Virginia Tech Fall 2023 – The Virginia Tech Hokies received some good news Wednesday night when Nick Gallo announced on Twitter that he will be returning to Blacksburg in 2023.
I am excited to announce that I will be returning to Virginia Tech for the 2023 season. I always want to achieve more personally and as a team. I look forward to working with my teammates and achieving our goals next season. This is your home. Thank you Hokie Nation@ Let’s Go!
Virginia Tech Fall 2023
Gallo, the younger brother of former Virginia Tech center Eric Gallo, has started games for the Hokies in each of the past three seasons. Gallo, a 2019 rookie, played in 46 career games for the Hokies and started 26 times.
Virginia Tech Academic Calendar: 2022
Gallo caught 14 passes for 130 yards in 2021, but had his breakout campaign in 2022. Gallo had career highs with 30 receptions and 256 receiving yards. His return gives Tech a nice 1-2 punch with rising Sophomore Dae’Quan Wright. Wright showed his star potential as a true rookie in 2022. The duo provides the new Kyron Drones controller with excellent weapons.
Some pieces are slowly coming together for Virginia Tech’s 2023 offense. With the transfer window just now open, don’t be surprised if the Hokies add even more talent, especially in the trenches. The Virginia Tech Hokies ended the early signing period last week and had a great time in the 2023 recruiting class. While no one will confuse Virginia Tech’s incoming class with Alabama or Ohio State, there were plenty of encouraging signs in coach Brent Pry’s first full recruiting class.
In the final month of the early signing period, Pry received commitments from six high school players and four transfers. And for some players, Pry either transferred from other schools or beat out some good competition to get those signatures.
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Tech was in the transfer market for Kyron Drones, a former four-star QB who spent the past two seasons at Baylor. Drones has been a hot commodity and gives the Hokies and offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen a passer who can run the offense; this would be RPO heavy. Drones still have a three-year authorization.
Ali Jennings, from Highland Springs High School, spent two years at West Virginia and the previous two years at Old Dominion. He and Drones formed a quick bond during their visit and both became engaged. Jennings is the immediate No. 1 wide receiver for the Hokies and is a four-star transfer.
The Hokies picked up Temple senior defensive end Darian Varner, who has several years of eligibility remaining. Varner is dealing with a leg injury, but when he’s healthy, he’ll immediately be better than Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Varner was a first-team All-AAC selection at Temple in 2022 and can slide inside. He hails from Maury High School in Norfolk – the alma mater of Virginia Tech legend Kam Chancellor.
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The final transfer was speedy 6-foot wide receiver Quan Felton from Norfolk State. Felton is in Portsmouth. Felton is a big player who, along with Jennings, gives the Hokies two quality veterans to line up in 2023. Da’Wain Lofton could play in the slot, while others like Tucker Holloway and Xayvion Bradshaw will see time in the lineup. .
The Hokies signed 25 players last week and could sign a few more before National Signing Day in February. However, most of the heavy lifting has been done and any further additions are likely to come through the transfer portal.
The Hokies’ 2023 class is ranked No. 34 nationally, according to the 247Sports composite team rankings. These rankings are to focus on how they combine different recruiting services. Analyzing Tech’s 2023 class, there is a heavy focus on Virginia and the Hokies, who are making some noise in regional states like Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia and South Carolina.
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Pry’s hiring focused on rebuilding relations within the Commonwealth. It won’t be easy after Justin Fuente ignored the state for years. Pry, whose years at Penn State gave him an advantage in rebuilding their relationship. In all, the Hokies signed 13 players from Virginia, with three of the four from the Commonwealth. Pry’s strategy for some to take a player he wouldn’t normally take to restore confidence in that school or region.
And some areas are listening as Pry’s first job in Richmond seems to be paying off. There is still work to be done in Northern Virginia with the 757, but Pry and his staff are off to a good start.
Much of this upcoming class is about development. The Hokies like the new addition to the offensive line, wide receiver and defensive back.
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Watson is a late changer and has a chance to be Virginia Tech’s successor in the Drones if things go according to plan. Watson’s size hurt some, but turn on the film and you see an electric runner with a strong arm. If allowed to develop for two years, Watson could be a great quarterback in college.
Coney was a late flip that looks like the party. He could be a power runner early in his career at Virginia Tech. Coney can also play linebacker, but it seems that the plan is for him to stay in the backfield. Thomas Williams is a sensational athlete and would fit into the mix here as well. Tralon Mitchell is another who can be a running back, wide receiver or defensive end.
The Hokies wanted to add talent at the wide receiver position, and they certainly did. Chance Fitzgerald and Ayden Greene arrived late as the Hokies had to overcome good programs to land both. It wouldn’t be shocking if both played early in their careers. Coming from Baylor Radford, his combination of size and speed is exciting. I would expect him to red and develop a bit before playing. Krystian Williams is another mover.
Class Of 2023
Takye Heath is a player to watch. Highland Springs’ other top prospect, Heath, is electric and could enter the mix as a slot receiver in 2023. Heath looks like a future star. Pennix is another local from Appomattox. It sounds like the Hokies want to see him start at receiver, but I like him as a corner.
The Hokies added four offensive walls. If Joe Rudolph picks them, you gotta love them too. Ghannam, Arena and Lance Williams all had outside inquiries of late but stuck with the Hokies and Rudolph. Hammer plays at North Cross in Roanoke. All cards are regular sized and playable early in Ghannam’s career. I love this band so much.
One of the problems the Hokies have is that they don’t do enough on defense. Jason Abbey is a defensive end from Richmond that has coaches excited. I honestly think he is underrated and will turn out to be a good player for the Hokies early in his career. I am concerned about the lack of defensive tackles in this class, but the Hokies are counting on last year’s starting group returning and last year’s class improving. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Pry look for a defensive attack through the transfer portal.
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Virginia Tech missed out on some key in-state prospects. They worked late to flip some players who committed elsewhere and came close. In the end, it wasn’t enough. However, the name Aycen Stevens is known. His older brother played on Pry’s team at Penn State and had other opportunities, but that relationship with Pry was good for the Hokies. Stevens will likely end up at defensive end, and, like Abbey, will be very good.
High school is a lot of fun. Dante Lovett and Cameren Fleming were my two favorites in this class. Both look like future starters at cornerback for the Hokies. Both Lovett and Fleming are players who have received attention from other schools but have kept their promise to the Hokies. I see both playing in 2023.
Antonio Cotman was a latecomer at Boston College. Cotman was once considered one of the best players in Virginia, and if you go back and watch him in high school, he is a very good football player. While he may not stick out at cornerback, he could make an impact at safety or linebacker depending on how much he adds.
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As much as I love the edge class, I love the safeties just as much. Mose Phillips is a late entry and will be an excellent college player. His size, athleticism and football IQ are highly underrated. Caleb Woodson is another one that others have been interested in. He is another underrated player. Woodson is a fun player with good size and speed who many believe will end up at linebacker. He will be a starter wherever he lands.
Braylon Johnson is the son of Highland Springs head coach and former Virginia Tech cornerback Loren Johnson. Johnson had other options before committing to Virginia Tech, but chose the Hokies. He is perhaps the most important player in this class. He will start somewhere in high school at Virginia Tech