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Virginia Tech football: A pair of Hokie defensive ends hit the NCAA transfer portal

This is a bummer, but don’t blame Tech’s coaching staff.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For all of the good news surrounding the Virginia Tech football program lately, the Hokies were hit with some disappointing news on Monday.

Two second-year defensive ends, Robert Wooten and Alec Bryant announced they were entering the NCAA transfer portal.

And, before you blame head coach Justin Fuente, this sounds like something he nor the coaching staff had much control over. Wooten and Bryant tweeted as much on Monday.

And Bryant:

We can’t really speculate why both players entered the transfer portal, but it is nonetheless disappointing. Wooten and Bryant, who are both Texas natives from the class of 2020, were Virginia Tech’s top two recruits from that cycle. Now, the Hokies have seen the top four players from the class transfer out before hitting their second year.

It is important to note that the 2020 recruiting class was one of the worst-ranked in school history since class rankings became a thing.

Wooten appeared in 11 games as a true freshman and was ticketed for a bigger role in 2021. Bryant appeared in one game as a freshman last fall.

Losing both players — especially with the timing — hurts. The Hokies were already thin at defensive end for 2021 and are now dangerously thin.

The Hokies will have a pair of true freshmen this fall in Cole Nelson and Mattheus Carroll, but they’d like to redshirt each of them.

Best of luck to both Alec and Robert at their next destinations.