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Virginia Tech football: JUCO DT Kemari Copeland announces transfer to the Hokies

What a day for the Virginia Tech defense.

NC State v Virginia Tech Photo by Ryan Hunt/Getty Images

What a day for the Virginia Tech Hokies and head football coach Brent Pry. Around lunchtime on Monday, All-ACC defensive tackle Aeneas Peebles announced he was transferring to Virginia Tech for his final college season in 2024. Peebles spent the first four years of college at Duke.

As it turns out, head coach Brent Pry wasn’t done.

Shortly after Peebles went public, junior college defensive tackle Kemari Copeland also picked the Hokies. Both players were in Blacksburg for official visits over the weekend.

When Copeland mentions “This is Home” in his graphic, that’s because he is from Virginia Beach.

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Copeland began his college career at Army before transferring to Iowa Western where he spent the 2023 season. He has two years of eligibility remaining. There were multiple connections for Copeland and the Hokies, as he knows several players on the team and Virginia Tech offensive analyst Brent Davis was the offensive coordinator at Army when Copeland was on the roster.

With Norell Pollard, Mario Kendricks, and Pheldarius Payne all out of eligibility, these are big moves for the Hokies. Now, Copeland joins Peebles and Josh Fuga as VT’s top defensive tackles. The Hokies may not be done as Oklahoma transfer Kelvin Gilliam — a Highland Springs native — remains interested in Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech absolutely needed to hit home runs in the trenches through the transfer portal, and the Hokies are off to a great start. Last season’s portal class, led by Kyron Drones, Ali Jennings, Da’Quan Felton, Powell-Ryland, Jaylin Lane and Bhayshul Tuten, all contributed significantly last season and all return for 2024. Jennings was injured in the second game but scored two touchdowns in Virginia Tech’s season-opening win.

A good day so far for Virginia Tech football, Pry and defensive line coach J.C. Price.