Virginia Tech Loses Some, Gains Others In The Transfer Portal

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Virginia Tech
After recruiting Jordan Williams as a high schooler, Virginia Tech finally landed him as a transfer.

The transfer portal has become increasingly more important in college football, and Virginia Tech has seen the benefits and the issues that “free agency” can bring.

This year, with the blanket waiver being approved for all transfers, there has been a flurry of moves in and out of the program.

Initially, losses hit the Hokies’ program hard with two former four-star quarterbacks moving on from Blacksburg. Two-year starter Hendon Hooker and fan favorite Quincy Patterson left for Tennessee and North Dakota State, respectively. Hooker was benched in the final two games of the season after issues handling snaps against Clemson.

“I wasn’t surprised at all [that Hooker entered the portal]. I’m not going to speak to his decision,” Head Coach Justin Fuente said. “We had a couple of conversations about it, but I wasn’t surprised.”

This left the Hokies’ quarterback room in a unique situation with only one returner with starting experience, former Oregon transfer Braxton Burmeister. When he was healthy, Burmeister was impressive, winning three of his four starts including the Commonwealth Cup. Outside of him, Tech’s group behind center was slated to consist of redshirt-freshman Knox Kadum and true freshman Tajh Bullock.

To shore up that position, the Hokies brought in Connor Blumrick from Texas A&M. He brings extra experience to compete behind Burmeister.

“The whole quarterback transfer portal is an interesting thing. I think I read somewhere that there’s an average of one per school in there right now or at one time,” Fuente said. “We have long-standing ties with [Texas A&M offensive coordinator] Darrell Dickey and we knew Connor coming out of high school, we weren’t involved in his recruitment too much. We were looking for a kind of a niche, it’s a unique situation with our current quarterback situation.”

Blumrick has played primarily special teams as he’s tried to find the position that suits him best. After stints at tight end and running back, Blumrick finally settles in at QB and joins the Hokies as a passer.

“Connor has played, and he’s felt rejuvenated by dedicating himself to being a quarterback,” Fuente said. “I think it spoke volumes about him that he played in a bunch of different spots for A&M.”

Offensively, Tech also took a hit up front with sophomores Bryan Hudson and Doug Nester hitting the portal. Hudson moved on to Louisville while Tech will see Nester in September when the Hokies travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia. The two interior linemen combined for over 2,000 offensive snaps in 2019 and 2020.

“It’s very disappointing. I think the world of both of those guys and their families. I’m not going to get into specifics about all of this, but it was disappointing because it is a little bit different,” Fuente said. “Those guys leaving hurt. I wish them nothing but the best, and I want them to be incredibly successful. I hope they find what they’re looking for.”

Currently, the Hokies don’t have much room to add other players via the portal, but those two left holes at key spots in the Vice Squad. The Hokies were able to bring in Maryland transfer Johnny Jordan to help fill the void, but there could be more coming before the season begins.

“There may or may not be room to play with a couple of scholarships, I don’t know that yet, and I probably won’t know that for several months. Number one on our priority list, if we do have some room, is on the offensive line,” Fuente said. “If we do have some room, maybe there would be a situation if there was a difference-maker on either side of the ball. I really don’t know where we’d go after that.”

Tech was already able to add a difference-maker defensively with former Clemson defensive tackle Jordan Williams. The Virginia-native decided to return home to the Commonwealth and is expected to make an immediate impact in 2021.

“Obviously, we have not been really big at defensive tackle, and that’s been part of what we need to do. He brings that first and foremost,” Fuente said. “Hopefully, combining that with what we’re trying to do with those people, he can be as productive as possible. This is a large man that moves well.”

Elsewhere, Tech brought in needed depth in the secondary. With Divine Deablo moving on to the NFL, there isn’t much experience in the backend. Vanderbilt transfer Tae Daley adds depth and a veteran presence at safety.

“Tae was a guy that Darryl [Tapp] had knowledge of his work ethic and his character,” Fuente said. “I really feel like Tae is a guy that is hungry to win and not just play, but add some depth and experience and also bring some of these young guys along.”

The transfer portal has already turned over many important positions on the Hokies’ roster over the past few months, and there could be more moves coming. Tech hopes that the contributions coming into the program continue to outweigh the players who have left over the past few seasons.

“There will be a guy that graduates and wants to drop down and go play some more. There may be somebody with medicals that can’t play anymore,” Fuente said. “There will be something that happens through the end of spring that we may or may not have room for one or two more guys eventually.”

