BLACKSBURG, Va. – For the second consecutive season, the Virginia Tech football program opened the doors to Lane Stadium for an open practice on Saturday. What started out as a foggy morning in Blacksburg, quickly gave way to clear skies and a beautiful afternoon. A hundred or so fans watched as the Hokies took the field.
While they’re not quite where they need to be, head coach Brent Pry said he reminded himself that it was just their fifth practice of the spring. The Hokies have a full quarterback room with seven guys. Another highlight to the team is now a wide receivers room that has added depth thanks to the transfer portal.
“It just given us an opportunity to have some competition,” said Virginia Tech wide receivers coach Fontel Mines. “A chance to have some leadership. It’s not always myself being the guy that has to motivate and encourage and give direction because those transfers, those guys, are all proven they all have done it at a high level.”
Mines is referring to the likes of Ali Jennings, Josh Hand (both from Old Dominion University), Da’Quan Felton and Jaylin Lane.
“They’re competing, they’re in the film room everyday so i’m loving what i’m getting from my group right now.”
Speaking on choosing Virginia Tech, Lane said, “Honestly I just wanted to go somewhere where I feel welcomed and that they truly wanted me just like coming out of high school. I wanted to go somewhere where i can feel the love and off the rip like when my name was first introduced, these were the first guys hitting me up texting me. You know, my pops he knows coach Jones so as soon as my name got entered, my dad texted him and coach Cheetah was like ‘we want him.’”
Stephen Gosnell is another receiver who found ways to contribute for the Hokies and he’s ready to do the same in 2023 and welcomes the competition.
“With more people there, this is only going to make you better, you know,” Gosnell said. “If you take one rep off or something, the other guy, the other people aren’t taking reps off. So, it’s like every rep you have to make count for sure.”
Mines said he also likes the young freshman in the wide receivers room as well, including former Radford Bobcat Marcell Baylor.