Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. was once a priority target for the Virginia Tech Hokies back in 2020 out of Indian River High School. Unfortunately, Powell chose the Florida Gators over the then-Justin Fuente-led Hokies and spent the previous three seasons in Gainesville.
Now, the 6-foot-3, 233-pound EDGE rusher is coming home. Powell-Ryland revealed on Twitter he was transferring to the Hokies.
Powell-Ryland Jr. redshirted as a true freshman in 2020 after appearing in two games. In 2021, Powell-Ryland Jr. appeared in 12 games, recording five tackles, including 1.5 sacks.
Powell-Ryland Jr. saw an increased role in 2022, playing in all 13 games and making five starts. Powell-Ryland Jr. recorded 29 tackles, including six for loss and three sacks. He also forced three fumbles. He played linebacker in a pass-rushing role for the Gators.
Powell-Ryland is likely an immediate starter for the Hokies at one of the defensive end spots in 2023. Of course, he’ll have to win a starting position, but this is a big-time get head coach Brent Pry and Virginia Tech. Not only do the Hokies bring back another Virginia native, but Powell-Ryland also had options, and Tech has a need for an experienced EDGE rusher. Powell-Ryland fills those needs.
These are the types of battles Pry and his staff need to win. And he’s already won his share during his short stint in Blacksburg. Not only can Powell-Ryland help VT win games in 2023, he also can be an example for those who leave the state for supposed greener pastures only to return home to finish their career.
In addition to Powell-Ryland, the Hokies are also trying to secure the commitment of offensive lineman Troy Everett, a transfer from Appalachian State, who is drawing heavy interest in the transfer portal. Everett played high school football at nearby Lord Botetourt High School.
A good day for the Hokies.
Welcome home, Antwaun.