BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech Athletics Department and Virginia Tech IMG Sports Marketing are pleased to announce that former Tech football greats Eddie Royal and Brandon Flowers will join the Virginia Tech IMG broadcaster's lineup and make significant contributions to both Hokies All-Access – Virginia Tech's new immersive television program – and to gameday programming across the Virginia Tech IMG Sports Radio Network.
"We are beyond thrilled to add two of the greatest players and ambassadors in the history of Virginia Tech athletics to the talent lineup that brings you Hokies football," said Jon Laaser, Virginia Tech's director of broadcast services for IMG College. "Both Eddie and Brandon have a unique perspective on not only Virginia Tech football, but also the game on every level, and we have no doubt that their extensive knowledge and magnetic personalities will greatly enhance the way in which we are able to present Hokies football to the Hokie Nation."
Royal will join Laaser and Mike Burnop to form a three-person panel that will serve as hosts to Hokies All-Access, and he will serve as an expert analyst for each of the eight football-specific editions of the program. Additionally, he will serve in the same role for any special football editions of the program that will be produced throughout the season. Royal also will join Andrew Allegretta and Wes McElroy as an analyst for select editions of the Kubota Kickoff Show as part of IMG's game day presentation across the Virginia Tech IMG Sports Radio Network.
Royal will make his Virginia Tech broadcasting debut for the season premiere of Hokies All-Access, which will air locally on WWCW at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31 and throughout the mid-Atlantic region on NBC Sports Washington at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept.1.
"There is nothing like gameday in Blacksburg, and no fan base like Hokie Nation," Royal said. "Hokie fans have always been extremely supportive of me, and I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to engage with them again, particularly as I begin a new and exciting chapter in my career. Stay tuned!"
Flowers will serve as a special contributor for select episodes of Hokies All-Access, as well select editions of the Kubota Kickoff Show. He will make his Virginia Tech broadcasting debut during pregame radio coverage preceding the Hokies' season opener at Florida State on Monday, Sept. 3.
"I am beyond excited to come back to Hokie Nation and join the broadcast team," Flowers said. "This year will be full of fireworks, on the field and on the air! Let's go … Hokies!"
Royal made a name for himself as a playmaker both from his receiver position and as a return specialist during his playing days from 2004-07. The Alexandria, Virginia native scored touchdowns in four different ways during his career – via reception, rushing, passing and punt return. Royal still holds two school records – career punt return yardage (1,296) and career kickoff return average (23.5). His 1,296 punt return yards still rank first in ACC history.
As a receiver, Royal's 119 career catches ranked third on Tech's all-time list when he departed and still stands ninth. Today, his 1,778 career receiving yards rank 11th on the all-time list. Royal was a freshman All-American in 2004, a second-team All-ACC returner in 2006 and a first-team returner in 2007. Royal, who graduated with a degree in sociology, was selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and went on to spend nine seasons in the NFL with three different teams before announcing his retirement in 2017.
During his career at Tech (2004-07), Flowers played in 41 games (28 starts), compiling 158 tackles (99 solo) with 17 tackles for a loss. The Delray Beach, Florida native intercepted 10 passes for 172 yards with two touchdowns. A two-time All-America selection for the Hokies, he helped Tech boast one of the nation's most dominant defense during his three full seasons on the field.
Flowers concluded his nine-year NFL career with 119 games (117 starts) to his credit in six seasons with Kansas City (2008-13) and San Diego (2014-16). He registered 21 interceptions for 421 yards with four touchdowns, while forcing four fumbles and recovering five fumbles. He also racked up 111 passes defensed and three sacks. In the spring of 2018, Flowers returned to campus and completed his sociology degree, walking in May's graduation ceremony.
"All of us at Virginia Tech are excited to welcome Eddie Royal and Brandon Flowers back to Blacksburg to serve as part of our broadcast teams," Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. "Both Eddie and Brandon left indelible marks on our football program as players, and we look forward to both of them contributing to our coverage of the Hokies."
Hokies All-Access is the all-new television show focused on Virginia Tech football and basketball that is designed to give Tech fans an immersive gameday experience. The show is a joint production between Virginia Tech IMG and Virginia Tech's official local television partner, WFXR, and will air prior to each Hokies' home football game and for special events pertaining to Virginia Tech football and basketball. The program will air on WWCW and NBC Sports Washington.
The show will be presented in an hour-long format and take fans through the tunnel with their favorite Hokie players and coaches, and down Beamer Way with former greats and on to the field for tutorials on different aspects of the game. It also will feature week-to-week analysis, insight and thoughts from expert analysts and current coaches, as well as special features highlighting great traditions of Virginia Tech as a whole.
Hokies All-Access 2018 Football Schedule:
Friday, Aug. 31 (WWCW – Season Preview and Florida State)
Saturday, Sept. 1 (NBCSW – Season Preview and Florida State)
Friday, Sept. 7 (WWCW – William & Mary)
Saturday, Sept. 8 (NBCSW – William & Mary)
Friday, Sept. 14 (WWCW – East Carolina)
Saturday, Sept. 15 (NBCSW – East Carolina)
Friday, Oct. 5 (WWCW – Notre Dame)
Saturday, Oct. 6 (NBCSW – Notre Dame)
Wednesday, Oct. 24 (WWCW – Georgia Tech)
Thursday, Oct. 25 (NBCSW – Georgia Tech)
Friday, Nov. 2 (WWCW – Boston College)
Saturday, Nov. 3 (NBCSW – Boston College)
Friday, Nov. 16 (WWCW – Miami)
Saturday, Nov. 17 (NBCSW – Miami)
Thursday, Nov. 22 (WWCW – Virginia)
Friday, Nov. 23 (NBCSW – Virginia)