For the Virginia Tech Hokies, the transfer portal giveth and the transfer portal taketh away. While the Hokies were once again stung by contributors leaving for other schools, including the departures of two starting offensive linemen, head coach Justin Fuente has welcomed in a few incoming transfers that can help the team in 2021.
Landing these experienced veterans was crucial for the Hokies, especially since neither of their last two recruiting classes has ranked among the nation’s top 40, according to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings. Here are five newcomers — with some freshmen mixed in with those arriving transfers — that could make an impact next fall.
Johnny Jordan, OL
With Doug Nester leaving for West Virginia and Bryan Hudson headed to Louisville, the Hokies needed some help on the interior of the offensive line. Enter Jordan, an honorable mention All-Big Ten performer at Maryland this past season. A starter in 16 games for the Terps, Jordan will join the Virginia Tech program after he graduates from Maryland in May.
Jordan Williams, DT
Taking on a player that wasn't going to play much at his old school isn't usually ideal. But when that player was a reserve defensive tackle at Clemson, it changes the story. Williams was a nice rotational piece for the Tigers for three years and should provide stability inside for Virginia Tech. His 2019 campaign was his best for the Tigers when he was credited with 31 tackles, 5.5 resulting in lost yardage.
Tae Daley, S
The Warner Robins, Georgia, native entered the transfer portal before the 2020 season began and never played a down this past fall. But he did appear in 33 games with 17 starts for Vanderbilt from 2017 through 2019. In his final season with the Commodores, Daley was third on the team with 57 tackles and posted a team-high three interceptions. With Divine Deablo moving on, Virginia Tech has an opening at safety.
DJ Harvey, CB
The California product comes in as the highest-ranked recruit in the Class of 2021, and he plays a position of need. While there is experience returning at corner, pass coverage was an issue in 2020. Despite finishing third in the conference in sacks, the Hokies were 107th nationally in pass defense. Harvey — who had offers from LSU, USC, Notre Dame, Texas, and Auburn — may be able to help right away.
Tahj Bullock, QB
With Braxton Burmeister solidly entrenched atop the depth chart, the three-star prospect from New Jersey power St. Peter's Prep won't be asked to step in and carry the load as soon as he gets on campus. But the transfers of Hendon Hooker to Tennessee and Quincy Patterson to North Dakota State make the depth chart a bit thin. Knox Kadum is back as a reserve and Connor Blumrick is coming in from Texas A&M. However, neither appears to be a long-term solution and preparing Bullock for 2022 and beyond may be prudent.
— Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, covering the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.