Throughout the past week, we’ve counted down the top 10 players from the 2016 season for the Virginia Tech Hokies along with giving out multiple awards including Offensive Hokie of the Year, Defensive Hokie of the Year, Breakout Hokie of the Year, and the Virginia Tech Position Coach of the Year. Now, we are on to the final award of the week, our MVP.
This choice was not unanimous among our staff, but our choice is one that likely doesn’t surprise anyone, the NFL-bound Jerod Evans.
Jerod Evans was one of the main catalysts for the Hokies’ first 10-win season and ACC Coastal title since 2011 as Evans was a star leading the Hokies in passing and rushing with 3,546 passing yards, 29 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a completion rate of 63.5% while also having 204 carries for 846 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns including an average of 4.1 yards per carry.
Evans also stepped up as a leader on this offense despite being the new quarterback with the Hokies being able to count on him to make some big plays in big situations. Evans also outplayed some talented quarterbacks in big games including Mitch Trubisky in Hurricane Matthew and Brad Kaaya on Thursday night in Blacksburg while also faring well against Deshaun Watson and Clemson.
Evans also had some fantastic moments from this past season from his sensational run against East Carolina where he made multiple defenders miss to helping lead the 24-point comeback win in the Belk Bowl against Arkansas that included him throwing 10 straight completions to start the second half.
Evans wasn’t perfect but there’s no doubt that Evans was the biggest star and most important player to Virginia Tech reestablishing themselves at the top of the ACC Coastal and getting back to the 10-win standard that defined the beginning of Virginia Tech’s tenure in the ACC.
Sam Rogers was the top competition and was the Hokies’ Swiss army knife with 283 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground plus 24 catches for 301 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. More than that, Rogers was the main player leader on this team and his leadership definitely was important for this Hokies’ team as they pulled off a couple of great comebacks at Notre Dame and in the Belk Bowl against Arkansas. More than anything else, Rogers was the ultimate Hokie and undoubtedly made every fan and alum of Virginia Tech football proud to have a man of his character on their team.
Woody Baron had one of the best seasons for a Virginia Tech defensive lineman in the past decade with 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 5 QB hurries, and 2 fumble recoveries on his way to earning ACSMA All-ACC First Team honors. Tremaine Edmunds was also quite good as he had 106 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 9 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups in what was an extremely good first season as a starter for one of the best returning linebackers in college football.
Congrats to Jerod Evans on a great season to earn the 2016 Tech Lunch Pail MVP honor. That’s all for our top 10 player countdown and the 2016 Tech Lunch Pail Awards but don’t worry; basketball and wrestling seasons are going quite well and if you’re still waiting for football to get back, spring isn’t too far away.