The First Bank & Trust Company Friday Q&A: Mining The Portal, the Ideal VT QB, and More

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry and his coaching staff have some decisions to make with the transfer portal. (Ivan Morozov)

1: How does a coach in Pry’s position prioritize portal vs high school recruiting? Go all out for immediate results? And hopeful quick improvement? Stay the course and shoot for the long-term future? Some sort of mix? If a mix, portal focus should be where? – Stork

Chris Coleman: Good question. The transfer portal can be a tricky thing, and like everything else, it’s all about finding the right balance.

Here’s what he had to say about the subject recently…

“Like I’ve mentioned before, we want to build this thing with high school players from our footprint, the last class, this class, it represents that. At the same time, you do have to fulfill needs. We’ve got four days after the UVA game where we are going to be in some heavy meetings and working through things. Having conversations with our roster management is at the top of the list right now. You never used to have to worry about it, not anywhere like you do now.

Sometimes it’s going to be about keeping a guy, retaining a guy, and other times it’s going to be about, ‘Well, he wants to go do his thing, so let’s go see who’s available.’ You’d like to trade out an old guy for an old guy. If you lose a veteran, get a veteran. In some cases, you may be able to say, ‘Okay, I feel pretty good about this redshirt freshman stepping into a role.’ Personnel discussions, depth charts, that’s going to be the world we’re living in there for a couple of months.”

Virginia Tech, and all programs, have to be mostly reliant on high school recruiting and player development. It’s not often where you see a program take double digit transfer portal guys in one offseason. That said, it is necessary for all programs to use the portal to a certain extent. Those four days after the UVA game (if it is played) will be very important for those types of discussions.

The first step will be getting a feel for the current players and what they are thinking, and each position coach talking with the coordinators and Pry about which current players have a future in Blacksburg, and which do not. Those meetings will heavily influence what the Hokies do in the portal this offseason.

I believe there are certain positions Virginia Tech must target no matter what. For example, Kaleb Smith is eligible for another season in Blacksburg, but I feel like the Hokies need to target another outside receiver in the portal no matter what. If Smith stays, then target one or two true outside receiver. If he leaves, then maybe target two or three.

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