Hokies take in sights, open practice in New York ahead of Pinstripe Bowl

Virginia Tech toured One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 8:32 PM EST
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NEW YORK (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech’s first full day in the Big Apple began with some classic sightseeing, as the Hokies ascended New York’s tallest building for a 360-degree view of Manhattan at One World Observatory.

Once back on the ground, they moved across the street for a more somber visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, where reflecting pools now honor the victims at the site of the fallen towers.

“I remember it vividly,” said interim head coach J.C. Price, recalling the terror attacks. “I can remember what the room smelled like that day, and that’s one of the most horrific tragedies in US history. Being able to go to that museum today shed some light on just how blessed and lucky we are. Don’t take things for granted, don’t waste a day, because at any moment, some bad stuff can happen and it can be taken away from you.”

The team then made its way to Columbia University’s football facility for its first on-site practice.

Quarterback Connor Blumrick is preparing to make his first start under center, and lineman Luke Tenuta says the guys up front are doing everything they can to put him in the best position to succeed.

“When he has the ball in his hand, he ain’t looking to slide,” said the redshirt sophomore. “He’ll do everything he can and do whatever it takes to win. That’s the type of guy he is and when you’re blocking for a guy like that, you’re excited.”

Blumrick’s receiving options on Wednesday, though, could be even more limited than expected. Interim coach J.C. Price confirmed freshman Da’Wain Lofton was not at practice, and his status for the bowl game is uncertain.

“We’re going to play with whoever is available,” said Price. “Any good player at any position, no one heard of before he played. So, somebody you never heard of may have to play, and they’ll perform because they’re ready and they’ve been coached. And that’s the exciting part.”

Tech’s nation-long bowl game streak ended last year at 27 straight, but defensive lineman TyJuan Garbutt says these Hokies are eager to kickstart a new streak in New York.

“It’s just a thing that we like to do, it’s part of our tradition, win enough games to go to a bowl game,” said the redshirt junior. “A bowl game is a benefit of having a pretty good, successful season. We didn’t have the season that we wanted to, but we have a chance to finish this, so I think everybody is excited to be here.”

WDBJ7′s Pinstripe Bowl coverage continues on Monday with the story of a special bond shared between the Yankees and Hokies.

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