Virginia Tech fans received some surprising news today as WR Jaden Payoute announced on Twitter that he has medically retired from football.
Thank you Hokie Nation for the endless love and support. Will always be a Hokie forever 🧡 #4704 pic.twitter.com/MYQ2T6lsh0— Jaden Payoute (@JJPayoute_1) March 29, 2022
This comes after Payoute dealt with some injuries in 2020 and though he seemed healthy enough to play, his announcement today seems to suggest that the risks of further injuries began to outweigh the rewards. Payoute will end his career with a lone 42-yard reception against Maryland that excited Tech fans about his future but will prove to be his final impact at Virginia Tech.
With Payoute's decision, this does open a scholarship for Virginia Tech which could be used in the transfer portal as more players are likely to enter after spring practices wrap up across the country. Payoute keeps his scholarship personally as he continues his academic endeavors at Virginia Tech.
Payoute also leaves the WR competition where Jadan Blue, Kaleb Smith, and Da'Wain Lofton look like the favorites to start this fall with Jaylen Jones and Dallan Wright among the the top backups.
For many, Payoute's career will be deemed a what if largely due to the injuries that clearly hindered his ability to find his football rhythm at Virginia Tech after coming in as a highly-regarded four-star recruit with loads of speed out of the Richmond area. Some may also blame simply poor gameplanning and poor coaching by the former staff given Payoute's tool, but injuries clearly may have played a larger factor than previously realized.
We will have more as this story develops.