JOHNSON CITY, TN- ETSU picked up a big win over VMI on Saturday, 24-6. But the biggest takeaway from Saturday is just how many players will be departing after the season.
27 players in total, 9 seniors, 17 redshirt juniors and a redshirt sophomore, will graduate and not return next year.
The redshirt juniors electing not to come back for their final year of eligibility include running back Jajuan Stinson and receivers Drake powell and Hunter Wike. The Bucs will also lose big linebacker River Boruff, who ranks second on the team in tackles with 72.
It’s the first time the Bucs have had to deal with a mass exodus since restarting the program and the number of players leaving even came as a surprise to head coach Carl Torbush.
“If we hadn’t have had Senior Day, I wouldn’t know we had this many guys that were leaving probably until next semester,” said Torbush. “So that gives us a chance to move forward in recruiting because, obviously, if I don’t know they’re gone we can’t use their scholarship for somebody else. But now we can, and I think we’re going to be okay.
The Bucs have improved each year since the program was brought back, winning two games in 2015 and winning five games a season ago. Torbush hopes that trend continues and the Bucs don’t suffer a set back in the coming years.
“I feel good about the way we’ve tried to build this program,” Torbush said. “But, again, I don’t think you know that for about six or seven years down the road. I’ve seen some of them, the fourth year they win seven or eight games and then the next year they go back and win two. That’s not what we want to do. I want to make sure that we’re able to continue to get better each and every year that we play.”