Revitalized rushing attack could make a difference for the Hokies

Virginia Tech welcomed two running backs via transfer in the off season.

Virginia Tech senior running back Jalen Holston catches a pass at a recent practice (Virginia Tech Atletics)

ROANOKE, Va. – In the past, Virginia Tech fans were used to seeing 1,000 yard single-season rushers like Danville native, David Wilson in 2011 or Ryan Williams in 2009. But that hasn’t been the case under head coach Justin Fuente’s “running backs by committee” approach, which does appears to be stronger this upcoming season.

“As it stands right now I feel good about the development,” Fuente said in a recent virtual press conference.

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During the offseason, Tech welcomed two running backs to help its cause. Raheem Blackshear, who transferred from Rutgers, offers a dynamic set of skills as a rusher, receiver and returner.

“I just want to come in and contribute to my team and help them be successful at wherever they want me to be whether at running back or in the slot,” Blackshear said.

“Whatever I can do to make my team successful, I’m going to push to do that.”

The Hokies also welcomed Kansas transfer Khalil Herbert who’s excited at the possibility of being a workhorse for a team that has an aggressive and effective offensive line.

“Whether it’s the 1′s, 2′s or 3′s, it’s a lot of experience coming back and you can tell that they’ve worked together with each other, a lot of communication on the front,” said Herbert.

While some new faces will tote the rock, it’s a familiar one that’s taking more of a leadership role. Senior Jalen Holston had his 2019 campaign end during the opener with Boston College. But is now ready to lead on and off the field in 2020.

“Helping those young guys come along and getting the whole team right and for me when my number is called I’m going to come play,” Holston said.

This trio will compliment an explosive Keshawn King and a host of other young backs. And by the looks of the talented group, the ground attack will be a threat for this budding offense.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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