Monday Mail: Bud Foster’s Departure, Breakout Players and Justin Fuente’s Contract

Welcome back, folks! College football is right around the corner, as is Virginia Tech’s season-opener vs. Boston College on Aug. 31. The Hokies are well into preseason camp, so it’s time to revive Monday Mail.

Thanks for submitting your questions this week. Let’s get started with the biggest news of the preseason.

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The End of Another Era: Bud Foster Deserves a Legend’s Ending

As sportswriters, we get the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with all sorts of people. Some of the people in the business are a pain to deal with, while others are as nice and as welcoming as they come.

Often, it’s hard to find a figure that is not only at the top of his profession but who is also a genuinely nice human being. But I found that guy in Bud Foster. And while we should all congratulate Foster on retiring from football, it’s going to be tough when he’s no longer around.

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Virginia Tech’s Quiet Strength: The Receiving Corps

There are plenty of negative topics to discuss in regards to Virginia Tech’s 2019 season. Tech has little to no depth along the defensive line and at defensive back, while any hope of having a proven producer at running back for the 2019 season has faded.

While all of these have been covered extensively, one unit getting little attention is the Hokies’ group of receivers. This is a shame, cause this unit is quite good and despite the many weaknesses the Hokies have, the receiving corps may prove to be Virginia Tech’s saving grace.

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A Contentious, Uneasy Feeling Regarding Virginia Tech’s Defensive Line

Last season was not a banner year for the “Lunch Pail” defense. Virginia Tech’s defensive unit struggled both up front and on the back end, finishing 106th in rush defense and 63rd in pass defense.

I can bust out more statistics, but if you watched a decent number of the games from 2018, those stats would paint you a picture you’ve already seen. The Hokies’ defense was uncharacteristically bad.

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Tavien Feaster Could Be Virginia Tech’s Golden Ticket

How often does a player on a national championship-winning team, who’s one season removed a 1,000-yard season, decide to leave the program?

It feels like it’s happening more and more, and that former Clemson running back Tavien Feaster is just another example of an accomplished player looking for greener pastures.

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Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s Possible Landing Spots in 2019 NBA Draft

Few Virginia Tech basketball players have generated such high draft prospects as guard/forward Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The sophomore star showed drastic improvements this year, and his work is going to pay off on Thurs., June 20.

Here’s a look at where Alexander-Walker is projected to go in the 2019 NBA Draft, using some reputable publications’ mock drafts.

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Bryce Watts’ Absence Highlights Virginia Tech’s Cornerback Problem

Bryce Watts was never a highly successful player at Virginia Tech. That much is undisputed. But Watts still had time and room to grow, and there was still a chance that Watts would develop into a solid and consistent contributor.

That certainly won’t happen at Virginia Tech, now that Watts has decided to rival North Carolina. Watts entered the transfer portal on May 31 and announced his decision to transfer to Chapel Hill just nine days later.

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Sifting Through Recent Additions to the Virginia Tech Basketball Roster

Since being hired this offseason, Mike Young has worked quickly to reconstruct the Virginia Tech men’s basketball roster. Tech might’ve made the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons, but the Hokies’ roster looks vastly different than it did just a few months ago.

Young has added four players since taking over in Blacksburg — Keve Aluma, Hunter Cattoor, Jalen Cone and Branden Johnson. Of that group, all are currently eligible to play right away other than Aluma, who could seek a waiver from the NCAA. Young “retained” Landers Nolley, a former four-star recruit who was ineligible to play for Virginia Tech last season. Wabissa Bede is also returning to the Hokies, withdrawing from the transfer portal.

Virginia Tech’s 2019-2020 roster is beginning to take shape. With these young men on the roster, it’s fair to start figuring out what the Hokies’ rotation will look like next season.

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Monday Mail: Football Culture Turning the Corner, Basketball Recruits and More

Howdy Hokies, and welcome back to another edition of Monday Mail. We’re hitting the point of the year where there is little news to talk about, but if you dig deep enough you can find some potential nuggets that are actually pivotal moments.

I don’t want to spoil the questions for this week, so let’s get to it.

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Mike Young Begins Reconstruction of Virginia Tech Basketball With Nolley and Cattoor Commitments

Every solid building and every magnificent structure begins with a foundation. And every foundation begins with a single block.

That’s how Virginia Tech basketball fans need to view this offseason. Rome certainly wasn’t built in a single day, and the new version of Hokies hoops won’t be built that way either. But head coach Mike Young has his first two building blocks in place — forward Landers Nolley and guard Hunter Cattoor.

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