Some of the NFL's top recent talents happen to be Virginia Tech alumni. While the current occupants of those starting roles aren't quite the legends that came before them, that doesn't mean Ohio State won't have their hands full come Labor Day.
Michael Vick, QB ('99-'00)
After leading the Hokies for two seasons, Vick headed to the NFL in spectacular fashion as the number one overall draft pick in 2001. His time at Virginia Tech was highlighted by 192 completed passes for 3,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His stats weren't limited to passing, as he still hold the No. 25 spot of top rushers at Virginia Tech since 1970; Vick totaled 235 rushing attempts for 1,299 yards and 17 touchdowns. An equal threat in the air as on the ground, he found himself sporting an Atlanta Falcons jersey for his first six years in the league. Followed by a multi-year stint in jail for a dog-fighting operation, Vick had his chance at redemption after Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid invited the former star to join a new organization. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he spent five years as an Eagle, followed by a year as a New York Jet; his future in the league is questionable, but when people think Michael Vick, they think Virginia Tech.
Current starter: Michael Brewer
Brewer played for Texas Tech University before transferring to Virginia Tech after the 2013 season. Named the start just before the 2014 season, his claim to fame is no doubt leading the only team to beat Ohio State. He lacks the rushing acumen of several of his predecessors, but has the skills to churn out an impressive senior campaign. Just during his time as a Hokie, Brewer has 262 completions for 2,692 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He learned this offense in just a two-month time period, and is expected to be significantly better this coming season.
Other notable VT quarterbacks in the NFL:
- Logan Thomas (Arizona Cardinals) - College stats: 693 completions for 9,003 yards, 53 touchdowns and 39 interceptions; he also rushed for 1,359 yards and 24 touchdowns.
- Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) - College stats: 495 completions for 7,017 yards, 44 touchdowns and 20 interceptions; he also rushed for 2,187 yards and 23 touchdowns.
DeAngelo Hall, CB ('01-'03)
Hall was a well-rounded contributor for Virginia Tech, playing DB his first two seasons with the Hokies, wide receiver his junior campaign, and acting as a punt returner all three years. His defensive stats include four interceptions, one in which he returned for a touchdown, and he claimed two touchdowns as a punt returner his sophomore season. His last year playing for the Hokies included one rushing and one receiving touchdown, one interception and three touchdowns off punt returns. Now a 12 season veteran to the NFL, he's earned three trips to the Pro Bowl and won Pro Bowl MVP in 2010. Hall played for the Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders and is in his seventh season with the Washington Redskins. His tenure includes playing in a total of 152 games for 733 total combined tackles, 43 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, five touchdowns and two quarterback sacks.
Current standout: Kendall Fuller
Fuller is no stranger to Hokie Nation as all three of his brothers, Vincent, Corey and Kyle, were standouts at Virginia Tech. In his two years as a starter, Fuller has a stunning 113 total combined tackles and eight interceptions with one being a pick-six. He's been appropriately recognized for his hard work including 2013 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (ACSMA and Coaches). In 2014 he earned honors for Second-, and Third-team All-American from six of the reputable ranking organizations.
Other notable VT cornerbacks in the NFL:
- Brandon Flowers (San Diego Chargers) - College stats: 155 total combined tackles, 10 interceptions, three sacks and 1 forced fumble. Since his time as a Hokie, Flowers has played in 102 NFL games and has claimed 426 total combined tackles, 20 interceptions, four forced fumbles and three turnover touchdowns.
- Kyle Fuller (Chicago Bears) - College stats: 173 total combined tackles, six interceptions, three forced fumbles and one punt return for a touchdown.
- Jayron Hosley (New York Giants) - College stats: 107 total combined tackles, 12 interceptions, two forced fumbles and one punt return for a touchdown.
Kam Chancellor, S ('06-'09)
Originally a successful high school quarterback, Chancellor was moved to the cornerback position before his first season as a Hokie. He saw starting time as a true freshman and recorded 208 total tackles, six interceptions and two forced fumbles during his college career. He was drafted in 5th round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, where he still resides. Chancellor was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and in his five years in the league, has amassed 398 total tackles, eight interceptions, eight forced fumbles and two sacks. In addition to being a Super Bowl champion, he also recorded his first career pick-six in the 2014 post season.
Possible playmaker in the secondary: Chuck Clark
Clark is preparing for his junior year with the Hokies and could switch to safety to fill the void left by graduates -- depending somewhat on the health of of corner Brandon Facyson. After a 2014 season in which he improved greatly, he is projected to be the starting corner come the fall. Despite a true freshman showing of only 22 total combined tackles, his sophomore season included 73 total combined tackle and one interception.
Eddie Royal, WR ('04-'07)
Royal was a Jack of all trades during his time at Virginia Tech, amassing receiving, returning, rushing and even passing stats. He was a stud across the board with 119 receptions for 1,778 yards and 12 touchdowns, in addition to three punt return touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown. He's spent half of his NFL career playing for the Denver Broncos and the other half for the San Diego Chargers, and in 2015 he will take his talents to the Chicago Bears. He's been a big contributor to offenses with 338 receptions for 3,750 yards and 25 touchdowns, not to mention his 2,547 yards and three touchdowns from punt and kick returns.
Current receiver: Isaiah Ford
Ford is going into his sophomore season with the Hokies and made a splash as a true freshman in 2014. At 6'1, 180 pounds, he's already the leading receiver on the team accounting for 56 receptions for 709 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 12.7 yards per catch and even completed a 30-yard pass under center. He may be young, but that just means he has several more years to contribute to this offense and could wind up being one of Virginia Tech's successful alumni.
Other notable VT receivers in the NFL:
- Jarrett Boykin (Carolina Panthers) - College stats: 184 receptions for 2,884 and 18 touchdowns. He hasn't contributed much in his few years in the NFL, but that could change with his new team in 2015.
- Corey Fuller (Detroit Lions) - College stats: 45 receptions for 834 yards and six touchdowns. Fuller only played two season at Virginia Tech, hence the small number of targets, but he has paid off in his sophomore season in the league, playing in 16 games and claiming 14 receptions for 212 yards and one touchdown.