VT update: Hard Hats, academic highs

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Head coach Justin Fuente and Associate AD for Strength and Conditioning Ben Hilgart presented the top performers in Tech’s 2019 strength and conditioning program with hard hats in a team meeting on Friday.

The highly-coveted hard hats were earned by 44 players based on a number of criteria established by Hilgart and his staff. In addition to meeting or exceeding physical performance and testing goals, attitude, enthusiasm and leadership are also factored into the equation.

Junior defensive lineman Jarrod Hewitt was crowned the overall 2019 Hard Hat Champion with senior offensive lineman Tyrell Smithserving as the runner-up in the standings.

2019 Hard Hat Winners – Top 10:
Jarrod Hewitt
Tyrell Smith
Rayshard Ashby
Reggie Floyd
Devon Hunter
Chamarri Conner
Dax Hollifield
Dylan Rivers
Silas Dzansi
Quincy Patterson II
Additional 2019 Hat Hard Recipients:

Keshon Artis
Malik Bell
Emmanuel Belmar
Oscar Bradburn
Aiden Brown
Luke Bussel
Austin Cannon
Armani Chatman
DaShawn Crawford
Christian Darrisaw
Divine Deablo
Zion Debose
Caleb Farley
Brennon Garrison
Daniel Griffith
John Harris
Ny’Quee Hawkins
Damon Hazelton
Jalen Holston
Zachariah Hoyt
T.J. Jackson
Dalton Keene
Louis Mihota
Nasir Peoples
Maxx Philpott
Ishmiel Seisay
Darryle Simmons
Lecitus Smith
Nadir Thompson
Jacob Van Landingham
J.R. Walker
Jermaine Waller
Travis Williams
Ryan Willis

Virginia Tech’s athletics teams recorded strong academic numbers in the NCAA’s latest Academic Progress Rate report, as released by the NCAA.
The APR is a scorecard that tracks classroom performance of Division I sports teams, and it takes into account eligibility and retention of student-athletes over a four-year period. It measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and programs also can face penalties for continued low academic performance. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on annual scores from the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years.
The Tech women’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s track and field, and men’s tennis teams all recorded perfect multi-year APRs of 1,000, which ranked either first or tied first in the ACC. The women’s tennis program achieved a perfect score for the third consecutive year.
A week ago, each of these four programs received an NCAA Public Recognition Awards, which goes to sport programs that finished with APR scores in the top 10 of their respective sports.
In all, 12 Tech sport programs recorded a 990 multi-year score or better out of 1,000. The group included the four previously stated teams, plus women’s soccer (997), men’s track and field (997), softball (996), women’s swimming and diving (996), women’s cross country (995), volleyball (994), men’s cross country (992), and men’s swimming and diving (991).
In addition to the Tech sport programs who recorded perfect multi-year scores, several others also ranked near the top of the ACC. The softball program was tied for second among ACC schools and first among public institutions in the league. The men’s track and field program came in tied for fifth among ACC schools and second among the league’s public schools. Both the women’s soccer and men’s swimming and diving programs ranked in the top five in the ACC and third among the public schools in the league.
Also, 13 Tech sport programs recorded a perfect 1,000 for the 2017-18 academic year – up from nine programs a year ago. This contingent includes men’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, men’s track and field, women’s cross country, women’s golf, softball, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, women’s track and field, and volleyball.
The football program recorded a multi-year rate of 953. It marked the ninth straight year in which the program has been above 950. The men’s basketball program recorded a multi-year APR of 970 – its exact same score as last year. The Tech women’s basketball program recorded a multi-year rate of 935, a five-point improvement from its score a year ago.