It was a little over two weeks ago that Virginia Tech wide receiver Sean Savoy’s older brother, Omar Rodgers, was shot to death in the parking lot of a Washington D.C. bar where he sang the night before. On Saturday, Savoy returned to a sport that Rodgers loved watching him play, and his lone reception in the 59-7 win over North Carolina was a tribute to his slain brother’s memory.
“It kind of helped a little bit, ease the pain,” Savoy said to Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Mike Barber, “But when I go out there and I don’t see him out there no more, it touched me. I know he’s with me, but I’m used to seeing him right there, right behind the bench, rooting me on.”
The Hokies coaching staff wasted no time in getting him involved. On the first offensive play of the game, redshirt quarterback Josh Jackson threw a quick slant pass to Savoy, who recorded a 23-yard gain. Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente wouldn’t confirm if the pass play was specially designed for Savoy, but it had a feel of comforting a fellow teammate in times of pain and despair.
“We weren’t trying to make a statement about Sean,” Fuente said in his postgame press conference, “We wanted to get him in the game and playing at a high level. Obviously he’s dealt with a lot.”
Savoy hadn’t practiced much with the team, as he spent most of the bye week mourning and comforting family members in the D.C. area.
Playing in Saturday’s game wasn’t easy for Savoy, but it was his only resource to publicly say good-bye to his fallen brother.