Virginia Tech football head coach Brent Pry announced Saturday that the team has added seven transfers into the program: long snapper Griffin Armstrong, defensive back Derrick Canteen, quarterback Kyron Drones, wide receivers Da’Quan Felton, Ali Jennings, and Jaylin Lane, and running back Bhayshul Tuten.
Long snapper Griffin Armstrong spent two seasons at Louisiana Tech, redshirting in 2021, before playing in all 12 games in 2022. He was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2022. He was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, as a member of a military family, before living in Valencia, Spain, and eventually South Korea where he graduated from Osan American High School. He played rugby throughout middle school and high school.
Defensive back Derrick Canteen joins the Tech program from Georgia Southern where he played in 30 career games, making 25 starts. Over the course of the past three seasons, Canteen recorded 117 tackles, including 2.5 for loss and one sack. He also had seven interceptions, 22 passes defended, one fumble recovery, and one touchdown.
In 2020, Canteen started all 13 games, recording 48 tackles and tying the FBS lead with six interceptions. He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and The Athletic. He was also a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection. After playing in just two games the previous season because of an injury, Canteen returned in 2022, making 64 tackles and finishing with 12 passes defended and one interception.
He played at Evans High School in Evans, Georgia, and ranked as the No. 268 cornerback in the country and the No. 207 player in Georgia by 247Sports. A first-team all-region selection and the Athlete of the Year for the 3-AAAAAA region, Canteen was named the county’s defensive player of the year after recording 61 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups as a senior on defense to go along with 14 catches for 473 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 43 yards per catch. He was selected for the Sixth Annual Border Bowl.
Quarterback Kyron Drones arrives in Blacksburg following two seasons at Baylor. As a redshirt freshman in 2022, he played in five games off the bench as a reserve quarterback. Drones was 14-of-23 passing with a touchdown and 219 yards. He threw one interception and rushed eight times for 49 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for a nine-yard touchdown and was 5-of-7 for 100 yards in his collegiate debut in the season opener vs. UAlbany.
Drones was pressed into service early in the third quarter at West Virginia after an injury to quarterback Blake Shapen. He completed 7 of 14 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown and rushed twice for 24 yards, including a career-long of 17 yards. He appeared in two games as a freshman in 2021 before redshirting. Drones was a member of the 2022 Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 team and was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Drones prepped at Shadow Creek High School in Pearland, Texas, where he passed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior in six games while rushing for 228 yards and two scores helping his team to the 2019 UIL state championship and a 16-0 record. He earned Offensive MVP honors in the championship game and was named as the 10-5A Overall MVP as well as a Third-Team All-State selection. Drones was rated four stars by 247 Sports, the No.-7 dual-threat quarterback, the No. 20 player in Texas, and No. 125 nationally. He was the No.-10 dual-threat quarterback, earning a four-star rating from ESPN and was ranked No. 60 overall in Texas. He had a three-star rating by Rivals, which ranked him the No. 45 player in Texas and the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback. Drones also played basketball.
Wide receiver Da’Quan Felton comes to Tech from Norfolk State. He appeared in all 11 games and started six times as a redshirt freshman in 2022. He ranked second on the team with 28 catches for 492 yards with two touchdowns. He ranked seventh in the MEAC in receiving yards per game and 10th in receptions.
His best outing with the Spartans came at South Carolina State where he racked up nine catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs.
The Portsmouth, Va., product played at Churchland High School, garnering first-team All-Region 4A honors as a senior. Felton caught 43 passes for 741 yards and 10 touchdowns while helping the Truckers advance to the regional playoffs.
Wide receiver Ali Jennings comes to the Hokies from Old Dominion where he made the All-Sun Belt first team and earned Phil Steele All-American honors in 2022. He led the team with 54 receptions for 959 yards and nine touchdowns and ranked third in the country, tops in the Sun Belt with 106.6 yards per game. His nine touchdowns led the conference. Jennings had five 100-yard receiving games and a stretch of seven straight games catching a touchdown pass.
In 2021, Jennings earned Conference USA Honorable Mention accolades after starting all 13 games at wide receiver. He finished second on the team with 62 receptions and led the squad with 1,066 receiving yards.
The Richmond product spent two seasons at West Virginia following a standout career at Highland Springs High School where he earned VHSL All-State First Team, All-Richmond Metro Area First Team, and All-Class 5A (Region B) First Team Offense honors as a senior. Jennings helped lead Highland Springs to a perfect 15-0 record and the 2018 VHSL Group 5A State Championship and was selected to the North roster of the 2018 Virginia Big River Rivalry All-Star Game. He was rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. Rivals also ranked him as the No. 19 player in the state of Virginia,, ESPN ranked him No. 28, and 247 Sports had him at No. 29. He was rated the No. 78 receiver in the nation by Rivals.
Lane (WR, 5-8, 183) joins the Hokies from Middle Tennessee where he made the All-Conference USA second team as a punt returner and earned honorable mention as both a receiver and kick returner in 2022. Lane had 69 catches for 940 yards and five touchdowns as a third-year sophomore this past season. He averaged 8.4 yards on 18 punt returns and 23.1 yards on 11 kick returns. Lane had 10 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown in the team’s Hawaii Bowl win over San Diego State last month. In 2021, he made the All-Conference USA first team as a punt returner.
Wide receiver Jaylin Lane was rated a three-star recruit by 247 Sports out of Clover High School in Clover, SC, where he was a team captain and also lettered in basketball and track. He earned all-state and all-region honors in football and owns every receiving record at the school. As a senior, he caught 76 passes for 1,611 yards and 30 touchdowns, including a 14-catch, 281-yard performance with four touchdowns in the state playoffs versus top-ranked Dorman.
Running back Bhayshul Tuten comes to Blacksburg from North Carolina A&T where he rushed for 1,363 yards and 13 touchdowns on 208 carries as a sophomore last fall. His rushing performance was the fifth-best single-season rushing performance in school history. He also broke the school and conference records for consecutive 100-yard games in a season while adding 31 catches. He earned FCS third-team All-America honors, as well as All-Big South first- team honors.
The Paulsboro, New Jersey product played high school football at Paulsboro High School, finishing his career with 3,768 yards rushing and 77 touchdowns on 429 carries for an average of 8.8 yards per carry. He also caught 35 passes for 437 yards (12.5 ypg) and hauled in seven touchdowns. Tuten made the Phil Simms North/South All-Star Game and was named the Jersey Times Offensive Player of the Year in 2020. He ran the eighth-fastest 60-meter time in South Jersey history in 2021 at 7.03.
Virginia Tech has also announced that the 2023 football spring game will take place on Saturday, April 15. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. in Lane Stadium.
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