Virginia Tech has avoided a potential catastrophe at the place kicker position this season. Last December kicker Cody Journell was arrested for breaking and entering, and he was suspended from the team indefinitely. But, as of yesterday Journell has been reinstated.
“Beamerball” has become a staple at Virginia Tech. Since head coach Frank Beamer took over his Alma Mater’s program he has prided himself on scoring in all three phases of the game (the definition of Beamerball). If you watch a televised Hokie game you will hear the term about six times too many. Beamer is the coach of special teams which is why the term has been associated with that unit more than any other.
The loss of Journell may have destroyed the special teams in 2012. He wasn’t allowed to compete in the Sugar Bowl against Michigan, but backup Justin Myer came in to play valiantly and keep the Hokies in the game. Myer graduated in the spring which made Frank Beamer face a real possibility of having a punter also kick field goals.
That all changed with a prepared statement yesterday from Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver that said “Cody has fulfilled all of the obligations in conjunction with his suspension and is back as an active member of the team.”
The Journell incident in December appeared to be the end of his career in Blacksburg. He was charged with breaking and entering and a class 2 felony because of the alleged use of a dangerous weapon. Journell and two friends broke into the residence of former Virginia Tech basketball star Dorenzo Hudson. It now appears that Journell has dodged a bullet because he wouldn’t have been reinstated if convicted of a felony.
So it is now time for Journell to look forward, to rededicate himself to the game of football. He now has a responsibility to earn back the trust of his teammates, his fans and his coaches. Journell had an excellent 2011 season, making 14-of-17 field goal attempts and 43-of-44 extra points. The process for Journell’s reinstatement has been long and arduous, but in fact it is only just beginning.