Virginia Tech Football: Marco Lee, Da’Shawn Elder To Transfer

Marco Lee is one of five Virginia Tech players that have entered the transfer portal in the last week. (Ivan Morozov)

On Monday, two Virginia Tech scholarship football players – RB Marco Lee and S Da’Shawn Elder – entered the transfer portal. Evan G. Watkins of 247Sports and Andy Bitter of The Athletic broke the news first.

Four student-athletes on scholarship have entered the transfer portal since the Spring Game on April 16. Running back Jordan Brunson and tight end Jared Gibble did so on Tuesday, April 19.

Tech Sideline’s estimation of the Hokies’ scholarship numbers falls between 84 and 89 at the moment, depending on the number of specialists on scholarship. For a full scholarship crunch, click here (subscribers only) to read Chris Coleman’s article from April 19.

*Editor’s Note: As of 4 p.m. on Monday, April 25, WR DJ Sims had removed his name from the transfer portal, per 247Sports. He had originally entered the portal on Monday morning. *

Marco Lee

A 5-11, 227-pound running back from Columbus, Ga., Lee saw time in just five games over two seasons in Blacksburg. The former JUCO transfer, who would’ve been a redshirt junior in 2022, totaled five carries for 28 yards.

In a crowded running back room, Lee was never able to find consistent carries. Though the second-oldest behind redshirt senior Jalen Holston, Lee didn’t record a carry in the first Spring Game under Brent Pry and was passed by some of the younger backs.

Lee is a former three-star JUCO prospect ranked as the No. 3 JUCO running back nationally. In two years at Coffeyville Community College, he rushed for 1,232 yards and nine touchdowns.

His departure, combined with that of Brunson’s, puts Tech at seven scholarship running backs:

Jalen Holston (r-Sr.)
Keshawn King (Jr.)
Malachi Thomas (So.)
Jalen Hampton (r-Fr.)
Chance Black (r-Fr.)
Kenji Christian (r-Fr.)
Bryce Duke (Fr.)

Da’Shawn Elder

A 6-2, 205-pound safety from Watkinsville, Ga., Elder never played a snap at Virginia Tech. He came to the Hokies from Fork Union Military Academy and redshirted in 2021.

A redshirt freshman, Elder was one of the youngest players in the 15-man defensive back room. Other redshirt freshmen Nyke Johnson and Elijah Howard saw time in the spring game, while Elder did not.

His decision gives the Hokies 14 scholarship defensive backs for 2022:

Chamarri Conner (Sr.)
Brion Murray (Sr.)
Armani Chatman (r-Jr.)
Nasir Peoples (r-Jr.)
Nadir Thompson (r-Jr.)
Ny’Quee Hawkins (r-So.)
Dorian Strong (So.)
Jalen Stroman (So.)
DJ Harvey (So.)
Nyke Johnson (r-Fr.)
Jalen Hoyle (r-Fr.)
Elijah Howard (r-Fr.)
Cam Johnson (Fr.)
Mansoor Delane (Fr.)

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  1. Just another example of the short term thinking that is rampant in NCAA decisions. This on is going to hurt a lot of guys they’re supposed to be helping. And it’s not just FB.

    1. How is this short term thinking. None of these guys were going to play a meaningful snap. They were stuck behind players that were in the same class if not younger in the case of Marco Lee. Pry will likely and hopefully get even better players in the future, so barring a disastrous sequence of this injuries, these guys were not going to play and it made sense to move on.

      Now if it was someone in the 2 or 3 deep then yes I’d agree with your short term thinking comment

      1. How is this short term thinking. >>>>
        Exactly! This is the good of the transfer portal – as talent seeks its own level or simply helps a player find a better fit. But – the sad & bad side is when a player ‘quits’ – and there is a myriad of reasons – personal or institutional – for those and that’s the unintended consequences of most anything the NCAA is involved in.

    2. Short term thinking? They’re buried in overcrowded position rooms and were 3 or 4 spots away from cracking into the two deep, plus we need to trim the roster down. Honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they got a bit of a nudge from their position coaches.

  2. Surprised a bigger back like Lee couldn’t find consistent carries when we have had such a hard time getting short yards in important situations.

  3. An extra year of scholarship was great for the players…hope they took advantage of it when they could otherwise the NCAA allowing it was kind of dumb, there was never a second more of opportunity for a particular player if that was what your goal is. Ultimately it’s a zero sum game and that math is going to catch up with a lot of players: there will not be space for everyone this year. Maybe it will be a trickle down effect and guys displaced from a D1 program – like our guys – might bump someone at a lower level, but again, someone, somewhere will be out of a job. Good luck guys. It’s business.

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