The Virginia Tech Hokies saw the ugly side of the NCAA transfer portal on Thursday when defensive end Darian Varner flipped his commitment from Virginia Tech to Wisconsin.
The Norfolk, Va., native signed with Virginia Tech in December after transferring from Temple, where he was an All-AAC first-team defensive end in 2022. Varner has three years of eligibility remaining.
In 2022, Varner finished with 35 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Varner was one of four transfers to Virginia Tech in December that had fans buzzing that coincided with a strong finish to the early signing period.
There was some concern about Varner in 2023. He injured his foot in November, and the injury was reportedly serious enough there were concerns if he’d be able to play in 2023. However, the Hokies brought Varner in, and expectations were high for him in Blacksburg.
What happened here? Well, we aren’t sure. Perhaps he wanted to play for new Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell. Transfers are different from high school recruits. In this instance, the Hokies were bound to Varner, but he wasn’t bound to Virginia Tech as national letters of intent are not binding with transfer recruits until they step on campus.
Welcome to the transfer portal.
This isn’t a devastating loss for the Hokies. However, it is disappointing. Perhaps there is more to the story that we don’t know about, but regardless, Varner will not be attending Virginia Tech.