How good will the Virginia Tech Hokies be in 2023? There is hope that the Hokies will be much improved in head coach Brent Pry’s second season. After all, the Hokies won just three games in 2022.
Virginia Tech has been aggressive in reshaping the roster this offseason. Several players have transferred out, replaced by multiple transfers who will impact the two deep in 2023.
Tech also has some key players returning this season. While young players, such as Mansoor Delane, Dae’Quan Wright and Tucker Holloway, come to mind, several upperclassmen return. Two names that immediately come to mind are senior defensive tackles Mario Kendricks and Norell Pollard.
Kendricks and Pollard were both members of the 2019 recruiting class. Kendricks [Kissimmee] and Pollard [Apopka] were both from Florida, and each has played a lot of football for the Hokies. Kendricks and Pollard were Bud Foster recruits and played their first season under the legendary former defensive coordinator.
The two defensive tackles each chose to return to Blacksburg for one final season in 2023, using their free year of “COVID” eligibility.
With 91 career games played between them, they represent one of the more experienced duos at any position in the ACC for the 2023 season. Pro Football Focus has taken notice of the pair. Of all the defensive tackles returning in 2023, Pollard and Kendricks are two of the top 10 highest graded from last season.
Highest graded returning ACC Defensive Tackles pic.twitter.com/2Zu8jjG6O5— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 18, 2023
The Hokies weren’t the only team with two defensive tackles, as Clemson and Miami each had two inside the top 10.
Kendricks and Pollard, along with Josh Fuga, give Tech a formidable trio of defensive tackles for 2023.