Virginia Tech adds seven new transfers

BLACKBURG Virginia Tech’s head football coach Brent Pry announced on Saturday that the team added seven transfers, including long snapper Griffin Armstrong, defensive back Derrick Canteen, quarterback Kyron droneswide receivers Da’Quan Felton, Ali Jennings and Jaylin Lane and running back Bhayshul Tuten.

Armstrong (LS, 5-10, 220) spent two seasons at Louisiana Tech, becoming a redshirt in 2021 before playing in all 12 games in 2022. In 2022, he was inducted into the Conference USA Commissioner’s Roll of Honor. Armstrong was born in Fairbanks, Alaska to a military family before residing in Valencia, Spain and eventually South Korea, where he graduated from Osan American High School. He played rugby throughout middle school and high school.

Canteen (DB, 5-11, 190) joins Georgia Southern’s tech program, where he played in 30 career games and made 25 starts. Over the past three seasons, Canteen has 117 tackles, including 2.5 for losses, a sack, seven interceptions, 22 passes defended, one fumble recovery and one touchdown.

In 2020, Canteen started in all 13 games, recorded 48 tackles and tied 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 selection of the All-Sun Belt Conference. After playing just two games last season due to 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 was ranked the No. 268 cornerback in the country and the No. 207 player in Georgia by 247Sports. Canteen, a first-team selection from all regions and Athlete of the Year for the 3-AAAAAA region, was named the county’s Defensive Player of the Year after recording 61 tackles, two interceptions and eight broken passes as a senior on defense with 14 catches for 473 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 43 yards per catch. He was selected for the sixth annual Border Bowl.


Drones (QB, 6-2, 225) arrives in Blacksburg after two seasons at Baylor. A redshirt freshman in 2022, he played off the bench as a reserve QB in five games. Drones was 14 of 23 for a TD and 219 yards, threw an interception and rushed eight times for 49 yards and two TDs. In his college debut in the season opener against UAlbany, he rushed for a nine-yard TD and was 5 of 7 for 100 yards. Drones was commissioned early in the third quarter in West Virginia after an injury to QB Blake Shapen, walking 7 of 14 for 95 yards and a score and rushing twice for 24 yards, including a career 17. 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 Roll of Honor.

A Pearland, Texas native, he prepared his way through Shadow Creek High School where he was a senior in six games for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 228 yards and two points, taking his team to the 2019 UIL State Championship and a 16: 0 record helped. He received offensive MVP honors in championship play and was named the 10-5A overall MVP as well as a third-team All-State selection. Drones has been four-star rated by 247 Sports, the No. 7 double threat quarterback, the No. 20 player in Texas and the No. 125 nationally. He was the No. 10 quarterback for double threats rated four stars by ESPN and finished 60th overall in Texas. He had a three-star rating from Rivals, the No. 45 player in Texas and the No. 15 dual threats QB. Drones also played basketball.

Felton (WR, 6-5, 210) comes to Tech from the state of Norfolk. He appeared in all 11 games and started six times as a redshirt freshman in 2022. Felton was second on the team with 28 catches for 492 yards with two touchdowns. He ranked seventh in the MEAC for gaining yards per game and 10th at receptions.

His best game with the Spartans came in South Carolina, where he had nine catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns, all career bests.

The Portsmouth, Virginia product played at Churchland High School and was named a senior in the first-team All-Region 4A. Felton caught 43 passes for 741 yards and 10 touchdowns, helping the Truckers advance to the regional playoffs.

Jennings (WR, 6-2, 195) Joins the Hokies from Old Dominion, where he formed the All-Sun Belt First Team and received the 2022 All-American honors from Phil Steele. He led the team with 54 receptions for 959 yards and nine touchdowns and ranked third in Sun Belt country with 106.6 yards per game. His nine TDs chaired the conference. Jennings averaged five 100-yard reception plays and had a streak of seven straight games with a touchdown.

In 2021, Jennings received Conference USA Honorable Mention awards after starting all 13 games at wide receiver. He finished second on the team with 62 receptions and led the roster with 1,066 reception yards.

The Richmond product, after a distinguished career at Highland Springs High School, spent two seasons in West Virginia where he served as a VHSL All-State First Team, All-Richmond Metro Area First Team, All-Class 5A (Region B) First Team Offense senior was awarded. Jennings helped guide Highland Springs to a perfect 15-0 record and the 2018 VHSL Group 5A State Championship and was named to the 2018 Virginia Big River Rivalry All-Star Game North list. He has three star ratings from ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. Rivals ranked Jennings #19 in the state of Virginia by Rivals, ESPN #28, and 247 #29. He was ranked the No. 78 receiver in the nation by Rivals.


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Spur (WR, 5-8, 183) joins the Hokies of Middle Tennessee, where he was a second-team punt returner at All-Conference USA and earned honorable mentions as both receiver and kick returner in 2022. Lane had 69 catches for 940 yards and five touchdowns as a 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 a touchdown in the team’s Hawaii Bowl win over San Diego State last month. In 2021, he was named to the All-Conference USA first team as a punt returner.

Lane was rated a three-star recruit by 247 Sports from Clover High School in Clover, South Carolina, where he was a team captain and was also lettered in basketball and track and field. He has received all state and regional awards in football and has all the receiving records at the school. As a senior, he had 76 receptions for 1,611 yards and 30 touchdowns, including a 14-catch, 281-yard performance with four touchdowns in the state playoffs against senior ranked Dorman.

Tootes (RB, 5-11, 195) joins Blacksburg from North Carolina A&T, where he rushed for 1,363 yards and 13 touchdowns with 208 carries as a sophomore last fall. His rushing performance was the fifth best single-season rushing performance in school history. He also broke school and conference records for consecutive 100-yard games in a season and added 31 catches. He received 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 and finished his career with 3,768 rushing yards and 77 touchdowns for 429 carries, averaging 8.8 yards per carry. He also caught 35 passes for 437 yards (12.5 YPC) and had seven touchdowns during his career. Tuten made the Phil Simms North/South All-Star Game and was named The Jersey Times Offensive Player of the Year 2020. He ran the eighth fastest 60-yard time in South Jersey history in 2021 with 7.03.


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