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Virginia Tech RB Raheem Blackshear wins NCAA waiver appeal, eligible for 2020 season

Virginia Tech RB Raheem Blackshear wins NCAA waiver appeal, eligible for 2020 season

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Raheem Blackshear

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics

BLACKSBURG — Running back Raheem Blackshear will suit up for Virginia Tech this season. 

Tech was shocked when Blackshear's NCAA wavier request was initially denied, but ruling was overturned on appeal and the Rutgers transfer will be eligible to play this fall. 

Blackshear joined the team as an early enrollee back in January with the coaching staff envisioning a multi-faceted role for the speedy back that included playing time at wide receiver and special teams. 

He excelled in all three areas at Rutgers where the 5-foot-9, 192-pounder had 211 carries for 912 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and 80 catches for 810 receiving yards with 12 total touchdowns. He was honorable mention all-Big Ten (as voted on by the coaches) in 2018.

“I’ve only seen him practice football four times, but he’s a pretty remarkable talent,” Fuente said. “There’s probably four to five positions on either side of the ball that he could play. I mean, he is talented, highly intelligent and rarely skilled. So he’s kind of a unique part of that. He can play in the slot, he can play tailback. He can do a lot of stuff.”

Blackshear's teammates including Hendon Hooker, Tayvion Robinson and Tre Turner were quick to jump on social media to celebrate the news after what they went last year when the NCAA denied the waiver appeals of Coastal Carolina transfer Brock Hoffman and Oregon transfer Braxton Burmeister. 

Tech coach Justin Fuente said last week he would still like to see a little more clarity with the process regardless of how Blackshear's appeal turned out.  

"It seems from the outside to be inconsistent, I guess I would say," Fuente said. "Obviously, it’s not handled by the coaches, which is probably a good thing. I mean, it’s handled by compliance, but I think we all just want clarity on what rules we’re playing by. That’s probably the biggest issue. I’m not saying it's intentional. It just feels like we’re never really sure exactly how it all gets worked out.”

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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