College football’s transfer portal is open and the madness for players in the portal, and coaches who need to fill voids is officially open for business. Last season, Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry struck it big in the portal on both sides of the ball.
Pry brought in several skill players on offense and they played a very big part in the Hokies turnaround in the second half of the season. On defense, Virginia Tech brought in some players who helped the defense play very well in ACC play after starting the season 1-3 before they went 5-3 on conference play to become bowl-eligible to play in the Military Bowl. This season, the Hokies have two glaring needs that can be addressed in the transfer portal.
Virginia Tech needs a tight end
Last week, tight end Dae’Quan Wright announced he was leaving and entering the transfer portal. The starting tight end for offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen leaves an opening that Pry needs to fill.
One name that is out there that would be a good addition is Baylor’s Drake Dabney, who just happens to be a former teammate of Virginia Tech quarterback Kyron Drones who came to Blacksburg last offseason. He had a good year on a Bears team that struggled in the Big 12 and his a big target that is good at gaining yards after a catch.
Virginia Tech needs offensive linemen
Of the two big needs, this is by far the biggest for the Hokies. Drones and running back Bhayshul Tuten had a good final eight weeks of the season behind an average offensive line at times, but adding experienced linemen next season would make Drones and Tuten that much better.
Pass protection was an issue, especially against Florida State, Louisville, and North Carolina State. It was even an issue in the four non-conference games against Old Dominion, Purdue, Rutgers, and Marshall. Playing behind the sticks is not something that Virginia Tech’s offense is built to do. There are not many offenses in college football built for that.
When the offensive line was playing well, you had glimpses of how good they could be, whether it’s with the running game with Drones, Tuten, and Malachi Thomas, but also Drones’ ability and arm strength to throw the ball downfield to his wide receivers and allow them to make plays.
The Hokies got some big news with defensive linemen Antwaun Powell-Ryland and Josh Fuga both announcing that they are returning in 2024, but on the offensive side of the ball, a tight end and some offensive linemen would be addressing two needs for next season.