Oscar Bradburn is one of the best punters in the country.
Bradburn, who was a Ray Guy semifinalist, set a Tech single-season record with a 46.5 yard average in 2019 (ranked eighth in the FBS). He had 22 punts of 50-plus yards and 21 punts inside the 20 yard-line with only six touchbacks. He pretty much killed the return game for opposing teams and there’s no reason to expect 2020 will be any different.
Fans were a little anxious when placekicker Jordan Stout put his name into the transfer portal. The decision came after his competition at the position Brian Johnson went 1 of 4 in last year’s spring game after struggling for much of the season on kicks of 40 yards or more.
But Johnson calmed Tech’s fanbase down going 19 of 23 with a season-long of 54-yards in the Belk Bowl. He was 3 of 5 from 40-49 yards and didn’t miss a single attempt from inside the 40-yard line.
He ended splitting the place kicking duties with John Parker Romo. The transfer came out of nowhere to earn the starting job two weeks into the season and ranked No. 11 in the country with a 73.9 touchback percentage (51 touchbacks).
At tight end, Tech would have loved to have Dalton Keene back to pair with Mitchell and Gallo for one more season. Keene, who was a fan favorite, didn’t get much attention outside Blacksburg, but the coaching staff will miss his versatility, leadership and playmaking ability. That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a huge dropoff at the position.
The Hokies have been happy with Gallo’s development going back to fall camp when they pegged him as someone capable of making an early impact. He could handle a lot of the blocking responsibilities Keene had while Mitchell looks to become an even greater threat on offense.