Because the senior played in less than 30 percent of the team’s games this season, he’s eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver after the season to get another year of eligibility.
A 2009 signee out of Maidens who prepped at Fork Union, Coles has not redshirted in his career, making it likely that the NCAA will grant him another year.
Coles had offseason surgery on the PCL of his right knee and had a slow recovery that dragged into August. He finally returned close to full strength late in preseason practice but left Monday’s game with another injury to his right knee after being tackled near the sideline on a crossing route in the first quarter.
Georgia Tech cornerback Rod Sweeting went low to tackle Coles. The two appeared to knock knees. Virginia Tech announced during the game that Coles’ return was questionable but that the injury was unrelated to his PCL. He’ll undergo an MRI soon but the injury is considered severe enough for him to miss the season.
The 6-foot-4, 226-pound Coles was expected to be a key part of the Hokies’ receiving game, along with fellow seniors Marcus Davis and Dyrell Roberts. He has 39 career receptions for 507 yards and three touchdowns.
Virginia Tech will likely turn to Corey Fuller and Demitri Knowles to make up for Coles’ absence.
Fuller, a senior, had career highs with five catches for 82 yards in the opener, with clutch receptions of 22 and 23 yards on Virginia Tech’s game-tying drive at the end of the fourth quarter. Knowles, a speedy redshirt freshman, caught a 42-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for his first career reception.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Asante and true freshman Josh Stanford could also see increased time in the receiving game.
** In other news, Virginia Tech confirmed sophomore safety Boye Aromire has left the program for “personal reasons,” another blow to an already-thin secondary.
A midyear enrollee in the winter of 2011, Aromire played in 10 games last year, mostly on special teams. The Washington, D.C., product was listed as the Hokies’ third-string rover this year, behind Kyshoen Jarrett and Michael Cole. He did not play at all against Georgia Tech.