News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Friday, December 15, 2000
Vick to NFL: Not This Year
In a morning news conference at Virginia Tech's Merryman Center, Tech QB Michael Vick reiterated that he will be staying at Virginia Tech for his redshirt junior season in 2001.
Vick had previously addressed the issue last October, saying that he planned to return next season. According to an update on BeamerBall.com, the earlier announcements "were an attempt to try and give himself some breathing room to try and enjoy this past season, as well as having time to weigh all options at the end of the season."
So Michael has weighed all his options and has decided to stay at least one more season. This announcement is being hailed as the "definitive decision," meaning that Vick will not change his mind before January 12th's NFL draft declaration date. Thatís the day that underclassmen must announce their intentions to go pro, if they plan on entering this year's NFL draft.
The decision by Vick is good news for the Hokies on many levels. Number one, his return gives Virginia Tech a strong shot at being national championship contenders in 2001. The Hokies return most of their defense, special teams, and offensive skill players, and with a light out of conference schedule and home games against Miami and Syracuse, Tech is expected to make a run at the national championship.
Secondly, the Virginia Tech coaches have stated that at the present time, their next starting quarterback is not yet in the program and will likely be recruited this year. The pool of candidates to come in next fall and contend for the job in 2002 includes Arkansas QB Will Hunt, a Virginia Tech verbal commitment, and in-state QB's C.J. Fayton, Brian Randall, and Michael Robinson. The latter three quarterbacks are still uncommitted and are being recruited by Virginia Tech.
A return by Vick next year means that all incoming quarterbacks in the next Tech recruiting class will have a chance to redshirt, build size and strength, and learn the Virginia Tech system before one of them possibly starts as a redshirt freshman in 2002.
Third, Vick's return will ensure that the momentum that the Virginia Tech program has gained in recent years, including national exposure and increased season ticket sales, will continue.
Vick's announcement follows weeks of speculation and increasing public opinion that he would depart Virginia Tech this year. As recently as last week, TSL sources indicated that Vick's departure was a near-certainty, so if he holds true to his word from this press conference, his decision to stay is a pleasant surprise.
Note: in other news, be sure to read the latest TSL column, The State of Things, by Will Stewart