NFL Hokies: Game-changing team moves ahead of 2024 season

Eight former Hokies find new homes across the league

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BLACKSBURG – As teams prepare for the 2024 NFL season, they are diligently working to ensure success in their upcoming campaign. Amidst these efforts, several former Hokies have found new homes in the league. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, three newly inducted NFL Hokies are taking the next step in fulfilling their dreams of playing professional football. 

DT Norell Pollard
Defensive tackle Norell Pollard recently signed with Washington. Pollard finished his fifth year with Virginia Tech, playing in 61 games with 48 starts. The Apopka, Florida native served as a team captain for his last two consecutive seasons, contributing 118 tackles including 22 for loss, 12 sacks and three forced fumbles. The 283-pound lineman earned a 77.7 grade from Pro Football Focus (PFF) in 2023, including an impressive 86.6 pass-rushing grade. 

DL Pheldarius Payne
Fellow defensive lineman Pheldarius Payne is heading to Houston after signing with the Texans, who are coming off one of their more promising seasons after winning the AFC South. According to CBS Sports, Payne ranked fourth on their list of the NFL’s top undrafted free agents, recognized as the epitome of a one-gap penetrator. The redshirt senior played in all 13 games of the 2023 season, totaling 31 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. The Nebraska transfer also registered four sacks, five quarterback hurries, a pass breakup, and a crucial forced fumble in the second quarter of the Military Bowl win over Tulane, preventing a touchdown. 

DT Mario Kendricks
Another newly inducted NFL player is Mario Kendricks, who was signed by Miami in mid-May following his participation in their minicamp on a tryout basis. Kendricks spent five seasons at Virginia Tech, playing in 56 games and registering 67 tackles and seven sacks. The Kissimmee, Florida native ended his collegiate career with 16 tackles last season, including 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a quarterback hurry. As a senior, the rookie signee achieved a 71.1 overall defensive grade and a 70.4 pressure grade from PFF, emphasizing his strong presence on the field. 

CB Kendall Fuller
Seasoned cornerback Kendall Fuller, entering his ninth NFL season, will join newcomer Kendricks after signing with Miami in March. The former Hokie previously played two stints in Washington and spent two years in Kansas City, where he contributed to the Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV victory at the end of the 2019 season, including a crucial interception against San Francisco. Fuller has played in 117 career games, with 93 starts, totaling 483 tackles, 2 sacks, 16 interceptions, and 75 passes defended. The two-time captain’s 75 career passes defended ranks 13th in the NFL since he entered the league in 2016. 

K Joey Slye
Fuller’s fellow Hokie alumni and former Washington teammate, kicker Joey Slye, has also found a new home in the league with New England. The seven-year veteran has played in 78 regular season games, connecting on 121 of 147 field goals and 138 of 156 extra points. Slye made history for the Commanders last season, registering a career-long and franchise record with a 61-yard field goal against Philadelphia on Oct. 26, 2023. 

TE Logan Thomas
Tight end Logan Thomas, who spent the majority of his career with Washington, has secured a spot with the Super Bowl LVII finalists in San Francisco. The former Hokie will enter his ninth NFL season, having appeared in 16 games with 15 starts for the Commanders last season. He finished the year with 55 receptions for 495 yards and four touchdowns. 

S Terrell Edmunds
Safety Terrell Edmunds has been signed by Jacksonville, joining Atlanta cornerback Tre Flowers and New Orleans linebacker Ty Summers as part of the team's new additions. The 2018 first-round draft pick is entering his eighth NFL season, having played nine games for Tennessee and seven for Philadelphia last season. Over 16 games in 2023, Edmunds recorded 48 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and two passes defended. 


OL Yosh Nijman
Joining former Hokies defensive end Amare Barno and running back Raheem Blackshear is offensive lineman Yosh Nijman, who agreed to terms with Carolina. Nijman has appeared in 67 games with 22 starts during his four seasons with Green Bay, boasting the longest active streak on the Packers' roster with 50 consecutive regular-season appearances. The Orange, New Jersey native has showcased versatility by starting on both sides of the line for the Packers, making him a valuable asset for the Panthers heading into this season. 

K John Parker Romo
Kicker John Parker Romo signed with the Vikings, joining tackle Christian Darrisaw, after leading the XFL with 51 points going 17-of-19 on field goals. Romo was 7-7 from 40-49 yards and 2 for 3 from 50-plus yards, with his longest connection reaching 57 yards in San Antonio. Romo has made appearances with several NFL teams, including Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans, kicking for the Saints at an 81.8 percent success rate.

All these former Hokies will be attending training camps with their respective new teams starting in July, eagerly anticipating the preseason kickoff in early August. 

As the excitement builds around these former Hokies making waves in the NFL, now is the perfect time to secure your season tickets for Virginia Tech football. Don't miss out on experiencing the next generation of talent in the electrifying atmosphere of Lane stadium.