Eddie Royal # WR
Height: 5-10 Weight: 185 Age: 29
Born: 5/21/1986 Alexandria , VA
College: Virginia Tech
Experience: 8th season
High School: Paul VI HS [Fairfax, VA]; S. Lakes HS [Reston, VA]; Westfield HS [Chantilly, VA]
Selected By: Denver Broncos
Pick (Overall): 11 (42)
An electrifying athlete, Eddie Royal wasn't able to fully display his ability as a wide receiver at Virginia Tech.
The Hokies were limited for much of the season by inconsistent quarterback play. Royal did get to show off his skills in other areas and established himself as the premier punt returner in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He also excelled as a kickoff returner and proved to be a dangerous threat running out of the backfield.
Royal holds the rare distinction of throwing a touchdown, catching 12 scoring passes, rushing for a touchdown and returning three punts for scores during his career. It was also rare to see a receiver become a school's career leader in all-purpose yards, but Royal is one of the few -- amassing 4,698 yards. His 1,296 punt returns established a new Atlantic Coast Conference career-record.
At Westfield High School, Royal earned All-State honors as both a receiver and kick returner. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Offensive Player of the Year by Super Prep .and selected the Group AAA Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He was the Washington Post All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year and earned both Super Prep and Prep Star All-American honors following his senior season.
Royal was rated the best player in Virginia by Super Prep and the second-best player by The Roanoke Times, in addition to ranking 13th in the nation among wide receivers, according to Rivals.com. He teamed with fellow Virginia Tech signee, QB Sean Glennon to lead his team to the Group AAA Division 6 championship with a 14-0 record as a senior.
That year, he had 41 receptions for 875 yards and 11 touchdowns. He added a 47-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 1-yard scoring run on a reverse in the state title game. As a junior, he hauled in 48 passes as a junior for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his career, he returned 10 kicks for touchdowns.
Royal arrived at Virginia Tech and quickly established himself, both on the field and in the training room. The Freshman All-American started 11 games at flanker, leading the team with 28 receptions for 470 yards (16.8-yard average) and three touchdowns. He averaged 11.0 yards on 25 punt returns and had the eighth-best kickoff-return average (28.8) in the country, gaining 346 yards on 12 tries, finishing with 1,101 all-purpose yards. He also set a position record with a 365-pound bench press.
As a sophomore, Royal missed spring drills with a left leg compartment syndrome, but went on to start all thirteen games. He ranked third on the team with 27 catches for 315 yards (11.7 avg) and two touchdowns. He rushed ten times for 79 yards and gained 263 yards on 32 punt returns (8.2-yard average). He also piled up 293 yards on 14 kickoff returns, despite being hampered late in the year by hamstring issues.
In 2006, Royal earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team and All-American honorable mention. He led the ACC and ranked 12th nationally with a 13.2-yard average on 23 punt returns, adding 431 yards on 19 kickoff returns (22.7-yard average). He gained 24 yards on five carries and finished third on the squad with 31 catches for 497 yards (16-yard average) and three touchdowns while starting nine of 13 games.
Royal was a second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC punt returner in 2007, ranking 10th in the nation as he led the league with 31 punt returns for 455 yards (14.7-yard average) and two scores. He gained 316 yards on 14 kickoff returns, 496 yards and four scores on 33 receptions (15.0 avg) and 112 yards on eight rushing attempts (14.0 avg).
In 51 games at Virginia Tech, Royal started 44 contests. He ranks fourth in school annals with 119 receptions, sixth with 1,778 yards (14.9-yard average) and fifth with 12 touchdown catches. He rushed 24 times for 226 yards (9.4 avg) and a score, as he also completed 1-of-5 passes for 53 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He returned 111 punts for a school career-record 1,296 yards (11.7 avg) and three scores. He added 1,386 yards on 59 kickoff returns (24.5 avg) and holds the Tech record with 4,686 all-purpose yards.