BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente announced Monday that starting with Saturday’s game against Liberty, a special teams player of the week will be selected to wear the No. 25 as a tribute to Coach Frank Beamer and his legacy of special teams excellence he spawned for the Hokies.
“Thanks to Coach Beamer, his assistants and many talented student-athletes, Virginia Tech has become synonymous with special teams success,” Fuente said. “When opposing coaches and fans hear the term Hokies, the first thing that pops into the many of their minds is blocked punts and big plays in the kicking game. Coach Beamer revolutioned the college game by putting such a priority on special teams. With his blessing, we’ll honor a player every week and pay homage to the tradition of excellence at Virginia Tech by allowing them to wear Coach Beamer’s No. 25 jersey in that week’s game.”
During the 1990s, no FBS team blocked more kicks (63) than Virginia Tech did under Beamer as the Hokies turned the craft into a virtual art form. During Beamer’s 29-season at the helm for the Hokies; Tech blocked 136 kicks (67 punts, 41 FGs and 28 PATs). Remarkably, 20 of those blocked punts were recovered or returned for touchdowns. During the 1998 season alone, the Hokies blocked 12 kicks.
The return game also became another scoring opportunity that Beamer used to its maximum potential. Fittingly, Jon Jefferies registered a 92-yard kickoff return TD in Beamer’s inaugural game vs. Clemson on Sept. 12, 1987 and Greg Stroman galloped for a 67-yard punt TD in his final game at Tech’s head coach in the 2015 Independence Bowl. During that 29-year span, players like Eddie Royal, Macho Harris, DeAngelo Hall, AndréDavis and many others solidified Tech’s reputation as the home of some of the nation’s most exciting return men.