Former Northgate football player Brandon Facyson still hopes to someday add “Doctor” to his name.
But first, the Virginia Tech defensive back wants a career in the NFL.
However, playing in the pros and going to medical school will have to wait at least one more year.
Facyson stopped by The Newnan Times-Herald on Monday and officially announced he is returning to Virginia Tech for his final season of college football.
The former Newnan Times-Herald All-County selection has already graduated with a degree in biology, but after being redshirted his sophomore season, he has earned one more year of eligibility with the Hokies.
Had Facyson decided to enter the NFL this season, he was projected to go in the third or fourth round. However, after talking it over with his family, he decided to return to school for one more season.
Facyson has great memories of playing football at Northgate and growing up around Coweta County, and he wanted to announce his decision to return to school for one more year in his hometown.
He began his high school career at Northgate under coach Bill Luckie and then played for Tommy Walburn for his last three seasons.
The transition was an easy one for Facyson and his teammates.
“We wanted to embrace the new coaching,” he said. “I came in with all my best friends, including Josh Harrison, Dalton Lane, Conner Usher, Austin Green, Andrew Brady, Sylvester Johnson and Chris Johnson, Alex Lakes, Austin Hatney, Mike Willis and Sean Spencer, and they are still my close friends today. We wanted to make a name for Northgate. Any new coaching staff takes a little bit of time to get used to, and by my junior year, we went 11-1 and had our best season ever. “I meet some amazing people at Northgate and wouldn’t change anything for the world,” he said. “Teachers and administrators have always supported me.”
Playing and studying at Virginia Tech has been perfect for the dean’s list student.
In high school, Facyson played on both sides of the ball, lining up as a sure-handed wide receiver for Vikings and also playing in the defensive secondary.
However, he was destined to play just on defense once he got to college, and Virginia Tech.
“Virginia Tech was the first school to offer me a scholarship and [former head coach] Frank Beamer and [Defensive coordinator] Coach [Bud] Foster were a big factor. The Virginia Tech experience has been great, having my family and friends there to watch me graduate was a great experience. It’s been a long four years just knocking out those classes,” Facyson said.
Facyson has had to learn a great deal about time management while balancing the rigors of a tough academic major with playing college football at the ACC school.
“It was frustrating, but rewarding at the same time,” Facyson said. “Every semester when it comes to scheduling, there is always a conflict with classes or labs, or something getting in the way of football, but my advisors did a great job of making it all work. It was difficult trying to study and also pay attention to football. It made me mature a lot faster. I came in early and that was tough because I missed all my friends at home, but I did get to come home for prom and graduation.”
Since arriving at Virginia Tech in 2013, Facyson has started 36 of 42 games. He made an immediate impact with the Virginia Tech squad his freshman year starting nine of 12 games, intercepting five passes.
His sophomore season was derailed by a broken leg just three games into the 2014 season, earning him a redshirt and an extra year of eligibility. In 2015, he bounced back from his injury and started in 10 of 13 games.
This season, he helped lead Virginia Tech to a 10-4 record and a 35-24 victory over Arkansas in the Belk Bowl.
Facyson finished this past season with 48 total tackles, including a team-leading 10 in the Hokies’ bowl-game victory in Charlotte.
Just like when he was in high school, Facyson went through a smooth coaching transition after Beamer retired last season after a long career at Virginia Tech.
Justin Fuente, who had coached the the University of Memphis, took over as Virginia Tech’s new head coach this season, and Facyson and his teammates bought into the new coach’s way of doing things.
“Coach Beamer is a legend, a great guy, he always wanted what was best for the kids. We had some great times playing for him, but it was an easy transition with the new coaching staff as far as making us feel wanted and making them feel wanted. We had a great season this year.”
Facyson is looking forward to returning to the Blacksburg campus for one final year of college football.
“One of my decisions to come back to Virginia Tech is because I feel like I have room to grow. I wanted to improve my draft stock, but also the stock of this team,” he said.