During a teleconference previewing the start of spring practice this week, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer announced linebacker Lyndell Gibson, wide receiver Austin Fuller and cornerback Jacob Sykes have all informed the team that they plan to transfer at the end of the semester.
The most notable of the three is Gibson, a redshirt sophomore who started 13 games last season at the backer position but was charged with DWI last month in nearby Christiansburg, Va. It was the Virginia Beach native’s third run-in with the law since arriving on campus.
In 2008, Gibson received a misdemeanor charge of unlawful purchase or possession of alcohol, and received 12 months of unsupervised probation as a result. Then, in March 2009, Gibson and three other teammates were charged with felony grand larceny, misdemeanor petit larceny and two counts of misdemeanor intentional property damage stemming from a December 2008 incident in which they allegedly stole two bicycles from two female Virginia Tech students.
A Montgomery County (Va.) General District Court prosecutor decided not to pursue the felony charge, and instead all four were convicted of interfering with property rights, a misdemeanor. Gibson had to pay a $500 fine and complete some community service.
“We certainly wish these guys the best of luck and we’ll help them in any way we can,” Beamer said Monday about the transfers. “That said, I will not have any other further comment on this.”
Gibson finished with 66 tackles and two sacks last season before breaking his shoulder blade during the ACC championship game. He also had 53 tackles as a redshirt freshman, and ends his time at Virginia Tech with 18 career starts.
Fuller, also a redshirt sophomore, caught one pass for 11 yards last year while playing mostly on special teams. With the Hokies returning all four of their top wideouts, he wasn’t expected to compete for significant playing time on offense.
Sykes, a redshirt junior, was expected to see action in the defensive backfield last season but was beat out by freshman Kyle Fuller as the team’s third cornerback. He was a starter on Virginia Tech’s kickoff team, but in three seasons had just nine tackles and two pass break ups.