On Friday, Virginia Tech announced their five captains for the 2021 football season.
The five Hokies to earn the honor of captaincy are: tight end James Mitchell, linebacker Dax Hollifield, defensive back Chamarri Conner, and offensive linemen Brock Hoffman and Tyrell Smith.
In James Mitchell’s first season as the clear, primary tight end for the Hokies, the Big Stone Gap native led all Virginia Tech players with four receiving touchdowns in 2020.
Coming into the 2021 season, Mitchell is one of the top tight ends in the conference, as no other returning ACC tight end had more receiving yards than his 435 during the 2020 campaign. Mitchell was also selected to the All-ACC Preseason Team as the best tight end in the ACC entering this season
One of the defensive staples for Virginia Tech over the last three seasons has been no other than Dax Hollifield, who has played in 36 of the last 37 Hokie contests.
Playing in his third season with the Hokies in 2020, Hollifield recorded the sixth-most tackles on the team with 52. One of those performances included a new career-high of 13 tackles against ranked Miami on Nov. 14.
A positive on the defensive side of the ball for the Hokies was the play of Chamarri Conner, who moved from the nickel position to cornerback in 2020.
By leading all Hokies with 81 tackles last season, Conner earned the honor of being selected as an All-ACC Honorable Mention. The junior nickelback also picked up a pair of ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors against Boston College on Oct. 17 and Louisville on Oct. 31.
Going into 2021, a centerpiece of the Hokies’ success returns on their offensive line via the return of Brock Hoffman.
Marking his first full season of eligibility with the Hokies, Hoffman started in all eleven games for Virginia Tech and played a big role in helping the run game blossom to 240.1 yards per game.
The Statesville, NC native is also coming off a season where he was named an All-ACC honorable mention, as well as receiving ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors in the Hokies’ season opening 45-24 win against N.C. State on Sept. 26.
What sets Smith apart from his fellow captains coming into 2021 is that this will be his third season where he has earned the captain badge.
Smith’s time in Blacksburg dates back to 2015 with Smith being a regular on the offensive line in some form for much of the Justin Fuente era. The graduate student participated in ten games for the Hokies in 2020; a season after he only played 4 with the Hokies after suffering a season-ending injury.