Fuente announces quartet to serve as Virginia Tech football captains in 2020
Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente announced the 2020 football team captains as voted on by the squad – linebacker Rayshard Ashby, safety Divine Deablo, defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt and offensive lineman Tyrell Smith.
Ashby (5’10”, 245 pounds, senior) was named ACC Linebacker of the Week five times in 2019. The Chesterfield native was the only defensive player in the league to win that many ACC POW honors in 2019. Ashby was a second-team All-ACC selection and finished third in the voting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He was selected to the 2020 All-ACC Preseason Team earlier this year.
Ashby led the league with 120 total tackles and ranked third in the ACC with 17.0 tackles for loss. Ashby led a VT defense that helped the Hokies become the first ACC team to post back-to-back shutouts against Power Five foes for the first time since 1978 and holding Georgia Tech and Pitt scoreless in consecutive outings last season.
Deablo (6’3”, 226 pounds, senior), started all 13 games at free safety during the 2019 season and finished second on the squad with a career-best 84 tackles (42 solo). The redshirt senior also had an INT, a forced fumble and a 98-yard fumble return for a TD. Deablo was selected to wear Coach Beamer’s number 25 jersey twice during the season in the contests against ODU (9/7/19) and vs. Wake Forest (11/9/19). He enjoyed a monster game at Notre Dame (11/2/19) and was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week. He picked off a pass and recovered a fumble forced by Ashby and returned it for a 98-yard TD in that game. Deablo was named to the PFF College ACC Team of the Week after posting four tackles in a 28-0 win vs. Pitt (11/23/19) and posted a season-best 11 tackles at Virginia (11/29/19).
Deablo was named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl Top 250 earlier this month.
Hewitt (6’1”, 280 pounds, senior), set career highs in all performance categories in 2019, starting all 13 games on the defensive line. The Venice, Fla., native registered 33 tackles that included 6.5 TFL and 4.0 sacks. Hewitt had a career-high six stops in the Belk Bowl vs. Kentucky (12/31/20) and also forced a fumble against the Wildcats.
He was the overall Hard Hat winner in the 2019 strength and conditioning program.
Smith (6’3”, 300 pounds, grad-senior), made four appearances in 2019 before being sidelined with a foot injury suffered against Duke (9/27/19). For his career, the North Brunswick, N.J., native has experience playing in 44 games.
Earlier this year, Smith was honored at the fifth annual Uplifting Black Men Conference at Virginia Tech, receiving the Black Male Excellent Network’s (BMEN) leadership award. This award recognizes a community member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership through their involvement and impact on the lives of black male students at Virginia Tech.