Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Virginia Tech released a video featuring their freshman class arriving this summer to join the Hokie football team for voluntary workouts as things ramp up for the 2020 season. However, one player has not yet arrived in Blacksburg, French TE Wilfried Pene, according to a video released by the football program.
Pene played this past season at a private school in the Northeast before returning home to France a few months ago. However, likely due to international travel restrictions France and the United States have implemented in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pene has still not been able to leave his native country to travel to Blacksburg and join the football team.
When asked for comment, Virginia Tech referred us back to the video they released today, unsurprising given how this situation goes beyond normal athletic manuevering and verges on being a situation involving international diplomacy and relations given the complexities of international COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Here's a couple of the comments that Pene shared during the Twitter video to Hokie fans.
"Just want to let you know that I'll come as soon as I can to the U.S.," Pene said. "I'm excited to be a Hokie."
Pene is a very intriguing tight end prospect who is fairly raw as a football player, but shows the athletic and fundamental skills to develop into a very productive player for the Hokies. While a redshirt year was likely for Pene anyway, Tech would definitely rather have him on campus as soon as they can so that they can get him into their program, even if it will look a lot different.
Tech should be june fine at tight end with star junior James Mitchell at the top with expectations high for the SWVA native who was impressive last season. Mitchell is followed by sophomore Nick Gallo, who will slide into the #2 role and likely play a lot this season, and redshirt junior Drake DeIuliis.
For the 2020 season, whenever that may be, not having Pene isn't a big deal, but there's no doubt that the Hokies want to get Wilfried Pene to Blacksburg as soon as possible for his long term development since he has the potential to be a high quality starting tight end for VT in the not too distant future.