The Virginia Tech Hokies dealt with multiple early-season injuries in 2014 to some key players including Brandon Facyson and Luther Maddy. The Hokies sent applications to get medical redshirts for multiple players, and received news about the NCAA's decision for these players.
Unsurprisingly, the Hokies received all good news for five players.
The Hokies received medical hardship waivers for Brandon Facyson, Luther Maddy, Desmond Frye, Kalvin Cline, and Braxton Pfaff which means that last season will be a redshirt year for all five players.
Facyson struggled in the first three games due to his injury which led to him being benched before the Georgia Tech game. That move allowed the Hokies to pursue a medical redshirt for Facyson.
Facyson is recovering from a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg, and will miss all of Spring Practice, but should be ready for fall practice. A healthy Facyson is one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the college football with his extremely good ball hawking skills. A healthy Facyson will also have the speed to be effective in man coverage which caused him problems in the three games he played in this past season.
The return of Luther Maddy to the program is part of the reason why the Hokies have the best defensive line for the upcoming season. Maddy has the talent to make the All-ACC First Team next season and prove that he should be picked on Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft. Maddy is going to be a force that teams will want to double-team, but won't because of the Hokies having Dadi Nicolas, Ken Ekanem, and Corey Marshall.
Desmond Frye will be looking to win one of the two starting safety jobs though it seems almost certain that Chuck Clark will be the starting free safety as he should be. Frye brings the most experience to the rover position battle, but will be challenged by younger guys like Anthony Shegog, C.J. Reavis, and Holland Fisher who is the major wild card in this position battle.
Kalvin Cline is part of one of the best groups of tight ends in the country with Bucky Hodges and Ryan Malleck. It will be very important for Cline to stay healthy this season as the Hokies could line up Hodges outside more, and also have Malleck and Cline on the field together. Malleck will also be gone after 2015 while Hodges has the talent to potentially leave early for the NFL so Cline may be the starting tight end in 2016.
Braxton Pfaff is going to be a name to watch as he entered Virginia Tech with four-star pedigree, but hasn't had a chance to prove himself yet. Outside of Wyatt Teller at left guard, the whole offensive line is open for competition and Pfaff will need a strong spring, but getting an extra year of eligibility could be valuable for getting playing time at the collegiate level sometime down the road.
None of these decisions are surprises, but Frank Beamer and the rest of the coaches will be breathing a sigh of relief that Brandon Facyson, Luther Maddy, Desmond Frye, Kalvin Cline, and Braxton Pfaff were all able to get medical redshirts.