The start of training camp represented a new beginning for Virginia Tech place kicker Cody Journell. He officially rejoined the Hokies on the field for the first time since a December arrest for breaking and entering that forced him to miss the Sugar Bowl.
Journell plead guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor trespassing in May and was reinstated to the team by Athletic Director Jim Weaver last month. The redshirt junior made his first public comments on the matter in a school-issued statement.
“I want to apologize to my family, the university, the athletic department and my teammates,” Journell said. “I am ready to move forward with this season and want to thank Mr. [Jim] Weaver and Coach [Frank] Beamer for the opportunity to rejoin the program. This will be my only comment with regards to this situation.”
Despite his off the field troubles, Journell re-assumed his spot atop the place kicking depth chart. Before his suspension, Journell hit 14 of his 17 field goals and earned honorable mention all-ACC recognition last season.
It was clear Tuesday that Journell spent part of his time away from the field in the weight room. He looked noticeably stronger and tipped the pre-training camp scales at 195 pounds, 17 more than his previous listed weight.
Last month at the ACC’s football kickoff, Beamer expressed hope Journell would take advantage of his second chance with the Hokies.
“He made terrible judgment,” Beamer said. “He’s a good person; he’s got a good family. I want him to come back and . . . learn from what happened, which he certainly has.”