User ID: Password:

January 8, 2014

News & Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

Tech adds Purdue to football schedule

Virginia Tech and Purdue have agreed to play a home-and-home football series that begins in 2015.

The Hokies will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., for a Sept. 19, 2015 game against the Boilermakers. Purdue then comes to Blacksburg for a game on Sept. 9, 2023. Tech officials juggled a game with East Carolina in 2015 to fit in Purdue, agreeing with ECU officials to move a scheduled Sept. 19 game to Sept. 26. That game will be played in Greenville, N.C.

The addition of Purdue fills the vacancy on the Hokies’ 2015 schedule. The Hokies, who will play Ohio State, Furman, at East Carolina and at Purdue in 2015, have their future schedules filled through the 2016 season.

Coincidentally, the 2016 season marks the first meeting between the Hokies and Notre Dame. Tech will play at Notre Dame on Nov. 19 of that season.

Purdue marks the fifth Big Ten team on the Hokies’ future schedules, joining Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State.

Several Tech seniors to participate in all-star games

Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, defensive back Kyle Fuller and defensive end James Gayle are three of eight Tech players who are participating in postseason all-star games as they try to catch the eyes of NFL scouts in advance of May’s NFL Draft.

Thomas, Fuller and Gayle agreed to play in the Senior Bowl, arguably the most prestigious of the all-star games. The Senior Bowl will be played at 4 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The NFL Network will televise the game.

Linebacker Tariq Edwards, linebacker Jack Tyler and defensive end J.R. Collins all have agreed to play in the second annual College All-Star Bowl to be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 14 at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. CBS Sports Network will televise this game.

Defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins will be playing in the East-West Shrine Game held Jan. 18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hopkins will suit up for the West team. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. and will be televised on the NFL Network.

Receiver D.J. Coles has agreed to play in the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl to be held at 2 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, S.C. Coles will play for the National team. Funds from this game go to the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Project.

Rankin leaves Tech basketball program

Marquis Rankin has decided to leave the Virginia Tech basketball program because of personal reasons. Rankin, who had been around the program and sat on the bench with the team during home games this season, notified Tech coach James Johnson of his intentions shortly after Christmas.

Rankin, from Charlotte, N.C., plans on staying at Tech as a student and working toward his degree.

“I completely support Marquis on his decision, “ Johnson said. “He is an outstanding young man who had to make a difficult choice, and I know that he took the time to make sure it was the correct decision. While we will miss not having him on the team, I am very happy that he has decided to stay at Virginia Tech and work toward his ultimate goal of a degree from our university.”

Rankin, a junior, played in 53 games during his Tech career, starting 13 of them. Last season, he started seven of the 29 games in which he played and averaged 3.4 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist per game. He shot 39.3 percent from the floor.

For his career, he averaged 3 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound per game and shot 37 percent from the floor.

Soccer player earns program’s first invite to MLS Combine

Tech senior goalkeeper Kyle Renfro was included among the nation’s elite college seniors invited to compete in the 2014 adidas MLS Combine, as announced by Major League Soccer. He became the first Tech player to be invited to the annual combine, which was held Jan. 10-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Renfro started and played in 63 matches since arriving at Tech in the fall of 2010. He accrued 14 shutouts in his career and boasted a .782 save percentage over four years of play. The Forest, Va. native led the ACC in saves the past three seasons and was named a first-team All-ACC selection and a second-team All-Region selection for his performance during the 2013 campaign.