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Hokies Safety Divine Deablo on Possibility of Opting-Out: "I Never Even Considered It"

With NCAA eligibility questions abound across college football due to COVID-19, Tech safety Divine Deablo stays the course

The COVID-19 pandemic has struck college football in unique ways, hitting the bottom-line financials of universities hard while rendering the season unplayable for some and modified for all.

The NCAA has been wrestling with the question of what to do with student-athlete eligibility if a season gets canceled entirely, or is shortened or modified as a result of the ongoing worldwide pandemic.

To date, no school is sure of what will happen to the eligibility of players for the upcoming fall season if changes arise to the schedule. There's been no concrete plan put in place on that front, and it's clearly a major issue that needs to be ironed out across the sport for university athletics this fall.

While the decision to play or not to play has been left up to individual conferences for fall sports, eligibility is a different issue - one that rests entirely with the NCAA. And as we've seen so far, the NCAA is perfectly content to sit out any important decisions during the pandemic, and put the onus on the conferences to make whatever decisions are best for their respective regions.

With so much uncertainty surrounding college athletics and life as a whole during this turbulent time, the eligibility questions were popular during Wednesday afternoon's media availability for Virginia Tech players.

The uncertainty wasn't lost on redshirt-senior safety Divine Deablo, who spoke to his decision on playing out the season amidst the pandemic.

"I knew that I was going to take risks coming back to Blacksburg and I knew my eligibility was at risk, but I just came to get better and play football and whatever happens, happens," Deablo said. 

When later asked about whether he ever thought about opting-out, Deablo answered it concisely.

"I never even considered it."

Deablo will be a major cog in the Tech defense this fall, as he slots in as one of the team's starting safeties. 

The other safety spot, which was previously referred to as "Rover" by departed defensive coordinator Bud Foster, will likely be inhabited by either redshirt-junior Devon Hunter or redshirt-freshman J.R. Walker, who are both practicing in the back-end of the Hokies' secondary with Deablo.