National CFB writer gives Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry a second-year grade

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports graded second-year head coaches and his grade for Virginia Tech's Brent Pry could be considered low.
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane / G Fiume/GettyImages

Four weeks into the 2023 season, things were not looking good for the Virginia Tech football team. Sitting at 1-3 following three straight non-conference losses to Purdue, Rutgers, and Marshall, there were more questions than answers coming in a 3-8 2022 first season under head coach Brent Pry.

Needing to go at least 5-3 in the ACC to become bowl-eligible, getting there seemed like a long shot with the way the first four games played out, but credit is given where credit is due for Pry and his staff. The former Penn State defensive coordinator regrouped his team and they took advantage of an ACC schedule that was favorable and went 5-3 to become bowl-eligible, which was a big step for the program.

The Hokies went to the Military Bowl and closed out the season at 7-6 and on a high note with a 41-20 victory over the Green Wave. It was a big turnaround by Virginia Tech and all the credit goes to Pry and hhis staff. CBS Sports college football writer Tom Fornelli graded the second-year head coaches and his grade for the Hokies coach could be considered a little low.

CBS Sports graded Brent Pry's second season in Blacksburg

Fornelli graded all the second-year coaches and he gave Pry a B-, which in this writer's opinion, is too low. Here is what Fornelli said about Virginia Tech's coach.

"The entire vibe around Virginia Tech changed in mid-October. The Hokies went 3-8 last year and began 2023 with a 2-4 record that saw them lose to Purdue, Rutgers and Marshall. Following a loss to Florida State, the Hokies turned things around. They won five of their last seven to finish 7-6 and look like a team that will continue to make noise in the ACC."

Tom Fornelli

The Hokies did turn things around in mid-October, but where things could have gone and where things did go are night and day. It could have been very easy for Virginia Tech to struggle the remaining of the season and finish 4-8 or even 5-7, but Pry, offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen and defensive coordinator Chris Marve did wonders with the team and their units. Did they struggle at Florida State and Louisville and at home against North Carolina State, but most teams struggled against those teams.

Let's be honest, Pry was left a huge mess to clean up after Virginia Tech fired Justin Fuente and it would not have been surprising to see it take three or four years to clean up. I'm not saying that it's fully been cleaned up, however, there is a lot to be said for all the players deciding to return next season, and the transfers who have committed for 2024 that the culture in Blacksburg is very good and only getting stronger. Just two years after inheriting a mess, he has players wanting to come to Virgnia Tech rather than leaving.

Considering the way the season started and what it looked like six weeks into the season, to finish 7-6 with a bowl victory, there is no reason for Pry not to get a B+. The vibes around the program are real and next season there is no reason for them to not to be a major factor in the ACC race. Pry has restored the program and the rest of the ACC will soon take notice, if they alredy haven't.