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Ball State’s second-leading receiver transfers to Virginia Tech

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For the second time this offseason, Virginia Tech has landed an FBS transfer at the wide receiver position.

Damon Hazelton Jr. announced this week on his Twitter account that he has decided to transfer from Ball State.  Not only that, but the receiver confirmed that he will be enrolling at Tech and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Hokies.

Hazelton will be forced to sit out the 2017 season because of NCAA transfer rules.  He would then have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

Hazelton was a two-star member of Ball State’s 2016 recruiting class. As a true freshman last season, Hazelton was second on the Cardinals with 51 receptions for 505 yards, while his four receiving touchdowns were tops on the team.

In late March, James Clark opted to transfer to Tech from Ohio State.  That receiver will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer.

Virginia Tech LB Eron Carter transferring to pursue track career

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One college football player has decided to not only leave his first college football home but the sport, period.

Earlier this month, Virginia Tech confirmed that Eron Carter is no longer a part of the Hokies football team.  On his personal Twitter account earlier today, the linebacker revealed that he will be transferring from Tech “to compete in the sport I love (track and field).”

Specifically, Carter is believed to want to focus on throwing events such as the shot put and discus.

Carter was a three-star member of the Hokies’ 2016 recruiting class.  He opted for Tech over offers from, among others, Air Force, UCF and Western Kentucky.

As a true freshman, Carter took a redshirt season. This spring, the 6-1, 231-pounder was third on the depth chart at middle linebacker.

ACC confirms conference’s football title game returning to Charlotte

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After a one-year sabbatical, the ACC’s football championship game is returning to the state of North Carolina.

Late last month, shortly after the state announced that it had replaced the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), the ACC Council of Presidents voted that the state would again be considered as venues for future league championships.  Wednesday, the conference confirmed that this year’s football title game will again be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Furthermore, to in some ways compensate the city for its one-year loss of the game, the ACC announced that the agreement to play the game in Charlotte has been extended through the 2020 season. The original agreement was expected to expire in 2019.

The league also noted in its release that “[c]hampionship events in women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis will also return to the state during the 2017-18 academic year, and the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship will follow suit in November 2018.”

“We are pleased that ACC neutral site championships will return to the state of North Carolina beginning with the 2017-18 academic year,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “We value all of our partners in North Carolina and appreciate their support and cooperation. We are thrilled to renew our relationships with so many terrific people, outstanding cities and first-class venues.”

The ACC announced in late September of last year that the football championship game for the 2016 season would be played in Orlando.

The move to Orlando came almost two weeks to the day that the ACC announced it was yanking the title game away from the city of Charlotte and out of the state of North Carolina. The move was in response to HB2, a law which some claimed fostered discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).

2018 Virginia Tech-Florida State opener to be played Labor Day night

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Not surprisingly, the ACC’s Labor Day tradition will continue for another year.

The conference confirmed Thursday that the 2018 Virginia Tech-Florida State opener in Tallahassee will be played on Labor Day night.  No specific kickoff time has been announced for a game that will, of course, be televised by ESPN.

FSU will be making its eighth appearance on the holiday, Tech its fourth since the league’s tradition began in 2004.  FSU last hosted a Labor Day night game in 2009.

The 2018 game will mark the first between the football programs since 2012 and the Hokies first trip to Tallahassee since 2008.

It had been previously announced that Georgia Tech and Tennessee will close out the first full weekend of the 2017 season at the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Labor Day night.

Justin Fuente inks 2-year extension at Virginia Tech

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After a successful debut season in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech has signed head coach Justin Fuente to a 2-year extension through 2023, the school announced Monday.

“Coach Fuente has exceeded our expectations in terms of how well he and his staff have embraced the winning tradition established by Coach Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, while adding their own distinct touches to enhance the legacy of our program,” AD Whit Babcock said in a statement.

Fuente led the Hokies to a 10-4 mark in his first season on the job, including an ACC Coastal Division championship and a No. 16 final ranking in both polls, the club’s highest year-end ranking since 2010. He was named the consensus ACC Coach of the Year for his efforts.

“My family feels incredibly blessed that I’m able to work at Virginia Tech and we’re able call Blacksburg our home,” Fuente said. “I am very appreciative for the leadership of Whit, Desiree [Reed-Francois], Dr. [Timothy] Sands and the Board of Visitors in making Virginia Tech such an attractive destination for a head coach and a staff. Their support, a talented and hard-working group student-athletes, and an unbelievably passionate fan base were all paramount in helping us build on Coach Beamer’s winning culture.”

Salary terms were not disclosed in the announcement.

Fuente’s original contract ran through 2021 and would have paid him $3.25 million in 2017, rising to $3.65 million in the final year of the deal.