BLACKSBURG, Va. – It's the first week of fall camp in Blacksburg and there is a lot of the initial excitement surrounding the wide receivers room. Raising eyebrows early is Damon Hazelton, who transferred from Ball State, sat out last season and is eligible this year.
"After the season my freshman year, I pretty much decided that me -- and my family decided that we were going to explore other options. I wanted to play better competition,I wanted to be closer to home and I took a couple visits and after I left here I was in love with Virginia Tech so I decided to come here," Hazelton said.
"We just challenged and tried to stay with him to use that year to continue to improve his skills to continue to get bigger and stronger in the weight room which he has certainly done. So he's made the most of that time," Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente said.
As a freshman at Ball State, Hazelton played 11 games, and had 51 receptions for 505 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The Hokies coaching staff believes the 6-foot-2, 222-pound redshirt sophomore will provide a spark to the offense.
"He can do whatever you want to ask him to do, you know. He's a great route-runner, great hands, competitive and can run every route in a route tree. He can run by a guy, can jump over a guy, he's a pretty skilled athlete," Hokies wide receivers coach Holmon Wiggins said.
"He's just a big, talented, strong fast receiver. I mean that's what you want in a guy like that. He's also a great leader on this team and he brings a great energy to the practice field," Hokies quarterback Josh Jackson said.
Wide receivers' coach Wiggins is confident in the depth at receiver this season, including Hazelton, Phil Patterson, Sean Savoy and Eric Kumah among others.