Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
After initially opting out for the 2020 season, defensive end Tyjuan Garbutt is returning to the field for the Hokies.
Fuente: "Defensive end Tyjuan Garbutt is back with us practicing. I'm not sure when he'll be back ready to play...I don't think it'll be this week...but he's training and working his way back." #Hokies— Mike McDaniel (@MikeMcDanielVT) October 26, 2020
This comes after Justin Fuente made an announcement on August 7th that Garbutt would be opting out for the fall due to a “family matter.” It does appear likely that Garbutt may miss a couple more games but a return in time for the Miami game on November 14th seems possible.
In 2019, Garbutt started eleven games for the Hokies, registering thirty-one tackles which 3.5 counted as tackles for losses as well as one sack.
In his career with Virginia Tech, Garbutt has started 16 games and has recorded 62 tackles, 10 of which were for losses, and 2 sacks. Garbutt was projected to be a starting defensive end prior to the season.
Now the focus will be on how quick the redshirt junior can return to the field. First, he could be faced with a quarantine period that incoming transfers like Devin Taylor and Changa Hodge had to go through when they joined the team after the start of fall camp though that process may be almost complete at this point for Garbutt given Fuente's comments.
His role with the Hokies will also depend on whether or not he can get back into game shape and work his way back up the depth chart, although the Hokies have had a lack of depth at the defensive positions. While Garbutt grabbing a starting job at defensive end at some point this season seems like a stretch, he definitely could pop up on the two-deep with a good chance to take a starting job in 2021.
Overall, it is great to see the return of TyJuan Garbutt who should provide a boost to a defensive line that has struggled a lot over the past three weeks.