By: Superman Those Hoos
RECRUITS, PLSon March 17, 2023, 10:49 AM | 37 comments
Virginia Tech RB Kenji Christian no longer listed on the official roster
During his time in Blacksburg, Christian did not record any game reps.
Had a feeling this was coming, although I thought it would be Chance Black leaving before Kenji
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Makes sense, Pry said there would be more attrition, the RB room has been pretty full for a while, he wasnt getting literally any PT etc.
But it still stinks! had high hopes for him coming out of high school because by all accounts his tape and offer list were better than his rating
Pry was saying there will be more attrition. Best of luck to Kenji
The numbers always work out.
I was excited for this kid, thought he really had potential. Best of luck to him whenever he ends up.
Echoing everyone here, he was a recruit I was excited for. Oh well, this is the game. Hope he finds a spot elsewhere.
had the size and athleticism, just lacked the physicality required to be a good football player
will be interesting to see whether he hangs the cleats up or xfers to an FCS team
edit1: he lasted exactly 1 practice with the new RB coach
edit2: watch him rack up 1500 yards at Georgia State or some southern G5 team like that
I don't mean this as a knock on him, but this is a good example of how far we had fallen.
In 2010 we had Evans, Williams, and Wilson. We don't have one running back of that caliber on the roster now, and we haven't in a long time, aside from maybe one year of Herbert during Covid.
I recall people getting excited about Kenji during his recruitment, him getting love on the pods, etc., and I'm just sitting there thinking "this guy wouldn't make the practice squad 10 years ago."
Really really hoping this is a sign that Pry and Co. can raise the talent level across the board with the new focus on the footprint so that we can truly see what VT can do in the modern era. Our scheme may have sucked under Frank/Stiney, but we could be respectable and have a punchers chance when we had a bunch of dudes and a 4-5 star QB that could make something out of nothing.
The last 12 years we've had less talent and a below average scheme and it has shown.
Agreed... minus the "maybe" with Herbert - he was the real deal.
Right. I said "maybe" because he wasn't first/ second round pick real deal like David Wilson and Ryan Williams.
But, still a very solid player and has been good in the NFL. We need more of that. He's the only former Hokie outside of Logan Thomas who is logging meaningful offensive snaps in the league. Think about that.
Except for Darrisaw, who's getting more snaps then anyone.
And Wyatt Teller and Yosh Nijman and, depending on your definition of significant, Raheem Blackshear and James Mitchell.
Teller and Njiman get a few meaningful reps themselves. Bhaktieri can't stay healthy so Yosh has an expanded role and started quite a few games last year.
Teller has been the starting RG for the Browns for the past 3 seasons, been named All-Pro 2nd team twice and Pro Bowl twice. He gets *all* the reps.
I should've said skill players. No argument from me on Teller or Nijamn, both of whom were recruited by Beamer, btw.
One of the only reasons for Fu's early success was that he inherited a ready-made roster, loaded with NFL talent or fringe NFL talent on both sides of the ball. Teller, Nijman, Ford, Hodges, Phillips, Settle, Edmunds, Edmunds, Facyson, Adonis, Hooker, Mook, Slye, Stroman. We used to have rosters like that on a regular basis, but we haven't been close since. Certainly no game-breakers on offense.
I think you're going overboard a bit. Herbert and Blackshear were both great RB's within the past 3 seasons.
I like that Pry didn't sit around waiting for Thomas to become more durable and instead went out and found a good RB in the portal.
I don't think Herbert or Blackshear are even in the same discussion as those guys. For example, Blackshear had 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns his entire career at Tech.
David Wilson ran for 1,700 yards in 2011 alone.
Ryan Williams had over 1,600 and 21 touchdowns in 2010.
Darren Evans went for 1,300 in 2008, and almost 1,000 in 2010.
Blackshear was okay, but he is not on their level, or on the level of Kevin Jones, Lee Suggs, or even Shyrone Stith or Brandon Ore. At best, he's in the conversation with Andre Kendrick or Mike Imoh.
