Virginia Tech Tight End Dae’Quan Wright Intends To Enter The Transfer Portal

Tight end Dae’Quan Wright is the first Hokie to announce his plans to enter the transfer portal. (Ivan Morozov)

Starting Hokies tight end Dae’Quan Wright intends to enter the transfer portal when it opens on Dec. 4, he confirmed to Tech Sideline on Tuesday, the first bit of turnover for Virginia Tech since the end of the regular season.

Evan Watkins at reported the news first.

Wright, a 6-foot-4, 249-pounder who recently finished his sophomore season, was third on the Hokies in both receptions (28) and receiving yards (366), making starts in seven games and battling nagging injuries for much of the year. 

Pro Football Focus gave him the fifth-highest offensive grade of Hokies regulars this season, and he capped the year with a three-catch, 64-yard showing against UVa. In the final three games, he caught 11 passes for 164 yards. 

Wright had 47 catches for 574 yards in two seasons at Tech. 

A four-star signee in 2022, Wright originally committed to Justin Fuente’s staff and stayed on after Brent Pry was hired. A Perry, Ga., native, Wright said he intends to find a school closer to home.

Wright’s departure could leave the Hokies in the market for a tight end. Benji Gosnell (10 catches, 116 yards, seven starts), Harrison Saint Germain and Zeke Wimbush are scholarship players who return. Injured senior Nick Gallo could take a medical redshirt and come back for what would be a sixth season, although he hasn’t indicated which way he’s leaning. 

The Hokies don’t currently have a tight end in their 2024 recruiting class. 

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  1. Perry, GA is 2 hours or so from Athens, GA! UGA has more NIL $$, Brock Bowers likely leaving for NFL, I bet he turns up there!

  2. Bummer but let’s face it he wasn’t the next Tavis Kelce. Wish him best of luck achieving his goals but everyone is replaceable.

  3. NIL and the portal has basically created ZERO commitment and loyalty to anyone these days. it has ruined college football.

    as far as DW, he needs to learn to catch and lose about 20#, then maybe hell develop like he has the potential to.

  4. Spit happens – and sometimes a pickle is a pickle.

    This is what college football is all about. If you don’t like it – watch football on Sunday.

  5. I wish him well on this new team.
    Now we need to go win the bowl game. Therefore giving transfer portal players an opportunity to join VT, a team that is on the rise.

  6. Andy,
    After seeing Elko’s contract details at A&M ($11M budget for coaches compared to Tech’s $5.2M is a gripe for another day), it made me revisit Tech’s coaching situation when this year ends. It appears that most coaches signed 2 year deals with the exception of Bowen, Holt and Marve. Crook and Brooks signed 2 year deals just last off-season…Are we in danger of losing any coaches? Feel like this team and program is just starting to build a little momentum and any kind of coaching shakeup could hurt progress with existing players and recruiting efforts of the past two years. Thanks!

    1. We are always in danger of lsing any coach that someone else wants, including the head coach. That is the case for all coaches at VT and other scholls.

  7. He was good for several drops a game- solid player but much easier to replace than other positions.

  8. Disappointing for Virginia Tech but wish him well. He’d be a solid addition to GT or Auburn if he’s serious about getting closer to home.

  9. He had lots of room to grow but was definitely improving. Game against the Hoos was a highlight. Not sure why he’s leaving, but my guess is the answer will surface soon. Best wishes to Mr Wright.

    1. It’s never “just” being closer to home. There’s always more to it. Hopefully, we can find out.

    1. This is 2023, all players are portable and can come and go, we let them go and more comes in. Its business now, and player coming and going is transactional, and frankly playing in power 5 football is not the privilege to just get a degree, but rather make the money in the NFL and NIL. these players are business folks just like coaches.

      We as fans are just like NFL fans, now, sit back and if you want to go to a game, buy the ticket, and sit back and team has a player personnel group that goes back and forth.

      Im sure Pry knows about all his players their position in life goals, happiness or not, performance, dedication etc. If the kid wants another opportunity and doesn’t want to be at VT anymore, great thank you for your service and the next one comes in.

