The 2014 season is still months away from kicking off, but Virginia Tech will reportedly be down one offensive lineman this fall. Brent Benedict suffered a knee injury during the spring that continues to cause problems putting his 2014 season, and perhaps his career, in jeopardy.
As originally reported by 247 Sports, Benedict is suffering from clotting in his heart and lungs, placing him in a hospital in South Carolina for treatment. If he does miss the 2014 season and is given a doctor’s OK to continue playing, it is expected Benedict would be able to successfully apply for an appeal from the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility, but that is obviously not the biggest concern at this point in time. It should be noted Benedict’s older brother, Heath, died of an enlarged heart in March 2008.
Benedict started in six games and appeared in 11 games last season for the Hokies. Coming into the 2014 season Benedict would have been one of Virginia Tech’s most experienced offensive linemen and he was listed in the spring as the starting right guard. If Benedict is to miss the 2014 season, redshirt freshman Wyatt Teller could move up a spot on the depth chart. The Hokies lack any veteran options on the line that are not already playing.
Benedict originally enrolled at Georgia but decided to transfer in 2011, citing personal reasons. Georgia granted him a release from his scholarship without restrictions, and he ended up transferring to Virginia Tech, where he sat out the 2011 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
UPDATE (12:52 p.m.): A Virginia Tech spokesperson has clarified the details of Benedict’s status with NBC Sports. According Virginia Tech, Benedict suffered an ankle injury in the spring that led to a blood clot forming in his leg. No decision has been made on his status for the fall or the future of his playing career. Virginia Tech also says Benedict is at his home in South Carolina and is fine and not in the hospital for treatment as previously reported.