I agree about Blackshear, but Herbert is absolutely in the discussion with those three (from a talent standpoint; not from a career achievement standpoint). He went for 1200 rushing yards and 180 receiving yards in 2020. Worth noting that VT only played 11 games in 2020 but 14 games in 2008 (Darren Evans as a comparable). I also think that Herbert could be a more successful NFL player than any of the three RBs you mentioned (I recognize there's a lot of luck involved in that, but it does show that he had a similar level of raw talent).
you have to consider the talent surrounding each of those RB's - and the play calling. Beamer wanted run heavy offenses and Fuente mixed it up a bit more.
Herbert and Blackshear are both NFL-tier running backs, which puts them right up there with Williams, Wilson and Evans
anyways, the roster certainly hasn't been as loaded at RB as it was in 2009-2010
So I'll take Herbert out of the maybe. He was legit. I do think he benefitted from the talent around him in 2020 in Hooker, Mitchell, Turner, and Robinson.
Disagree re Blackshear. He was a good change of pace, but not an every down back. We just haven't seen significant production at either level from him. I cited his college numbers, but I believe he had less than 100 yards rushing all year for the Panthers. Contributed it special teams and had a couple short/ late TDs.
Blackshear is J.C. Coleman with marginally higher swag.
Herbert is a faster Ken Oxendine.
Horrible take. Blackshear was probably the second most talented back we've had in a decade behind Herbert. Fuente just wouldn't let him get the ball enough, even when he had great ypc numbers
Holston and McClease were better than Coleman, they didn't even start
Herbert was excellent but Blackshear was a generic RB. No way is he close to any of the greats. tbh I'm not sure he is starter caliber on an average Hokie team.
Yeah, I'm not sure why we are grouping Herbert and Blackshear together here other than they were on the team at the same time lol. Two completely different talent levels!
Because they're both in the NFL. It's not complicated.
Blackshear may not be on the Mt. Rushmore of VT backs, but he was seriously under/misutilized. He had had been used correctly, I think his stature would be much higher because he clearly had (and has) NFL talent. Maybe not Herbert level, but not that far behind. And miles ahead talent-wise of the JC Colemans and Keyshawn Kings. It's not at all surprising he's finding a role in the NFL.
Blackshear did well at VT and I'm sure we utilized him incorrectly because that's pretty much what we did with every RB for the past 7 years. "He's in the NFL" hasn't really held much meaning for me since Trey Edmunds seemed to bounce around the league for 5 years lol. I could see Blackshear carving out a nice role as a 3rd-down back.
He's still not on the level of Herbert though. 5.7 YPC over 130 carries (no fumbles btw) and going for over 700 yards this past season while playing second fiddle to Montgomery was VERY impressive. Herbert easily in the top third of RBs in the entire league.
You are absolutely correct. Herbert was great but when he got a carry I wasn't waiting in anticipation for him to possibly break it, mull someone over, and/or leave someone's jock strap on the field each play like with Williams, Wilson, Suggs, or Jones (WWSJ). Wilson had a interesting habit of running a break neck speed right into someone. It almost didn't seem purposeful. Like, he was not seeking to inflict damage, just a weird quirk. Evans had a bit more power than speed so I would not put him in that same realm. Herbert did it for one year. Absolutely carried the team but I would need to see more. I cannot even bring myself to insert Blackshear into the discussion with those names. That is a disserve whether Fuente and Co. did him wrong or not.
Herbert > Blackshear but Blackshear was an above average back.
Blackshear did deserve more than 2 carries against Miami.
The lack of use of Blackshear in that game (and in general) was infuriating. It just seemed like Fuente and co. would say "you're doing great, kid. Now sit for a quarter".
You've earned a break
You simply can not do worse recruiting that position than VT has done the last 10 years. You can't. The best player there in that time was a transfer from the worst P5 program no less. Awful.
which is pretty crazy considering the studs (some highly recruited; some under-the-radar) that VT routinely got the decade prior.
Let's hope Brooks turns that page.
Add on the number of highly ranked RB that came from the state over that time and it's even worse.
Seriously did we just stop paying recruits or something?
Entered the Portal today.
6'2, 194 lbs Running Back. Came to Tech as a 3 🌟 recruit. 86 overall ranking from 247Sports.
Not really a surprise other than it took this long since his name was no longer on the roster as of a month plus ago.
I believe he didn't get his name into the portal fast enough, hence the delay because the portal is back open now