Vick, Graham Both Announce NFL Retirements

BLACKSBURG – Over the past four days, two of the most celebrated Hokies from Tech’s 1999 squad announced their NFL retirements. QB Mike Vick indicated to ESPN on Feb. 3 that he’s hanging up his cleats for good, while K Shayne Graham announced on Feb. 6 his intent to pursue a career as a special teams coach.

While neither player was on an NFL regular season roster in 2016, Graham was in training camp with Atlanta after seeing duty in six games for the Falcons in 2015 and was still working in Blacksburg during the year in the event he was called back into action. Vick last played for the Steelers in 2015 and was also open to entertaining the right opportunity last season.

Vick earned four Pro Bowl berths during his pro career, amassing 6,109 rushing yards, the highest total ever accumulated by an NFL quarterback. In 143 career games for Atlanta, Philadelphia, the New York Jets and Pittsburgh, he threw for 21,503 yards with 131 touchdowns.

He became the first opposing quarterback to ever lead his team to a playoff win in Green Bay as he guided the Falcons to a 27-7 NFC Wild Card Game victory over the Packers in January 2003.

Vick prepped at Warwick High School in Newport News, Virginia before enrolling at Virginia Tech.

Graham concluded his NFL career as the most accurate kicker in Cincinnati history, connecting on 86.8 percent of field goals with that franchise. His career 85.5 FG make percentage ranks 10th all-time in NFL annals. During a 15-year career that included stints with 10 different teams, he played in 178 regular season games, making 277 of 324 field goal tries and his 429 PATs for 1,537 points.

The only Pro Bowl kicker in Bengals’ history, Graham began his career with Buffalo and Carolina before enjoying a record-setting seven-year run with Cincinnati from 2003-09. He prepped at Pulaski County High School in Dublin, Virginia, before playing for Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech.

Although both players posted a litany of highlights during their careers with the Hokies, the duo will forever be intrinsically linked for their heroics in a dramatic 22-20 win at West Virginia on Nov. 6, 1999. With Tech trailing by a 20-19 margin and only 1:15 remaining, Vick guided the Hokies on a seven-play, 58-yard drive that culminated with a game-winning 44-yard FG by Graham as time expired.

That two-point win at West Virginia marked the closest contest of the regular season for Tech as Beamer’s squad went 11-0 during the regular season, setting up a duel for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl with Florida State. The Hokies will renew their rivalry with the Mountaineers on Sept. 2 at FedExField in the 2017 opener for both teams.

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