A Virginia Tech football player has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, the state court records said, per CBS Sports. Freshman linebacker Isi Etute is connected to the death of a Blacksburg, Virginia, resident, and the incident happened on May 31. A hearing for Etute has been set for Thursday, and he is being held at the Montgomery County Jail without bond.
Blacksburg Police responded to a welfare check on June 1 and discovered a deceased male victim. Investigators ruled the death a homicide, and Etute was identified as a person of interest before being charged. The victim, Jerry Smith, was 40 years old, and it was discovered that Smith and Etute were acquaintances. Etute has been placed on interim suspension by Virginia Tech and has been suspended from the football team.
"The Virginia Tech and Town of Blacksburg communities are united in our shared concern for the welfare of all. Together, we denounce all acts of violence and stand together in support of one another," Virginia Tech said in a statement. "You don't need to be close to this to be affected by this. If you need assistance or support, you are encouraged to reach out for help."
Etute, 18, is a former three-star recruit who committed to Virginia Tech in July 2020. "It means a lot to me, honestly," Etute said to 247Sports about the offer from Virginia Tech at the time, "to even get the chance to play for my home state. It is great because friends and family can come see my games. Also, I would be a part of a big-time program. I'm looking for a school that pushes me academically, has a family environment, and gives me the opportunity to hopefully play at the next level." Etute played high school football at Frank W. Cox High School and was listed as the 39th best player in the state. In 2019, Etute helped Cox to a 6-5 record and an appearance in the state playoffs.
"With Virginia Tech, they bring me the family atmosphere I'm craving in a college from not only one coach but as a whole staff," Etute stated. "I feel the love on a daily basis coming from almost all of the coaches and even the head coach (Justin Fuente), and it is somewhere I'd love to go and be a part of, and it's close to home."