BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech linebacker Dylan Rivers announced he has played his last game in a Hokies’ uniform.
In a social media post on Wednesday night, Rivers said a neck injury is forcing him to retire from football after three seasons in Blacksburg.
“Yesterday, I ran out of the tunnel for the last time as a Virginia Tech football player,” Rivers said in a tweet. “Due to a recurring neck injury which requires invasive surgery, I am unable to continue playing the game that I have grown up loving.”
Rivers said he plans on working with the strength and conditioning coach as a senior. If he’s granted a medical exemption the university can pay for his final year of eligibility without it counting against the 85 scholarship limit for football.
Tech lineman William Pritchard was granted a medical exemption last month.
Rivers sat out the bowl game after playing all 12 regular season games this season. He was a key contributor on special teams and finished the year with five tackles. The Stephens City native started seven games in 2018 at outside linebacker before suffering an ankle injury. He had 35 tackles with 1.5 sacks and one interception as a sophomore.
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster moved Rivers inside this season to even out the depth at linebacker.
“We need Dylan Rivers to keep coming along and be consistent at that spot,” Foster said in November. “You wouldn’t think it would be a big adjustment to go from backer to mike, but to some guys it’s a little bit different and challenging and we need him to continue, because he’s a play away from being a guy as well.”
Rivers was a four-star signee in 2017. He’s the first player from the class to seek a medical exemption, but nine players from the class have transferred (most recently Nathan Proctor and Robert Porcher).
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