Brent Pry Explains the importance of "fun" and how the Hokies have fared thus far in the NIL era

In part one of a two-part interview with the Virginia Tech football coach, Pry answers questions about NIL, cultivating relationships in his program, necessary defensive back skills, and his offensive philosophy for 2023.

[Mark Umansky]

Last week Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry spent a solid 35 minutes via phone answering questions from The Key Play. The head Hokie hit on a variety of important topics from how Virginia Tech stacks up in name, image and likeness to recruiting efforts in the Commonwealth.

Because of the length of the conversation, I decided to break this up into two parts. This transcript was lightly edited for clarity, and I expect the second part to run later this week.

The Key Play (TKP): We're going to start off hard hitting, cake or pie, what's your preference?

Brent Pry: I would say probably key lime pie or strawberry cake. I'm kind of torn.

TKP: If you had to pick one...

BP: If they're doing a birthday deal for me it's going to involve strawberry cake.

TKP: Who is an under the radar guy on both offense and defense where you've seen the light coming on and can be a serious contributor this year?

BP: I'd say on defense Keyshawn Burgos, sophomore defensive end. Played on special teams last year, but not much on defense. Then offensively, I'd probably say Braelin Moore, redshirt freshman offensive guard.

TKP: What have you seen out of Burgos and Moore?

BP: Burgos has a tremendous motor, he can run and it's finally making sense to him. He's a long guy that can run and plays really hard. Then Braelin Moore, somewhat undersized, but a redshirt freshman that is super smart, super tough and plays with great leverage. It was fun watching him, he played side by side with his brother (Kaden Moore) all spring. His brother was the starting center this spring, and he was the starting left guard.

TKP: You see both those guys still as interior linemen, is that correct?


TKP: I should have said this at the beginning, but I'm trying to get a good mix here of some fun questions, some football questions and some kind of coaching questions for you.

What is the most important part of coaching that people don't see?

BP: It's the relationships with the players. That's really at the core of it all, at least for us it is.

TKP: Since taking over, what have you done to build those relationships internally?

BP: Well number one we talk a lot about our culture. Along with that is being accountable to one another, to the standards and expectations. Embracing hard conversations, growth and development happening through those. Competing like crazy at everything we do with every rep. Paying attention and listening for the details. There's so much of it in our game, if you're not listening for them, and recognizing them, and coaching them. Then lastly we coach mentality as hard as we coach anything else. Our mindset, our approach, our investment, sacrifice, all those things. It's our job as coaches to make sure that these guys believe that we are working our tails off in every way with everything we do for them to reach all of their potential and then some.

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