BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry calls him “White Lightning” because of his remarkable speed. The Hokies football program is hoping that speed can be on display this season as Cole Beck makes a return to the gridiron.
“When I stopped playing football I never wanted to stop,” said Beck. “But, at the time I know I needed to just to focus on my track career.” It certainly wasn’t a bad decision.
The former Blacksburg High School standout was a force in the backfield for years for the Bruins in addition to being a stellar track athlete. Beck committed to Virginia Tech during the Justin Fuente era but eventually decided to put his entire focus into his college track career.
“I knew I could do something really special if I could just sit down and focus on that primarily,” said Beck. It certainly was not a bad decision. Not only has he help guide the Hokies program to ACC titles, but he’s done so individually as well. During the 2021 outdoor season, Beck became Virginia Tech’s first ACC Champion in the men’s 100 meter dash after recording a school record of 10.10 in qualifying for NCAA Championship.
During the 2022 indoor season, Beck captured gold in the men’s 200 meter dash at the ACC Championships with a time of 20.95 seconds. He also earned ACC Championships Men’s Track MVP.
“Over the past few years we’ve had a few championships as a team so I’ve had a great deal of success with my teammates over there,” said Beck.
Beck says timing has been key in his return to football but there was another process that took place before he suited up.
“He had to convince me, convince us that he really wanted to do this,” said Pry. “This wasn’t just, ‘Yeah, man, boy I’d like to be on the team again’ because this wasn’t going to be easy. It was going to be a tough road transitioning back to football, knocking off rust, learning a playbook. So it was a lot of work to be involved and I wanted to make sure he was really committed to it before we started messing with it. And he proved that.”
Part of the transition is a position change from when he last played football. Beck is working at the wide receiver position and he says the entire group has been helpful--from the likes of Jaden Blue, Da’Wain Lofton and Kaleb Smith.