Virginia Tech HC Justin Fuente Responds After 4 Players Transfer in 24 Hours

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2018, file photo, Virginia Tech head coach Justin Funente directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Virginia, in Blacksburg, Va. A victory by Marshall (8-3) would end the Hokies' nation's-best 25-year bowl streak, and leave one more spot open for other teams seeking the best postseason destination available. But Virginia Tech (5-6) has other plans. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
Steve Helber/Associated Press

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente remained positive in his message despite a rash of players transferring out of the program:

"I respect the fact that each individual’s circumstances and situation are different. We will continue to support all our student-athletes and wish them best whether their future is at Virginia Tech or another institution," Fuente said in his statement. 

In the last two days, four offensive players have entered themselves in the transfer portal or announced their decisions to move on, per Sam Cooper of Yahoo Sports. Quarterback Josh Jackson and running back Deshawn McClease have joined wide receiver Eric Kumah and tight end Chris Cunningham in looking for other schools.

All of them announced their decisions on Twitter, although Kumah was the only one who stated a reason, noting that receivers coach Holmon Wiggins was leaving the program. Per Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, the coach is headed to work in the same role at Alabama.

With 559 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season, Kumah was the most productive of the four transfers in 2018.

McClease also had a strong year with 433 rushing yards on 96 carries, but he has been with the program for four seasons and he is still behind Steven Peoples on the depth chart.

Jackson is another player likely concerned with playing time after losing his starting job this past season. The quarterback started as a freshman and threw 20 touchdown passes with six rushing touchdowns, but Ryan Willis took over under center in 2018.

A transfer could allow him to find a new chance to become a starter.

Meanwhile, Cunningham scored seven touchdowns in the past three seasons but only caught 22 total passes at tight end. He could potentially be an impact player for a team that uses him all over the field.

While these could all be significant losses for an offense that was up and down last season, Fuente seems to understand the different circumstances leading to their exits.

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