Through four games of the 2023 season, things were not looking good for the Virginia Tech football team. Starting quarterback Grant Wells was lost in Week 2 with an injury and transfer wide receiver Ali Jennings, who was very impressive in the season opener against Old Dominion, was lost on the first offensive possession with an ankle injury and he hasn't played since.
Things changed, however, when ACC play began and the Hokies took advantage of a schedule that did not include Duke, North Carolina, or Clemson by going 5-3. Along the way, Virginia Tech steamrolled Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Boston College, and Virginia to become bowl-eligible, something that seemed like a long shot after losses to Purdue, Marshall, and Rutgers in non-conference games.
Instead of letting things spiral out of control, head coach Brent Pry rallied his team and they went out and at times looked like the Virginia Tech of old. Now, three months later, the Hokies are getting ready for the Military Bowl against Tulane and they have been getting the best news possible off the field with an eye toward 2024.
Brent Pry quickly turning Virginia Tech around
After beating Virginia, 55-17, Thanksgiving Weekend, everything has been coming up roses for Pry and his staff. First, Antwaun Powell-Ryland and Josh Fuga announced that they were coming back for 2024, which is huge for Chris Marve's defense.
Last week, quarterback Kyron Drones, a transfer from Baylor, announced on a radio interview that he too is returning to Blacksburg. Then Tuesday night, wide receivers Jennings, Jaylin Lane, Stephen Gosnell, and Da'Quan Felton announced that they are also coming back next season. Drones, who got better with each passing game in ACC play, gets his top targets back and they have the potential to be one of the top offensive teams in the conference
Thursday, Pry picked up his first commitment in the transfer portal, offensive lineman Montavious Cunningham from Georgia State to begin adding to a line that will be huge next season for Drones and his skilled players. Then Thursday night, Dorian Strong announced he his returning for 2024.
Things have gone very differently for the Hokies after they lost at Marshall in late September, instead, Pry was able to regroup his team, offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen and Marve turned around their units and now they are heading to a bowl game with extra practice and one more game before all eyes turn to 2024.
Is the rebuild complete? No, but in just Year 2, Pry has the Hokies in a bowl game and getting good news on players returning and the first commitment in the transfer portal filling a huge need. Pry and his staff have taken a major steps in three short months with an eye toward the future and it starts with a good culture, something they seem to building in Blacksburg.