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King one of eight athletes in VSHL HOF Class of 2020

By DAVID GRAVELY

editor@southwesttimes.com

 

The Virginia High School League will induct their latest Hall of Fame class into the record books soon. On the list of athletes, coaches, contributors and officials is a name very familiar to Pulaski County fans as former Cougar and Hokie Jeff King will be inducted with the Class of 2020.

 

King, who graduated from PCHS with the Class of 2001, finished his time as a Cougar with a long list of accolades. He was selected as a PrepStar All-American and was rated as the #3 tight end in the Atlantic Region his senior season. He was selected as the first team Group AAA All-State tight end by the Associated Press and the VHSCA, as well as being listed as the number 12 prospect in Virginia by SuperPrep. He was an honorable mention All-South pick by the Orlando Sentinel, leading the Cougars to the Group AAA, Division 5 state semifinals in 2000.

 

He ended his senior season at PCHS with 278 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. On defense he also recorded eight sacks as a defensive end and set a school record with 101 pancake blocks in a season.

 

King was also an outstanding basketball player, earning over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds as a Cougar. He averaged 25 points and 14 rebounds as a senior, earning All-District and All-Region honors. He was also very competitive as a member of the track team, mainly in the shot put where he put in a best effort of 54’7” as a junior.

 

After graduation, King became a Virginia Tech Hokie under Head Coach Frank Beamer. After redshirting his freshman year, King recorded a 19-yard touchdown reception against Arkansas State in 2002. He also blocked a field goal against Western Michigan.

 

In 2003, King had six receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. He also blocked a field goal against Rutgers.

 

In 2004, King recorded 25 receptions for 304 yards and four touchdowns, earning All-ACC second team honors.

 

As a senior in the 2005 season, King recorded 26 catches for 292 yards and six touchdowns, setting a school single season record for tight ends. He also became the first player in school history to catch a touchdown pass in four consecutive games and blocked a field goal attempt against Georgia Tech that the Hokies returned for a touchdown. He again earned second team All-ACC honors.

 

Overall, King had 58 receptions for the Hokies for 724 yards and 11 touchdowns.

 

After college, King joined the Carolina Panthers after being selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft. He played in 12 games with one touchdown.

 

The 2007 season saw an increase in his productivity. He caught 46 passes for 406 yards and two touchdowns. In 2008 he caught 21 passes for 195 yards with one touchdown. His final season with the Panthers, 2009, saw him catch 25 passes for 200 yards with three scores.

 

With the start of the 2011 season, King found himself with a new team. The Arizona Cardinals immediately put King to work. He hauled in 27 catches in 2011 for 271 yards and three touchdowns. In 2012 he added 17 more receptions for 129 yards.

 

His career totals are 156 receptions for 1,323 yards and 12 touchdowns.

 

Joining King in the Class of 2020 are eight athletes including Frank Beamer – Hillsville, Barney Cobb – John Marshall, Wheeler Hughes – Dunbar, Leroy Keyes – G. W. Carver, Cora Jackson-Robinson – Essex, Tara Sheets – Gate City, and Jasmine Thomas – Oakton. The list also includes three coaches … Gregg Conner – Powhatan, Darnell Dozier – Princess Anne, and Jim Larkin –Chancellor, and three contributors … Charlie Cloe – Central Virginia Football Officials, Tom Dolan – Jamestown HS/VHSL, and Valerie Kibler – Harrisonburg.

 

The ceremony this year will be held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns. It is planned for Sunday, April 25, and will be hosted by the NFHS. The event will be free to view. More details will be released closer to the event.

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