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Virginia Tech OL Mark Shuman retires after third knee injury

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech
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Oct 12, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; A Virginia Tech Hokies helmet lays on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Lane Stadium. The Hokies defeated Pitt 19-9. (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)

An expected starter on Virginia Tech’s offensive line has decided to retire from football.

The school announced Thursday that redshirt senior Mark Shuman has decided to retire after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during practice for the third time in his career. Shuman, who will remain on scholarship while pursuing a second degree, suffered the same injury in 2011 and again in preseason last year.

According to HokieHaven.com, Shuman had ascended to the top of the Hokies’ depth chart at right tackle before the injury.

“I’m disappointed for our football team and I know it’s really disappointing for Mark,” Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said in a release. “He was well on his way to having his best year. He had put so much effort into his preparation and he’s still very much a part of this team, just in another capacity.”

With Shuman out, sophomore Jonathan McLaughlin will likely take over at right tackle, but offensive line coach Stacy Searels said he’ll have to earn it. McLaughlin started every game at left tackle last season for the Hokies.

"I told all of those kids, I don't care if you're a fifth-year senior or a true freshman," Searels said per HokieHaven.com. "We're gonna play the best five. In my past, I've played freshmen and in front of fifth-year seniors. Basically, all the guys have got a clean slate. They've gotta go out and perform every day and our staff, we'll look at it and see who the best five are and that's who we'll put out there."

The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Shuman saw action in 10 total games in his injury-plagued Virginia Tech career. He was a four-star recruit in Tech’s 2010 class out of Fork Union Military Academy, where his dad is a coach. Shuman’s brother, Ryan, was a three-year starter for the Hokies’ offensive line from 2006-2008 and currently works on the team’s strength and conditioning staff.

Virginia Tech’s season opens up at home against William & Mary on August 30. The Hokies’ week two matchup – a trip to Ohio State – will prove to be a bit more difficult.

For more Virginia Tech news, visit HokieHaven.com.

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