GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former Virginia Tech wide receiver and return specialist Eddie Royal is one of 14 honorees to be recognized as part of the 2018 ACC Football Legends class announced Thursday by the league office.
In addition to Royal, the 14-member group includes Mathias Kiwanuka of Boston College; Brian Dawkins of Clemson; Steve Spurrier of Duke; Bobby Bowden of Florida State; Joshua Nesbitt of Georgia Tech; Roman Oben of Louisville; Ed Reed of Miami; Ron Rusnak of North Carolina; Mario Williams of NC State; Mark May of Pitt; Don McPherson of Syracuse, Herman Moore of Virginia; and Steve Justice of Wake Forest.
This year’s class will be honored during the ACC Night of Legends presented by the Charlotte Sports Foundation at the Charlotte Convention Center, on Friday, Nov. 30, and during the on-field pregame festivities at the 14th annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, set for the evening of Saturday, Dec. 1, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Tickets to the 2018 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game go on sale Tuesday.
Royal made a name for himself as a playmaker both from his receiver position and as a return specialist during his playing days from 2004-07. The Alexandria, Virginia, native scored touchdowns in four different ways during his career – via reception, rushing, passing and punt return.
Royal led the ACC in punt return average again as a senior, averaging 14.7 yards per return and scoring twice. He also posted career highs in receptions, with 33 for 496 yards, and touchdowns, with four, as a receiver, playing a pivotal role in leading Tech to its second ACC crown. He earned first-team All-ACC honors as a return specialist during his final campaign.
Royal still holds two school records – career punt return yardage, with 1,296 yards, and career kickoff return average, with 23.5. His 1,296 punt return yards still rank first in ACC history. As a receiver, Royal’s 119 career catches ranked third on Tech’s all-time list when he departed and still stand ninth on the list. Today, his 1,778 career receiving yards rank 11th on the all-time list.
Royal, who graduated with a degree in sociology, was selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He went on to spend nine seasons in the NFL with three different teams before retiring in 2017. This year, he will be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Today, Royal lives in Northern Virginia.