Virginia Tech edge rusher named one of the Top 10 ACC returners for 2024

Antwaun Powell-Ryland graded as one of the top returning edge rushers in the ACC for the 2024 season.
Virginia Tech v Rutgers
Virginia Tech v Rutgers / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Entering the 2023 season, Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry added some key pieces on both sides of the ball through the transfer portal. It's safe to say that when the dust settled on the season following a 7-6 season that was completed with a Military Bowl win over Tulane, the transfers played a huge role for Pry and his coaching staff.

As big of an impact as the transfers on the offensive side of the ball made, defensively, Antwaun Powell-Ryland, who came to Blacksburg from Florida, made a big impact. Following a 55-17 victory over Virginia Thanksgiving Weekend that allowed Virginia Tech to become bowl-eligible, several players announced that they were returning to the Hokies for the 2024 season, including Powell-Ryland. We are less than three months before the 2024 season starts and the Hokies sack leader from last season is one of the top-ranked edge rushers in the ACC.

Antwaun Powell-Ryland is a Top 10 ACC edge rusher according to PFF College

According to PFF College, Powell-Ryland is the seventh-graded returning edge rusher for the 2024 campaign in the ACC. In his first season in Blacksburg, he had 9.5 sacks and 40 tackles, 23 solo. He had a four-sack game against Wake Forest and registered a pair of sacks against Syracuse and Old Dominion and all three of those games for Virginia Tech were wins.

The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Portsmouth, Virginia native announced in December that he was returning to the Hokies and he has the opportunity to attain better numbers and raise his potential draft stock. Pry got some key transfers to come in along the defensive line, which makes them one of the better lines in the conference and it should open things up more for Powell-Ryland to make a big impact once again.

As far as Hokies 2024 opponents go, Miami's Elijah Alston was No. 1, teammates Rueben Bain, Jr. was No. 6 and Tyler Baron was 10th.