Transformation of Virginia Tech's Receiver Room

The Hokies leveraged the transfer portal to add skill sets absent from last season's wide receivers group and bolster their offensive playmakers. 12-play, 2,300-word film evaluation of Ali Jennings, Jaylin Lane and Da'Quan Felton.

Outside of Kaleb Smith, the Virginia Tech receivers were at best inconsistent and at worst dreadful last season. The young group struggled to get separation off coverage, rarely made any kind of explosive play after the catch, and largely were invisible outside of schemed wide open catches. When the transfer portal season opened, it was clear that the Hokies wanted to add experienced receivers who understood how to create separation, receivers who could turn short nondescript catches into big yards, and receivers who could make contested catches consistently. After a whirlwind recruiting period, the Virginia Tech staff convinced Ali Jennings, one of the most productive wide receivers in the country over the last two seasons despite abysmal quarterback play, and Jaylin Lane, an explosive slot receiver and an adept punt returner, to join the Hokies. Then Fontel Mines looked to the 757 and landed big, physical developmental receiver Da'Quan Felton.

Jennings looks to replace Kaleb Smith as the "Hokie Hi" volume receiver

The gem of the group is 6-2, 195 pound Ali Jennings. He stands to replace Smith as Tech's primary pass catcher while adding more versatility to the passing game. Tech's most effective passing concept came when Smith received press man coverage against Pitt and NC State. Quarterback Grant Wells did an automatic check, and Smith was able to win battles against the Panthers and Wolfpack corners. Hokies fans know first hand how that the newly arrived Jennings can win those jump balls, as he drew several key pass interference calls and made two backbreaking catches against Tech's press man, including this catch against Armani Chatman (No. 9), in last season's opening loss.

Jennings (No. 0) consistently delivered these catches against press man coverage. He isn't going to wow anyone with his ability to sky for the ball, but he works himself into position to make back shoulder catches that aren't easy.

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