Petrine Plaza recognizes rich history of Virginia Tech’s numerous football families
Longtime Virginia Tech Athletics and Hokie Club benefactors Jim and Debbie Petrine have made another substantial gift to Tech to help recognize all of the families who have sent multiple members to play football for the Hokies.
Plaques recognizing that football is family at Virginia Tech have been installed on the Petrine Plaza located outside of the football strength and conditioning complex. The 33 families who have sent multiple siblings to play football for the Hokies have plaques installed, as well as the 26 fathers who have had one or more sons follow their football path to Blacksburg.
In addition, several uncle-nephew relationships are commemorated with plaques on the Petrine Plaza.
“We have both enjoyed watching so many of these families proudly represent Virginia Tech over the years,” the Petrines said. “While many of these families are household names among Hokie Nation, we wanted to find a way to permanently recognize all of the football family relationships that have been so prevalent within the program. We couldn’t be more pleased with the look and feel of the project.
“We hope that all of these families can come to Petrine Plaza and share many great memories of their time playing at Virginia Tech. And of course, we look forward to many more young men following in the footsteps of their fathers, brothers and uncles in the years to come. Many football programs claim to have a family atmosphere; at Virginia Tech it’s a reality. Go Hokies!”
Petrine Plaza documents the legacy of family members following their relatives to play football at Tech dating back to the late 1950s when Joe Moss lettered for the Hokies. He would send sons Andrew and Billy to play in Blacksburg in the 1990s.
During the 1960s, Tech lettermen Ken Barefoot, Frank Beamer, Ken Edwards, Scott Hawkins and Lenny Smith all played in Lane Stadium and would later watch one or more of their sons do the same.
More recently, a pair of Tech football families have made their alma mater proud by achieving several notable firsts. The Fuller brothers – Vinnie, Kyle, Corey and Kendall – became the first four siblings to all play for the same university and all be selected in the NFL Draft.
In 2018, Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds also made history, becoming the first pair of brothers to be picked in the first round of the same NFL Draft. Their path to Blacksburg was paved by eldest brother, Trey, who like his younger siblings, is also on an NFL roster heading into the 2021 season.
The family tradition of brothers following brothers to Blacksburg is also alive and well on Tech’s 2021 roster under the direction of head coach Justin Fuente.
Current tight end Nick Gallo is the younger brother of Eric, who lettered from 2014-17, while defensive back Jalen Stroman is the younger sibling of current Washington NFL defensive back Greg Stroman (2014-17 letterman).
In addition, two sets of brothers are presently on Tech’s roster. Junior linebacker Dax Hollifield paved the way for freshman tight end Jack Hollifield to join the Hokies. Meanwhile, twin brothers Jayden and Jordan McDonald are on campus preparing for their initial season at Virginia Tech.