Beamer still with the Hokies

25 Display
Blacksburg, Va., Nov. 9—25’s On Display. In the second year of the Beamer jersey tradition, the Merryman Athletic Facility puts Beamer’s number on the new Nike jersey designs. The exhibit shows both the 2017 home and away uniforms. Photo: Drew Davis.

by Drew Davis–

When head football coach Frank Beamer retired in 2015, Virginia Tech had to brace for change—change it had not had combatted for over 29 years. Yet out of this adjustment, under new head coach Justin Fuente, came a new tradition that kept a bit of the past.

The former Memphis football leader decided to reward a player each week with the retired No. 25 Beamer jersey to wear for excellent special teams play.

Now almost two seasons in, the tradition is still alive and well, and Blacksburg has seen a variety of players sporting the 25.

There’s been the fast.

Greg Stroman arguably had the greatest performance donning the two numbers, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch recaps.

For the homecoming game in 2016, the cornerback/return man scored on an 87-yard punt return touchdown and notched 155 All-Purpose yards against North Carolina.

There’s been the big.

 Ricky Walker became the largest to wear Beamer’s former numbers.

Hokiesports broke the news, as the three hundred pound defensive tackle would go on to have four tackles, three solo, one tackle for loss, and one pass batted down in a win against Duke.

 There’ve been the freshmen.

True freshmen wide receiver Divine Deablo and Australian-born punter Oscar Bradburn in 2016 and 2017 respectively wore the 25, as the newcomers too joined the newer tradition.

Of note, Deablo forced a fumble and the Bradburn had a 53-yard punt, both in victories.

Overall, Fuente says, “Thanks to Coach Beamer, his assistants and many talented student-athletes, Virginia Tech has become synonymous with special teams success.”

Now with Beamer gone, he remains with the team through the tradition and the special teams continue to succeed with great plays like Stroman’s and Deablo’s in the 25.

Beamer thinks this gesture shows the Hokies continue to be good hands.

“I couldn’t be more appreciative of the way Coach Fuente and everyone at [Virginia] Tech has handled the coaching transition. I think we have a great head coach who is going to continue to make Virginia Tech even better.”

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds became the latest to wear the jersey numbers in Virginia Tech’s 28-22 defeat to Georgia Tech Saturday.


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