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Virginia Tech football: Former Temple defensive end Darian Varner signs with the Hokies

Varner is a Virginia native and was an All-AAC performer at Temple.

NCAA Football: Memphis at Temple Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies made some early noise in the NCAA transfer portal by landing one of the top quarterbacks and wide receivers in Kyron Drones and Ali Jennings, respectively. While Virginia Tech’s offense needed the help, many wondered when the defense would find some help in the portal.

On Wednesday, we got our answer as former Temple defensive end Darian Varner pledged to the Hokies.

The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Varner played high school football at Maury High School in Norfolk — the alma mater of Virginia Tech legend Kam Chancellor. He was a member of the 2020 recruiting class for Temple and redshirted that season.

In 2021, Varner appeared in 11 games, making 22 tackles, including seven for loss and three sacks. In 2022, Varner recorded 35 tackles, 12.5 of which were for loss and 7.5 sacks. He was named to the All-AAC first team after the season.

Varner took an official visit to Virginia Tech last weekend.

This is a big pickup for head coach Brent Pry. Varner is an instant starter at defensive end. He can also slide inside to play tackle on passing downs. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Varner is strong and stout against the run but has also proven to have the ability to rush the passer. His addition instantly makes Virginia Tech’s defense better in 2023.

Welcome home, Darian.