The region with the most diehard support for Virginia Tech outside of Blacksburg is undoubtedly the Roanoke Valley. Plenty of kids have football dreams growing up wanting to play for the Hokies someday with fond memories of watching their first football games at Lane Stadium
For Roanoke ATH Jahzae Kimbrough out of Patrick Henry HS, a car accident did some harm to those dreams causing him to miss some of his junior season in what is a critical evaluation time. However, Kimbrough kept working hard and finished second on his team in tackles while also averaging over 20 yards per reception.
Now, Kimbrough has big goals for his senior season both for his school Patrick Henry HS and for himself.
"My goals for the season as a team would be to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. Made it to the 2nd round last year, so making it past there would be great. Personal goals, finish top 3 in tackles on my team. Be a leader to the younger players, show off my offensive skills. Being hurt didn’t allow me to showcase that I’m an underrated route runner. Also to obtain a FBS offer from a school. I’m grateful for my offers I have now but I also believe in my abilities and believe I can play on that stage," Kimbrough said.
To date, Kimbrough has scholarship offers from Norfolk State and VMI plus a preferred walk-on from Virginia Tech but he's also had a strong start to the season as he shared with us.
"The first two scrimmages, I played really well. Finished top 2 in tackles and I returned a 90 yard kick return and a forced fumble against Cabell Midland high school in WV. First game, I lead the team in tackles with 13 and two forced fumbles," Kimbrough said.
Kimbrough also has a good feel for what he brings to the table while also modeling what he does defensively after NFL star Tyrann Mathieu when asked what his strengths and weaknesses are.
"My strength is being a leader, my IQ for the game, being able to play multiple positions, you can put me anywhere on the field, and being a hard worker. I love practice and training just as much as I enjoy the games. I feel my weaknesses are my measurements. I’m not 6’2'' but I play like it! I have the same measurements as Tyrann Mathieu. Just a little taller but that’s the type of player I feel I can be for someone," Kimbrough said.
All of this will undoubtedly interest the Hokies who Kimbrough is hoping to earn a scholarship offer but knows that Tech is wanting to see more which his strong start certain to help.
"The offer is a PWO. Honestly, I believe that will change. I think they want to see more," Kimbrough said.
This weekend, he'll get to be around Tech's staff and plenty of current commits as he's one of numerous talented recruits visiting Blacksburg for the Hokies' game against Boston College. Though an offer may not be coming Saturday, he's hoping to earn a scholarship offer from the Hokies.
If he did, he shared how much that would personally mean to him.
"To be honest with you, it would be the world to me for a few reasons. I mean that’s my hometown team and I've been a fan since my dad took me to my first game as a kid. It’ll keep me close to the area and it’ll show kids from my neighborhood that all things are possible. Then having a full scholarship is the key for me. My dad is a single dad and has raised me by himself since I was 6. My mom is not in the picture and I can’t really remember that last time I seen her or spoke. So for my dad not to have the burden of paying for college after all he has done would be tears to eyes. The icing on the cake would be to get that full ride from the Hokies," Kimbrough said.
Jahzae Kimbrough has already locked in some parts of that with his full ride scholarships elsewhere and undoubtedly has a proud dad regardless of where he plays college football at, but he's continuing to work hard to earn that dream offer from the Hokies, the place where he remembers watching his first college football game.
And as someone who's a proud alum of Virginia Tech and proud to be living in the Roanoke Valley nowadays, I'm hoping that he earns that Hokies offer and gets to fulfill his dream of wearing the maroon and orange that he grew up rooting for.