Virginia Tech football ranking at ESPN explains why there is major excitement for 2024

Virginia Tech holding the top spot in ESPN rankings for these categories is the number one reason for why there is so much excitement for the 2024 football season in Blacksburg.
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

After finishing the season with a 7-6 record, the Virginia Tech football team has high expectations in 2024. There are a lot of reasons why a lot of the national writers are jumping onto the Hokies as a team that could surprise next fall. Anyone who has paid attention to things in Blacksburg over the last couple of months knows why expectations are high.

Head coach Brent Pry and his staff have got a lot of the key pieces on both sides of the ball to return and they have added promising talent in the transfer portal. Let’s not forget some of the incoming freshmen and the impact some can potentially make. With that said, the Hokies topped an ESPN list for the 2024 season.

Virginia Tech ranks No. 1 according to ESPN in promising category

Bill Connolly of ESPN ranked the top 134 college football teams in terms of returning production for 2024 and Virginia Tech graded out No. 1 on his list. According to Connolly, the Hokies return 86% of their overall production (1st in FBS), 95% of their offensive production also returns (1st in FBS), and 77% of their defensive production (12th in FBS) is returning.

Offensively, quarterback Kyron Drones, who is one of the better dual-threat QBs in the country, is coming back, as is Bhayshul Tuten as his top running back and the Hokies’ top kickoff returner. Wide receivers Ali Jennings, Da’Quan Felton, Stephen Gosnell, and Jaylin Lane are also coming back, as is tight end Nick Gallo who missed all of last season with an injury sustained late in fall camp. 

Defensively, they are bringing back Antwaun Powell-Ryland and all of his sacks along the defensive line with Josh Fuga. Cornerbacks Dorian Strong and Mansoor Delane are returning as is linebacker Keonta Jenkins. In the transfer portal, Pry added linemen Aeneas Peebles from Duke, Kelvin Gilliam from Oklahoma, and Kemari Copeland from Iowa Western Community College. Linebacker Sam Brumfield from Middle Tennessee State is also transferring to Tech.

There is a reason why there is a lot of hype surrounding Virginia Tech next season and ESPN numbers tell the big story. They without a doubt should be a Top 25 team in the preseason polls and of course this dosen’t mean they’ll have success on the field, but they are certainly set up for some big success on the field, which is what Hokies fans have been waiting years for.