Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry continues with elite transfer portal success

Brent Pry continues to add transfer portal players from power conference schools.
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane / G Fiume/GettyImages

Some college football coaches make big additions in the transfer portal, while some coaches don’t, if any at all, additions in the portal. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is one coach who does not dive much into the portal and he has been open about it.

Swinney has the Tigers as one of the top programs in the ACC year in and year out despite not being a fan of the portal. One coach who has had a lot of success over the last couple of seasons with the portal is Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry. After making some key additions ahead of the 2023 season that paid huge dividends, he is back at it again.

Brent Pry continues to add power conference transfers

By now we all know the impact the quarterback Kyron Drones (Baylor) and defensive lineman Antwaun Powell-Ryland (Florida) made last season on both sides of the ball. Drones and the offense took off once he got settled in under center and he led the Hokies to six wins in their last nine games. Now he returns for 2024 with a season under his belt in the offense under coordinator Tyler Bowen and bigger are expected with a veteran core of receivers, running backs, and linemen back.

Powell-Ryland was big along the line for Virginia Tech last season with 40 tackles, 23 solo, and 9.5 sacks to lead a group that played well once conference play started. What does Pry do coming off a year when his team was one of the top teams in the country in sacks? He goes and gets more talented players from Power Conference schools.

Over the winter, he added Oklahoma transfer Kelvin Gilliam, a redshirt junior from Richmond, Virginia. He was a Top 150 recruit out of high school by 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals, and in fact, he was the 93rd player ranked by Rivals, 143rd by 247Sports, and 147th by ESPN. With the Sooners, he struggled to get playing time, and 6-foot-3, 295-pound Highland Springs High School should slide right in with the Hokies and make an impact quickly.

Monday night, Pry got a commitment from Alabama defensive lineman transfer Khurtiss Perry. The Alabama native was the No. 2 player in Alabama by 247Sports while being the ninth-ranked defensive lineman and 53rd overall prospect nationally. Like Gilliam with Oklahoma, Perry was caught in a numbers game with the Crimson Tide and should make an impact with the Hokies.

This will be Year 3 of the Pry-era in Blacksburg and the former Penn State defensive coordinator is building a roster to become a major player in the ACC quickly and he’s doing so by adding power conference transfers. Who saw him landing transfers from Oklahoma, Florida, Baylor and Alabama? If you build it, they will come and they’re coming to Blacksburg.