      1. Everything you say is true but it still doesn’t men I have to like it. NIL & TP
        has soured a lot of fans including me to college athletics in general.

        1. Absolutely. These changes have not been for the better.

          I wish him well, but the entire situation is sad.

      2. Don’t need a lecture from you on the changes and the state of college football. I’ve watched it change for nearly 60 years now, and unlike most front-runner Tech fans, I continue to pony up for tickets and still travel to road games. I’ve watched ESPN destroy a conference that goes back to nearly the 19th century with their inequitable contracts and pure and simple money grabs.
        They can’t pile money high enough with no regard to tradition or even jobs.

        I know how it works, We have a lot of money, time and effort invested in this kid and he’s been given a great opportunity to excel with a football power in a major conference.
        I hope the few thousand bucks he makes is worth it.

          1. I’d bet he’s the guy at the party that identifies the trouble maker early and kicks him out before he can ruin the night.

            1. Thank you for saying that. I think tradition and integrity mean less and less as we move forward. Not even an a modicum of effort was exerted to save a storied conference in this sport. If we continue to sacrifice those virtues, what do we have?
              Our programs and leagues represent our universities, and by sacrificing these virtues
              we betray what teach and what we say we stand for.
              But we accept selling out to the highest bidder.

              1. I also feel disappointed and let down by this whole process as a long-time Hokie fan (Class of ’77) but lets try to remember a couple of things. First, this for the overwhelming majority of players is their only opportunity to play the game they love. After college its ova (as Andy would say)! He and others may just want more playing time and/or play in front of family and friends again and/or get different developmental skills than our offensive philosophy will allow so he can maximize his chances of a pro career. Second, he would say if an engineering student, a pre-med student, a pre-law student etc can transfer to maximize their training why shouldn’t an athlete be allowed to do. Does one consider an ordinary student a traitor if he transfers out or is he is thankful for his experience at Tech and wants to move on.

              2. Very long reply – FYI.

                I spent a tremendous amount of time observing the PAC-12 implosion and researching underlying data, like TV contracts, league performance, athletic department revenues, etc.

                Here’s my bottom-line conclusion. The B1G both initiated and finalized the destruction of the PAC-12 (Fox TV Network). The B1G had to evolve from a two team league that has won a national title once, yes once, since the inception of the BCS 25 years ago. They’re not a powerhouse league, they’re irrelevant when it comes to football national titles. I can see the back room convos, WTF B1G we’re paying you all this money and you get embarrassed when it matters most… Things need to change. Ok sir. We’ll get better teams sir. Thus, USC/ UCLA go plus they lock-up the number 2 TV market (? Maybe 3rd).
                Now, the rest of the PAC-12 sits there, jaws dropped, and says to themselves ‘they got what?’. We’re worth at least this if they got that. Nobody else agreed but the University Presidents’ greed couldn’t allow them to accept they weren’t worth at least $50M on average. With no agreement in that price range, the death nail was blown by The B1G taking O/W and their partial revenue gets them, I believe starts at 50%, $50M. The remaining PAC-12 brands get saved by the Big12 (ESPN) with a deal that averages them around $30M a year over the contract…. Just what they were offering them as PAC-12 members. Plus, ESPN ponied up the money for Calford to join the ACC for roughly the same. Of course, Oregon State and Washington State are being left out unfortunately.
                This gets to the final point, as I see it, and that is TV’s ability to earn revenue from the televising of your games. That’s a direct calculation from game viewership statistics. There, the B1G have big numbers. Their value proposition, despite the horrific national title history, fits very well with the networks’ goal and supports their contract valuation. The added four schools contribute to that.
                As far as the ACC, we are the second best football conference bar none, and the number one P5 basketball conference, when it comes to those respective sports national titles earned over the past 25 years and it isn’t close. We aren’t out right number one in basketball because The Big East tops us. We’ve had to replace two hall of Fame coaches in football and three hall of Fame coaches in basketball which isn’t easily done and those programs have struggled/are struggling through that change along with everything else. Looks like those programs are getting back their sea legs with VT being the clear football laggard. So, we’ll see how the future unfolds. Traditions only hold when University Presidents and Board of Regents hold traditions dear rather than the enhanced paycheck they can get with enhanced University revenue. Remember that’s the primary driver for University President bonus, contract renewal, etc. Did you grow revenues for us?

