It’s that time of the year. With spring practice in the rearview mirror, action in the NCAA transfer portal begins to heat back up.
On Thursday, it hit Virginia Tech when redshirt freshman wide receiver Tyree Saunders announced he was entering the transfer portal.
A former three-star recruit in the 2020 recruiting class, Saunders leaves Blacksburg without ever taking a snap for the Hokies. The 6-foot-1, 174-pound Saunders played high school football at First Coast in Jacksonville. His longtime friend, safety Keonta Jenkins, will remain in Blacksburg.
Saunders becomes the latest wide receiver to hit the portal in recent years. You can look at that as a sign of bad evaluations or the coaching staff failing to develop some of these younger receivers.
In this case, a pair of true freshmen, Da’Wain Lofton and Jaylen Jones stood out this spring for Virginia Tech. Both players had moved ahead of Saunders on the depth chart, and he was unlikely to play a large role for the Hokies in 2021.
Tech also returns Tre Turner, Tayvion Robinson and Kaleb Smith, in addition to running back/slot receiver Raheem Blackshear and do-everything tight end James Mitchell. A former four-star recruit, Jaden Payoute, is also expected to play this fall.
Saunders posted a nice message on Twitter thanking head coach Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech.
I would like thank Coach Fu for the opportunity for allowing me to be part of VT family. I appreciate all my coaches for everything and all the bonds I made with my teammates. I will miss y’all boyz a lot and y’all will do great this szn. But With that said I’m now in the portal pic.twitter.com/1EhWplUFyr— Tyree "⚡️Showtime⚡️" Saunders (@ShowtimeTyree) May 6, 2021
While we hate to see Saunders leave, we understand. After he signed with Virginia Tech, we here at Gobbler Country had the opportunity to talk to Saunders on our podcast and came away impressed with the young man. A talented kid, Saunders will find a home somewhere and become a good college football player.
Saunders isn’t leaving Blacksburg bitter either. This kid was all Hokie from the moment he committed to Virginia Tech.
Best of luck in the future, Tyree. We are rooting for you.