MG VT RI 101219

Tech defender Rayshard Ashby (23) during the Virginia Tech - Rhode Island game on Oct. 12, 2019. He's held onto the lunch pail for several weeks in a row.

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby was picked to wear Frank Beamer's No. 25 jersey for Saturday's game against North Carolina. 

It's the first time the junior has earned the honor. 

Ashby has 54 tackles (28 solo) with a team-leading eight tackles for a loss (tied for third in the ACC). He's earned ACC linebacker of the week honors twice this season (for his performance against Boston College and Miami). 

The linebacker led Tech with 105 tackles last season and was honorable mention All-ACC. 

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente established the tradition of a special teams player wearing Frank Beamer's No. 25 jersey in 2016 as a tribute to his predecessor.

The Hokies added a new annual tradition this season with the No. 1 jersey going to Reggie Floyd. The players came up with the idea of voting to give the number — it was previously off limits — to someone with a team-first attitude that brought some “swag” to the field.

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

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