A New Chapter: Aeneas Peebles

ACC graduate transfer creates a different story as a Hokie

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My father has been by my side my whole life — not just throughout football — and he always allowed me to pursue any sport I wanted. In high school, I played a lot of baseball and basketball, but I was blessed with the body and ability to play football at a high level, too. So, naturally, I gravitated to that sport the easiest, especially when they started throwing the curveballs!

Looking back, it's amazing how God has blessed me with these gifts and abilities. I don't take that for granted.

Family Impact

My family has had a huge impact on me both on and off the field.

My father was a defensive tackle at App State, and my grandfather was an offensive lineman in the NFL. I have learned a lot from their experiences and attitudes towards the game, even though they played different positions.

But my mother also had a great influence on me by drawing from her amazing softball career. She taught me how to take a loss and how to have a "next pitch mentality" — or a "next down mentality." No matter what happens in the previous play, I know that I can always win the next one.

Off the field, my parents put a great emphasis on having good public speaking skills. This, along with being able to see their relationship with the media over the years, made me want to pursue a sociology and journalism degree at Duke.

I remember my parents making me speak to crowds and order for the entire table as a ten or 11-year-old kid. They put me in a lot of 'embarrassing' situations, but that helped me grow. It was all about getting comfortable speaking in front of a camera and in front of groups of people. I know they did it because they love me and wanted me to grow as a person. And I'm so thankful for that.

Those life lessons and mentality are firmly planted within me, and I try to apply them to everything I do, including football.


In the Trenches

I love the different styles of playing defensive tackle. There's no cookie-cutter formula or player that is the prototypical defensive tackle. There are dominant players of every shape and size.

We've got guys like Aaron Donald, who dominates the league at six feet tall and 285 pounds. Then we've got guys like Calais Campbell — also dominating the league, but six foot eight and 320 pounds. There are so many variations of guys like that with different strengths and weaknesses, and it gives you the freedom to be your own player.

Every day I step onto the field, I know that I'm doing one of the hardest things on the football field. At this position, you have to have something different about you. It's all about having that mentality. You have to be a bit of a freak to succeed in the trenches in the game of football.

Ready for Virginia Tech

I loved my four years at Duke, and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to play at such a prestigious school. My last two years at Duke were very special because I felt like I was finally learning how to watch game film and dissect the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents.

When I was named to the All-ACC First team, I felt like all of the hard work and dedication had finally paid off. It was a great honor to represent Duke in such an elite group of players, and I'll always be grateful for that award.

I made many friends while at Duke, and that friendship goes beyond football. Even though I'm not playing with them now, I hope to maintain those friendships for the rest of my life.

After graduating from Duke, I transferred to Virginia Tech for my fifth year. I felt like I had to make a change and experience something new in my final year of college. The entire school welcomed me with open arms, and I hope to accomplish something special with this team, something that future teams will fondly look back on.

I'm blessed to be a part of such a great program here at Virginia Tech, and I can't wait to get on the field and compete with my brothers. 

I have a strong foundation and mentality that I've learned from my family, and I'm going to do everything in my power to help us win and accomplish great things this year.