Not too long ago, HokieHaven.com reported that cornerback Shawn Payne was set to transfer. Meanwhile, both Payne and Holland Fisher had been dealing with some academic issues off the field, which started to limit them in practice. Over the past few weeks, rumors with Payne and Fisher transferring have been picking up.
Now, the rumors surrounding Fisher and Payne have become true.
This is not a major surprise, but is a disappointment as both players athletically and physically seemed to have some upside. Payne never really climbed up the depth chart at cornerback while Fisher never found a consistent position or good fit on the Virginia Tech roster.
In 2015, the loss of these players will have no impact on the team as both players were buried on the depth chart. Even beyond 2015, it didn't seem likely that either player would receive significant defensive playing time.
Of the two, Payne was the significantly less-regarded recruit that only received two offers from the Hokies and Charlotte. Payne was a lowly-rated three-star with intriguing potential upside with 6'3'' height, but he never worked out. A move to a small conference FBS program or FCS team seems likely for Payne though a JUCO stop may be in the nearer future.
Fisher was probably the Hokies' second-highest rated recruit behind only Kendall Fuller, and will definitely go down as a major disappointment. Fisher was an Under Armour All-American, and was a big get for the Hokies from the Richmond metro that the Hokies have had some struggles in.
Fisher was seen as a big part of the future of the Hokies' DBU as a potential star rover, but the former four-star recruit never panned out with the Hokies.
Fisher made a position change this past spring from rover to whip linebacker with the hope that this move would maximize Fisher's talent. However, Fisher never gained any ground in climbing up the depth chart at the whip linebacker spot with Anthony Shegog and Raymon Minor making the move to the whip spot to back up Ronny Vandyke.
Fisher seems very likely to head to a junior college school to rebuild his stock, and get a second chance at a major FBS program. With his past pedigree, it seems likely that a power 5 conference FBS program will give him the chance, but it likely will not be one as big as Virginia Tech.
The losses of Holland Fisher and Shawn Payne, while disappointing given Fisher's upside, will not really affect the Hokies on the field over the course of time that they would have been in Blacksburg.