(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories on local college players who are getting ready to play in bowl games this week.)
Former Northgate football player Brandon Facyson is going to stay busy over the next few weeks as the Virginia Tech cornerback closes out his college career.
Facyson and his Virginia Tech teammates take their 9-3 record into Thursday’s game against Oklahoma State in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando at 5:15 on ESPN.
Oklahoma State also enters the game with a 9-3 record.
Facyson is a redshirt senior at Virginia Tech and could have entered the NFL draft after last season, but announced first to The Newnan Times-Herald his desire to return to school for his final year of eligibility back in January.
“I had some great times here at Northgate,” Facyson said in January. “I wanted to make the announcement here at home because this community means so much to me. 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.”
Facyson appeared in all 12 regular-season games for Virginia Tech this year, starting in 10. He finished with 11 solo tackles and assisted on 5 others. He also had two for a loss.
After earning Freshman All-American honors thanks to five interceptions, the Newnan native’s career has been plagued at times by injuries including a broken leg that required surgery just three games into the 2014 season.
However, he bounced back in 2015 with 27 tackles, including four tackles against Tulsa in the team’s 55-52 victory in the Independence Bowl.
Last season, he played in all 14 games and had 48 tackles including four for a loss. Facyson finished with a career-high 10 tackles against Arkansas in the Hokies’ 35-24 victory.
This year, Virginia Tech lost two games in a row to Miami and Georgia Tech before closing out the regular season with wins over Pitt and Virginia to help set up its bowl date with Oklahoma State.
Facyson has also been selected to play in the East-West Shrine College All-Star Game on Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
Kickoff for the all-star game is set for 3:07 and will be televised on the NFL Network.
Playing in the East-West Shrine Bowl will give Facyson a chance to showcase his talents in front of NFL scouts in preparation for the NFL draft, which runs from April 27-29.