Nov 16, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies mascot comes on to the field at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Throughout the years of Virginia Tech sports there have been many great players which have been fan favorites. These players have brought countless amazing moments which will forever be etched in the history of Hokie athletics. All fans remember the great plays but somehow the careers of the players have been somewhat lost in the shuffle. So what has happened too many of these standouts in Hokie sports? Over a span of articles I will attempt to answer the question, where did they continue their careers and what are they doing now?
First, there is one of the most successful and more popular quarterbacks in Virginia Tech history. Bryan Randall was the Virginia Tech signal caller either in the back up or starter capacity from 2001 to 2004. Randall started for three years with the Hokies and led the team on amazing success. This success culminated in his senior year where he led the Hokies to their first ACC championship and a birth in the Sugar Bowl. Even with a stellar season in 2004, Randall was not drafted.
He signed with the Atlanta Falcons and spent the season on the Falcons’ practice squad. Over the next two years he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2006 season and with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2007 season. Although Randall’s NFL career did not continue, his football career did.
Bryan Randall has spent time in the Canadian Football League and with several indoor football teams. He has had success along the years winning MVP honors in two separate leagues, once with the Richmond Revolution of the IFL in 2010 and with the Laredo Rattlesnakes of the LSFL in 2013. Currently, Bryan Randall is a member of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.
The next familiar and well know player is Kevin Jones. Jones was a huge recruitment land for the Hokies in the recruiting class for the 2000 season. Jones was a blue chip recruit from Pennsylvania. His choice came down to Virginia Tech and Penn State. Kevin Jones chose the Hokies. He became a huge part of the running game at Virginia Tech, along with Lee Suggs. Jones was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions in 2004.
Kevin Jones had a stellar rookie season rushing for over 1000 yards putting him in a class with Barry Sanders and Billy Sims. However, Jones’s Detroit career was derailed by injury and he only spent three years as a Lion. In 2008, Jones signed with the Chicago Bears. He was signed to be the backup for Matt Forte. However, his career was once again derailed by injury. Torn ligaments in Jones’s ankle stole the 2009 season from him.
Kevin Jones was released and signed with the Hartford Colonials in 2010. That was the last year Kevin Jones played football but he did recently travel back to his old stomping grounds of Lane Stadium. This past spring Jones received his degree from Virginia Tech and participated in graduation exercises at the stadium where he had scored touchdowns years before.
There will always be Hokies who continue to pursue their careers in sports past Blacksburg. Hopefully the trend of Hokies in the professional leagues will continue. We continue to track the Hokies who are already in the pro ranks and follow their success with great enthusiasm. Next time, we will focus on two former Hokie hardwood stars.
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