        1. I’m sure you an equal degree of bitterness toward APR, Tuten, Lane, Jennings, Felton. You know, the guys who transferred IN to Tech.

          Were you lamenting how their original schools had invested time and money in those kids and how awful it is that they transferred? No? Huh.

    2. Exactly! You join a team to help that team. He was being used and it would motiplied. But I bet you money he ends up in a D2 school. And he’ll play the next 2 seasons trying to get back to division 1. These kids today think the grass is greener on the other side. He’s not done enough to draw attention of another D1 school. Good luck to you young man. But a couple catches isn’t going to get you into a higher program. You have to seriously ball out like Tuten to get a better offer. And Tuteen will go in the forest round after next year. GARANTEED!

      1. Wright will end up at a D1 school as long as there is one close enough to his home to meet his needs.

        Running backs in the NFL are a dime a dozen. The first team all-American RB rarely goes in the first round these days.

        1. And those would be, UGA, GT, Clemson and Auburn. “Meet his needs?” Which one of those schools needs a player who puts his needs first? Pry’s stock is rising. The portal works both ways. Who wouldn’t want to play w/Drones et al?

  10. This should open up the opportunity for Zeke Wimbush to get extra prep work in and perhaps have a role in the bowl game.

      1. “Probably a better football player than Wright”

        Lol based on what, do you know them both personally and see their skill level every day? I don’t think he even has a full scholarship until this winter unless something has changed, pretty sure he came in as a preferred walk-on to give the team a bit of leeway with scholarships and is last on the depth chart (well technically not even on the depth chart) while he redshirts. Not trying to take anything away from him, he just hasn’t played a snap as far as I know and has no real film you can actually compare to Wright’s two years of game film at the college level.

        1. Simple. I’ve seen them both play. They are both developing and I see more of a football player in Wimbush and an excellent athlete playing football in Wright.
          It’s not rocket science and time will tell.

          1. Do you remember when Wright first arrived. He was smooth, fast and best running TE we gave had. Frank liked blocking tight ends. Fuente wanted H-back types. It appears to me Wright lost a step with added weight. It will be interesting to see where he goes.

  11. I have a sneaking feeling Gallo told him he’s coming back or at least I hope that’s the case. Hate to see Wright leave, he was a favorite of mine. Soft hands and a bruising runner. He will be missed dearly. He knew Bowen’s offense and was very effective the past 2 years. Sigh… bummer for us.

    1. Gallo can’t run. Really not a great receiver either. Wright had pretty good hands but ran well.

  12. Wonder if UGA is sniffing around, waving $ or maybe Clemson?

    OR is this as simple as homesickness?

    1. Read a couple people with ties to the program on twitter complaining about blue bloods trying to lure some starters into the portal with NIL money. Bet he’s going to UGA to replace Bowers.

        1. I agree. Definitely will not “replace” Bowers … that kid is special. Plus they have top TEs in the wings

      1. Man, I just don’t know how he sees much PT at GA. They are loaded everywhere. Maybe GT or GA State?

  13. It seemed his production was increasing as time went on and Drone getting more comfortable. Sad to see him go. GT will probably pick him up. UGA, certainly, doesn’t need him

    1. Bowers is off to NFL and honestly he’s good enough to help UGA if he’s focused and healthy

      He was a beast when we used him and he was healthy

      1. UGA has 3 good TEs behind Bowers, one that’s highly regarded (Bowers lite currently). I could see DW helping at a lesser SEC school

        Needs to improve the hands … way too many drops

  14. If Gallo moves on as well does it appear that Gosnell will be the featured TE or will they attack the portal for someone more experienced?

    1. They like Gosnell, but I think they know they need more than him, particularly in the passing game. I’d imagine they’d look for someone in the portal to complement him.

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