The Virginia Tech Hokies announced their team that dressed for their game with East Carolina. The team that the Hokies have isn’t much different from who the Hokies had against Purdue except for a few changes including LB Raymon Minor dressing and RB Shai McKenzie not dressing.
However, the biggest surprise came in the form of freshman tight end Xavier Burke dressing.
Coming out of high school, Burke was seen as a high three-star recruit by some and a four-star recruit by others. Burke went to a prep school for half a semester last fall and arrived on campus this spring with four years of eligibility just like any player from the Class of 2015.
Burke showed that he has a lot of potential, and will help the Hokies continue having solid tight ends. However, having Burke dress today is a sign that Kalvin Cline may not be 100% though he has seemed to be fine the last couple of weeks.
The Hokies have the deepest group of tight ends in college football with Bucky Hodges, Ryan Malleck, and Cline, which makes the decision to dress Burke a little surprising. Now this doesn’t mean that Burke will play, but it does mean that Frank Beamer and company think there is a chance that he could.
Personally, this doesn’t make too much sense to me as the Hokies have that tremendous trio of tight ends already along with having Chris Durkin as a potential option at tight end. Burke has a lot of talent, but to burn his redshirt year just doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Next year, Burke could receive a lot of playing time depending on if Bucky Hodges decides to go to the NFL. If Hodges does leave for the NFL, Burke likely will be the #2 tight end though Chris Durkin could push him, and the Hokies are still in hot pursuit of the athletic four-star TE Jovani Haskins.
Xavier Burke is going to be a good tight end for the Hokies, but now is the time to stay committed to redshirting him instead of even thinking about playing him with the tight end depth the Hokies have.