losing season in three decades. But the bright lights and microphones of media day lead to hopes for an uninterrupted fall camp, and the Hokies are taking nothing for granted.

“Every day in spring practice, I was just thankful that we had practice,” said defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton. “No matter how good or bad a day we may have had, I was thankful by the time I walked off that we had something to evaluate. Our kids had tangible information. We’ll see as we go through fall camp and into this season how beneficial it’s been but I know for me, it feels a lot better being here right now today than it did 365 days ago.”

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