Posted: 1:01 pm Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
By Anthony Chiang
Just nine days before Kevin Bronson planned to report to Virginia Tech, he was forced to change his plans.
Hokies coaches informed the former Village Academy defensive end that he did not qualify due to his test scores this past Friday. Although Bronson knew his test scores were not up to the university’s standards, he was made to believe it wouldn’t be an issue.
“Virginia Tech did make it known that there was a possibility head coach Frank Beamer would have to go in front of a committee to speak on behalf of Kevin,” Village Academy coach Don Hanna said. “But not once did they say they were not going to be able to get him in. They just said it was part of the process.”
But the process did not end the way Bronson expected it to, as he was granted his scholarship release from Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Instead, Bronson, who signed a letter of intent with the Hokies in February, will enroll at South Florida and will be eligible to play in 2014. The news was first reported by ESPN 106.3 in West Palm Beach.
“Kevin kind of felt like they were messing around with him, so he decided not to push it even further,” Hanna said. “His letter of intent was null and void due to being denied admissions to the school, which allowed him to go elsewhere.”
According to Hanna, Virginia Tech attempted to persuade Bronson to stay. After Bronson asked for his scholarship release, the school told him that Hokies head coach Frank Beamer would go in front of the committee and get him in.
It didn’t matter. At that point, Bronson had already made up his mind.
“Virginia Tech has really rubbed us the wrong way with the way they’ve handled this,” Hanna said. “At that point, we were done. We didn’t even want to go that route.”
Once Bronson had made his decision, he began contacting schools that were interested in him during the recruiting process.
USF was the clear choice, as Bronson was down to the Hokies and the Bulls when he made his decision just before signing day. After enrolling at USF, he will begin summer session classes and working out with the team on July 7.
“Kevin is great young man and a player whose size and athleticism fit very well in our defensive system,” USF head coach Willie Taggart said in a statement. “We recruited him very heavily leading up to signing day and are happy that some things evolved and he now has the opportunity to be a Bull. Kevin had scholarship offers from a lot of major programs, and we are excited that he is joining our football team.”
The Palm Beach Post’s 2013 Small School Defensive Player of the Year recorded 58 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, nine sacks and six forced fumbles as a senior at Village Academy last season.
Virginia Tech could not be reached for comment.
“In my eyes, I don’t think Virginia Tech was high on Kevin,” Hanna said. “Throughout the recruiting process, some guys they really wanted chose other places and Kevin was like a backup plan. At South Florida, it’s the opposite. They were big on him and they really, really liked him.”
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.