Football is back in Blacksburg for a month as the Hokies started spring practice this morning. The Hokies also released an updated spring roster to the public and there were multiple players that were surprisingly not on it.
The first two players that were reported to not be on it were WR Kendrick Holland and DE Dewayne Alford. Then, The Key Play
reported that they had received confirmation that Holland and Alford have left the program.
This definitely is a surprise to see that both Alford and Holland have left the program though a similar thing happened with Jerome Wright and he ended up returning to the program. However, that is usually a rare occurrence and is not likely what will happen in the cases of Alford and Holland.
Over the last few weeks, most of the talk about the backup defensive ends from coaches has been centered on Seth Dooley and Melvin Keihn with Dewayne Alford's name not even being mentioned which was surprising.
Today's news that Alford has left the program makes the fact that his name wasn't talked about make a lot more sense. Alford would have battled for a backup defensive end spot, but the Hokies have younger talent that was better and more athletic with Dooley and Keihn.
Kendrick Holland missed last season due to injuries and you have to wonder if he decided that it wasn't worth the risk of injury to continue playing. Holland definitely would have been a contender to be the number 3 or 4 receiver for the Hokies next fall, but has decided to leave the program instead.
After the initial report from The Key Play, Andy Bitter gave the scoop on five more players who had decided to leave the program.
Adam Taraschke and Zach Snell were two players that were unlikely to receive much if any playing time in the future so losing them only opens up some scholarships for the Class of 2016.
Josh Trimble and Dahman McKinnon both could have battle to be on the main depth chart in the fall with Trimble projecting to be a top contender for the whip linebacker spot. However, Bud Foster did not mention Trimble's name in interviews when talking about the whip linebacker which was a likely indication of this while injuries may be the reason for McKinnon stepping away from the team.
Carlis Parker is probably the biggest surprise with Parker being the early frontrunner to be the number 3 wide receiver before today's news. Parker did have to leave the program before the start of last season to deal with off-the-field issues and that may be part of what has led to this point. Parker is a disappointing loss as the Hokies' wide receiver depth is definitely weakened.
Overall, none of these losses are very significant, but the Hokies have lost some wide receiver depth, which may put more pressure on Jaylen Bradshaw, Demitri Knowles, and Kevin Asante to step up.