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29 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I think this QB gig is pretty simple. Burmeister can play. (He beat UVA.) He runs. He’s gonna get hurt. You can’t live with a true freshman and a walk-on as your back-up QBs. Blumrick gives us a better option, even though he may not be starting material. TAM didn’t think so. TAM didn’t even think he was a QB. Guess we’ll find out.

  2. Nester is the worst transfer loss, no question in my mind. He is going to hurt us at WV….both in his absence and in his presence……if you catch my drift.

  3. I’ll take what I can get-Recruiting continues to be damn near Pathetic. Hugh Freeze from Liberty gonna be the Man in about a Year-the good Lord willing.

    1. I hear that the Escort Business is booming in Lynchburg. Freeze burned 3 lives in Oxford and already a couple at Liberty. Schools with moral values passed on him this time around.

      He can coach and he can recruit. But what price do you pay if you hire him. What does that say to your fans and players?

  4. Loosing Nestor & Hudson bugged me, but no one wants to sit everyone wants to play. I had liked we were finally a good 2-deep in the O-line. But from what I have heard from others that have played and are playing college ball, everyone one wants to start. The transfer portal is there to better ones chance to start if they feel they are sitting and shouldn’t.

    I hope Quincy does well at NDSU. They play in a nice dome and have put up some nice QBs into the NFL in the last few years.
    GO HOKIES!!!

    1. I think we’ll look back and realize we didn’t give QP a decent shot. Of course we didn’t see him practice and we didn’t sit in meetings with him but I really do feel he has the ability to play at a high level. Him leaving just bothers me.

      1. I think we’ll look back and realize he is who he is and that’s a guy not advanced enough to start at the P5 level at this time.

      2. I’m with you. The couple of times we gave him the reins, he responded. I was in South Bend for the game against Notre Dame that he started. Had our defense held on ND’s final drive, we win. As I recall, QP also acquitted himself well in the other game in which he was given significant playing time; was that UNC? Oh, well. That opportunity has come and gone…. The coaching staff always seems to like the New Shiny Thing.

    2. I don’t know what You watched of Patterson-He can’t Pass-We woulda beaten Notre Dame last Year-if He could throw a Pass! I wish Him well-a Big bad Dude-but not a great QB. He’s a Project-always will be. I’ll miss Hooker-a tough Guy-He could be Brilliant-and He could Suck. Looking for consistency- I still have a Man-Crush on Tyrod Taylor.

  5. I feel terrible for Quincy. Guy was a highly touted recruit playing in the Elite 11 game a few years back but after 3 years under Fuente’s “development” he has nothing to show for it and is off to North Dakota State??? Geez….and now Fu acting like a washed out QB who was booted out of the QB room at A&M is our best bet for a backup? Comical. And I’m sure Fu will disrespect Burmeister all spring and summer saying the starting role “is an ongoing competition” as usual. Sad.

    1. Agree. Hopefully Quincy can resurrect his QB career at NDSU. Frankly they have a much better track record of developing QBs than Fuente and Corny in recent years.

      Re: Blumrick, I just wonder why we need him. Would rather have seen Fuente just commit to Braxton as the starter (seems obvious) and focus on developing very talented freshman Tahj Bullock, with Kadum as insurance. Don’t see where Blumrick fits in, and in the worst case he could detract from our ability to focus on developing Burmeister and Bullock. If there’s one recurring theme with Fu, it’s head-scratching personnel moves at the QB position.

      1. Without Blumrick, Kadum would be the backup QB for a running QB. Blumrick provides depth so that we won’t have to field Freshman QBs all season.

    2. Wow what a downer you bring.

      QP was a highly rated raw project that did not have what it took to improve and play in this offense at this level. Great guy and wish him the best.

      I hope he develops into an NFL prospect at NDS.

      1. Agree, everything that guy posts is a downer… always takes the low road and is critical of everyone else.

    3. No way of knowing, but I think had Frank been head coach,QP would have probably ended up at tight end. I have no reason to believe that Fu did not give him every chance to prove he was a P5 quality QB. Most of us thought that he would take time to develop because of the system he played in high school. Now I wonder if the system he played in was built around him and his abilities. I had really hoped he could develop into a top flight QB, but I don’t believe his particular skills translated in today’s version of P5 football.

    4. VT has had guys before who were in the elite 11 and end up transferring. That’s not a big deal imo. Quincy is a load, but the coaches didn’t feel great about him as the starter. Hope he does really well,he ‘ll be playing for a powerhouse.

  6. Thanks for the article!!

    Tech’s group behind center was slated to
    [[ CONSIST ]] of redshirt-freshman Knox Kadum and true freshman Tajh Bullock.

        1. Hated to see him go, so much talent. But I figure his feelings got hurt…he wanted to start at Center.

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