First, place-kicker Brooks Abbott has decided to transfer. Second, fullback Riley Beiro will end his career for medical reasons.
Abbott came to Tech as a U.S. Army All-American last year out of Jacksonville, Fla., agreeing to join the Hokies as a preferred walk-on. He burned his redshirt early last season, taking over kickoff duties in the fourth week against Bowling Green.
He averaged 61.5 yards on kickoffs but opponents had an average starting position at the 33-yard line, far better than when Michael Branthover kicked off (21-yard line). Abbott and Branthover eventually ceded duties to Cody Journell at the end of the season.
Journell will be Tech’s primary kicker again this year, meaning competition for the job won’t start in earnest until 2014. The Hokies have a commitment from Athens, Ga., kicker Michael Santamaria for next February and will welcome Richmond transfer Remington Hinshaw, who has to sit out this year. Freshman walk-on R.J. Warfel from Paeonian Springs is the only other place-kicker currently on the roster.
Beiro, a junior from McLean, played in 20 games during his Hokies career, used primarily as a blocker. He had shoulder surgery last year and missed the final seven games. He was a limited participant in the spring.
With Beiro done, the Hokies will likely look at Greg Gadell, Fuller Hoepner, Jerome Wright and Griffin Hite at fullback.
The Hokies have their first practice Monday.