Virginia Tech football transfer grades out as second highest defensive tackle

Aeneas Peebles is going to be a big addition from Duke.

Dec 23, 2023; Birmingham, AL, USA; Duke Blue Devils defensive linemen Aeneas Peebles (16) sacks Troy
Dec 23, 2023; Birmingham, AL, USA; Duke Blue Devils defensive linemen Aeneas Peebles (16) sacks Troy / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Once ACC play began last fall, the Virginia Tech defense under coordinator Chris Marve was one of the reasons for the turnaround to help them finish 5-3 to become bowl-eligible. Aside from games at Florida State (mainly the first and third quarters) and Louisville, they were a dominating group.

They got some key players to return, Antwaun Powell-Ryland and Josh Fuga along the defensive line and Mansoor Delane and Dorian Strong in the secondary. Transfers Kelvin Gilliam from Oklahoma, and Kemari Copeland from Iowa Western Community College along the defensive line, and linebacker Sam Brumfield will add depth for Marve. Also coming over from Duke is Aeneas Peebles and he recently was graded out high among transfers.

Aeneas Peebles graded out as second hight transfer defensive tackle

Peebles is a transfer that could make a very big contribution for the Hokies in 2024 and he was graded out as the second-highest transfer defensive tackle according to PFF. He graded out at 86.1, second behind West Virginia transfer T.J. Jackson.

Peebles had his best season for the Blue Devils in 2023 with 44 tackles, 13 solo, five sacks, and a forced fumble. In Duke's, 17-10, 76 Birmingham Bowl victory over Troy, he had four tackles, two solo, and a sack.

Virginia Tech will have one of the better defensive lines next season in the ACC, while Delane and Strong coming back in the secondary will provide shutdown players. Powell-Ryland registered 9.5 sacks last season and the Hokies defense was one of the better ones at getting to the quarterback. That should continue next season especially with the transfer players added that's adding depth on a unit that is already good.

Spring practice will begin soon for Virginia Tech and the spring game is less than two months away and that should give a good idea of what Marve, Pry and the staff think about their defense for 2024.