This connection kinda made me wanna delve into VT's RB carry statistics (punishment received per back). I looked back to 1996 'cause that's all hokiesports.com has stats on the Hokies rushing game back to. I looked at RB's and rushing QB's that played for multiple years and were important players in the VT offense. Here's the list of the 23 players in the study:
I looked at carries and yardage, for the most part, because I feel those are the two biggest indicators of RB health, OL strength, and offensive play calling. The 23 players returned to school/football to accumulate information for this study 45 times (or 68 seasons played amongst the players combined). Of the 45 seasons players returned to play for VT, their carries dropped off 14 of 45 times (31%), their yardage dropped 17 of 45 times (38%), and their yards per carry dropped 27 of 45 times (60%). Of all 45 seasons returned, only Tyrod Taylor and Michael Vick improved in all three categories (Total Yds, Carries, YPC) from any given year in their career to the next. Tyrod, however, is obviously not quite done yet.
The above chart shows a display of 1st-4th year played (not necessarily year in school) of the 23 players studied. And each proceeding row shows the change in yardage, change in carries, and change in yards per carry from Year 1 to Year 2, Year 2 to Year 3, and so forth. Interestingly enough, the "Sophomore Slump" is evident but the dropoff for Year 4 is depressing for anyone arguing a player should stay 'til their Senior season and not go to the NFL. Several players do not contribute to years 3 or 4 either (e.g. the Vicks) so keep that in mind.
Any thoughts or opinions on VT or the upcoming season are welcome.