The Virginia Tech and Tulane football teams entered the Military Bowl Wednesday afternoon with different-looking rosters. The Hokies had most of their 2023 roster in place, while the Green Wave were missing some of their key players.
In the case of Virginia Tech, one area in which they were missing a starter was at the tight end position. Dae'Quan Wright announced after the Hokies, 55-17, victory over Virginia on Thanksgiving Weekend that he was entering the transfer portal. That opened the door for a pair of young tight ends and they took full advantage of their opportunity.
Here are three Hokies who earned valuable snaps against Tulane to get ready for bigger roles in the seasons to come.
Harrison Saint Germain
No Wright meant that the Hokies were thin at the tight end spot. Freshman Harrison Saint Germain was one player who got some snaps against Tulane. Saint Germain only had two receptions, but one of them was a key grab late in the first half for a touchdown.
Facing a second-and-goal from the Tulane 1 and no timeouts remaining, quarterback Kyron Drones dropped back and found a wide open Saint Germain in the end zone to break a 10-10 tie and give the Hokies a 17-10 lead. His first career reception is one he'll never forget.
Virginia Tech's other tight end also contributed in the win over the Green Wave and Gosnell, younger brother of wide receiver Stephen, chipped in during the season, but had a key reception against Tulane. He finished with two catches for 21 yards, including a key fourth-quarter touchdown.
Facing 2nd-and-9 from the Green Wave 10-yard line, Drones scrambled and it looked like he was going to tuck the ball and run, however, Tulane's defense converged on him and he was able to find a wide-open Gosnell in the end to give the Hokies' a 34-20 lead. That was a big play that gave Virginia Tech some breathing room.
Virginia Tech was a little thin in the secondary against Tulane and it gave Pry and defensive coordinator Chris Marve the perfect opportunity to give some younger guys some time. One of them, Phillips stepped and played a big role for the Hokies.
He finished with seven tackles, five solo, and a huge forced fumble in the second half that caused a turnover and sealed the Virginia Tech win. He got some time late in games that were decided this season, but he played a bigger role against the Green Wave and he was up for the challenge.