VMI Football: 2022 Season in Review

football player getting ready to kick fieldgoal

Several Keydets gave memorable performances and seven players were recognized for their efforts with All-SoCon Coaches honors.—Photo courtesy VMI Keydets.

While VMI football wasn’t able to secure what would have been a program-record third straight winning season, several Keydets produced memorable moments in 2022.

Seven players were recognized for their efforts in the 2022 season, as Stone Snyder ’23, Alex Oliver ’24, Robert Soderholm ’23, and Jack Culbreath ’24 all garnered First Team All-SoCon Coaches honors, and Isaiah Lemmond ’26, Jahleel Porter ’26, and Geoffrey Speight ’26 earned All-Freshmen recognition.

In addition to his First Team honor, Snyder was named a Buck Buchanan finalist—the award given to the top defensive player in FCS football—for the third straight season, with his 10.7 tackles per game ending the year third in all of FCS. Soderholm is now a four-time All-American long snapper, and Oliver ended the season 24th among active players for career pass breakups.

Opening the season at No. 22 Wake Forest University on the ACC Network, Collin Ironside ’24 and Grant Swinehart ’24 connected for a score against the Demon Deacons, as Ironside captured SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week honors two weeks later.

Week two was a good bounce back for VMI, with 107 yards and two touchdowns by Hunter Rice ’25, helping VMI top Bucknell University 24-14.

Despite injuries beginning to mount and facing a string of four straight top-30 teams, VMI got strong performances from players like Chance Knox ’22 and Leroy Thomas ’23 before Porter took a kickoff 98 yards to the house at No. 9 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The defensive unit turned No. 16 Mercer University over five times and gave No. 10 Samford University a run for their money in Birmingham as the season came to a close in a down-to-the-wire battle for the Silver Shako against The Citadel.

The Keydets will see many impact players graduate, as Seth Morgan ’23 leaves the program fifth in completions (451) and third in completion percentage (61.6), Korey Bridy ’22 is ninth in rushing touchdowns (17), and Thomas finishes third all-time in catches (168) and ninth in receiving yards (1,719).

The program now turns the page to a new head coach, as Danny Rocco brings a wealth of winning experience to an excited VMI football corps.