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Virginia Tech football: Hokies pick up a talented kick returner/wide receiver from transfer portal

He’s the third receiver the Hokies have picked up from the transfer portal.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Virginia Tech Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies had a clear mission heading into the offseason: Improve the offense. Taking that one step further, the Hokies knew they needed more help at quarterback and wide receiver.

The Hokies added one of the top quarterbacks in the NCAA transfer portal last month, landing Kyron Drones from Baylor. Drones has three years of eligibility remaining with the Hokies. In addition, Tech added one of the top wide receivers in the portal, Ali Jennings from ODU, and also Quan Felton from Norfolk State. Felton has a tantalizing combination of size and athleticism.

On Sunday, the Hokies added another transfer to the wide receiver room in Jaylin Lane, formerly of Middle Tennessee. Lane announced his move on Twitter.

Lane is a former three-star recruit from Clover, South Carolina, in the 2020 class. During his three seasons at Middle Tennessee, Lane finished with 124 receptions for 1,528 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also flourished as a returner, with 37 kick returns for 813 yards, an average of over 22 yards per return. As a punt returner, Lane fielded 19 punts for 295 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore, averaging 15.5 yards per return. He was an All-Conference-USA selection as a punt returner in 2021. Over three seasons, Lane averaged 12 yards per punt return.

In the 2022 season, Lane, who is 5-foot-8. 183 pounds, caught 69 passes for 940 yards and five touchdowns. He was an All-Conference-USA honorable mention selection last season.

It’s not clear where the Hokies will slot Lane in. However, he looks like a perfect fit at slot receiver, which could set up a battle with Da’Wain Lofton. Tucker Holloway looked like Virginia Tech’s future at punt returner late in the season.

One thing is clear, head coach Brent Pry wanted to turn that wide receiver room upside down, and he has done just that. Lane, along with Jennings and Felton, all figure to be heavily involved next season.

Welcome home, Jaylin.