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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Taraschke rejoins Hokies after year off

Adam Taraschke took a step back from football in the fall and realized how much he missed it.

He said burnout prompted him to leave the Virginia Tech football team in August, right before the start of his redshirt freshman season.

The Riverbend High School graduate rejoined the team as a nonscholarship offensive lineman Monday, and he says he’s excited for the opportunity to prove himself to head coach Frank Beamer and new offensive line coach Stacy Searels.

“I think I was just a little burned out from the nonstop football. It was a big transition from being a freshman on the scout team to being someone who took reps with the first and second string,” said Taraschke, who competed for a starting guard position last spring.

“I think I was just a little bit overwhelmed and wasn’t too sure about myself, so I think this time I got a good chance to take a step back and look at myself and realize I’m ready to go full force again and make this work.”

Taraschke met with Beamer late last week about rejoining the team. Taraschke was told he will have an opportunity to earn back his scholarship.

“I’m going to work as hard as I can to get put back on in the fall if that’s what their plan is,” Taraschke said.

Taraschke took the semester off from football and school. He worked out to stay in shape and worked at a grocery store near campus to make ends meet. His roommates—punter A.J. Hughes, defensive tackle Nigel Williams and linebacker Quinton Taylor—encouraged him to give football another shot.

“It was extremely difficult. It made me feel kind of like I put my teammates at a disservice,” said Taraschke, who is enrolled in classes for the spring semester. “I felt like I could have helped the team if I was out there. I’d been working with them so long, I kind of felt like I let them down.”

Time away from football and school helped Taraschke realize what he had given up. He matured during that time and is ready to work his way back to where he was before he left the team.

“I definitely think I was taking my opportunity for granted,” Taraschke said. “I didn’t realize what I was being given, and in the time I stepped away I realized I was given a great opportunity to excel and I didn’t use it to my full advantage. So now I’m ready to go back and do my best to earn a scholarship and get back to where I was.”

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442