Virginia Tech's James Mitchell, left, and Drake Deluliis (89) celebrate Virginia Tech touchdown catch against North Carolina during the first of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Virginia Tech's James Mitchell, left, and Drake Deluliis (89) celebrate Virginia Tech touchdown catch against North Carolina during the first of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente says tight end James Mitchell will have knee surgery and miss the rest of the season following an injury suffered Saturday.

Mitchell, the preseason All-ACC first-team tight end, took a low hit on a run from the 2-yard line and in the No. 15 Hokies' 35-14 victory against Middle Tennessee.

“I'm disappointed for him. What a great leader, a great young man,” Fuente said as he opened his weekly availability with reporters. “I know how much this football teams means to him and that's immediately where his thoughts went.”

Following the game, Fuente said he thought Mitchell would be fine, but a follow-up MRI revealed a more serious injury that necessitates surgery.

Mitchell, who investigated leaving early for the NFL after last season, had five catches for 42 yards with a touchdown this season. For his career, he has 52 catches and 838 receiving yards and scored 12 touchdowns.

Virginia Tech plays at West Virginia on Saturday.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25