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Virginia Tech linebacker Rico Kearney (back) was called for a personal foul when he collided with a sliding W&M quarterback Shon Mitchell in the second half Saturday.

BLACKSBURG - Former Virginia Tech linebacker Rico Kearney is transferring to UCF, according to multiple reports.

Kearney joins former Virginia Tech defensive tackle Cam Goode on the Knights roster. Goode announced his plans during the early signing period in December.

The 6-foot, 228-pounder linebacker announced his plans to transfer after Virginia Tech’s 38-14 loss to Miami in November. The Jacksonville, Florida native had 35 tackles (15 solo) with two tackles for a loss.

Kearney’s best game of the season came against Boston College filling in for Rayshard Ashby. Kearney had 18 tackles in the loss, the most for a Hokies defender since 2003. He played mostly on special teams through the first seven games after redshirting as a true freshman in 2017.

"After talking and sitting down with my family I feel like it's best for me and my future for me to transfer to another university," Kearney said, on Twitter. "I can only control what I can control on my behalf and try to make the most of my opportunities as a student athlete. I would like to thank Virginia Tech for the experience here but at the end of the day, I just don't feel like I wasn't given a fair shot to showcase my talent."

The decision came as a surprise to Virginia Tech’s coaching staff.

"Not at all, because Rico’s been playing, you know," Foster said, when asked if he thought the linebacker might transfer in November. "He didn’t play much the other game, and I’m not for sure if that was the reason why. He’s a freshman and I wish he had hung in there, but we wish him the best. I want guys that want to be here, want to compete and know what this program is all about and the unselfishness it takes to win."

Kearney is one of six players from Virginia Tech's 2017 signing class to leave the program. Kearney along with wide receiver Sean Savoy and defensive back Devante Smith announced plans to transfer in recent months. Defensive lineman J'Bril Glaze, wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton and quarterback A.J. Bush previously left the program. 

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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