Virginia Tech Football: Khalil Herbert Could Have A Big Rookie Season

Khalil Herbert had to make a stop before ultimately landing with the Virginia Tech football team but he made his time in Blacksburg count.

Journey to Virginia Tech and the NFL

According to 247Sports, Herbert was a three-star recruit out of Florida in the class of 2016. He originally enrolled a the University of Kansas. In his freshman year, he didn’t see much action, featuring in eight games and starting just three of them. He had 189 yards on 44 carries and three touchdowns during the 2016 season.

He saw his workload increase in his sophomore year by starting six of the eleven games he saw action in. He had 120 carries for 663 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. His best game as a Jayhawk came against the West Virginia Mountaineers when he ran for 291 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries in the game.

His junior and senior season saw his playing time decline a bit. In 2018, he ran for 494 yards and five touchdowns in nine games. In his senior year, he only saw playing time in the first four games. He did have 384 yards and two touchdowns in those four games played. Against the Boston College Eagles in 2019, he accounted for an 82-yard run, the longest in his career.

When Herbert came to Virginia Tech, the Hokies were looking for a running back to help lead the game and alleviate some of the quarterback pressure. This was something that Tech hadn’t had in a while. Herbert did just that as he was a big reason why the Hokies found some offensive success.

In just one season with the Hokies, Herbert rushed for 1,204 yards and eight rushing touchdowns as well as 10 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown through the passing game. He became the first Hokie to rush for over 1,000 yards since 2015 when Travon McMillian accomplished this. He was also named Third Team All-ACC as a running back. His terrific final season led him to draw attention from NFL teams.

NFL

The Chicago Bears drafted Herbert with the 217th pick in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The running back room in Chicago is crowded and it is almost guaranteed that David Montgomery will be the starter at the beginning of the season. The backup to Montgomery is where the question marks come in. Herbert could very well beat out Tarik Cohen for the position during training camp. It will be a tough challenge for Herbert to come away with the second-string spot but it is something he is capable of.

The former Hokie is a strong and powerful runner who can break out of small holes in the defensive line and burst down the field with speed. He also can be used in the receiving game which will add another weapon to the Bear’s offense. At Virginia Tech, Herbert was also utilized in the kick return game. Special teams could be another spot that Herbert sees playing time for the Bears this season.