Veteran Virginia Tech starting DT and captain Norell Pollard announced today that he will be returning to Blacksburg for the 2023 season.
Pollard was the lone scholarship Hokie who had the extra COVID year for 2023 who had not made his decision yet prior to this announcement.
Pollard has played in 48 games over the course of his first four seasons at VT with 35 starts including 11 starts each of the past three seasons. He has 94 tackles including 14.5 for loss with 8 sacks plus 18 QB hurries, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 3 pass breakups.
He had 15 tackles including 3 for loss with 1.5 sacks plus a career high 6 QB hurries and 1 pass breakup in 2022. His overall season PFF grade of 76.2 plus his PFF rush defense and pass rush grades in 2022 were all career highs.
There's no doubt that Pollard's return is great news for the Hokies as the core lead DT trio remains in tact as Mario Kendricks also returns and Josh Fuga still has 2 years of eligibility remaining. Pollard has been the consistent starter among these 3 as the lead DT so having him back gives Tech their best DT from the past couple years.
He also gives them a valuable for a defensive line room that has some older guys, but plenty of younger guys in their first 2-3 years of college who could use some veteran consistency. Pollard also maintains Tech's bridge to continue developing their younger DTs like Lemar Law and Malachi Madison without having the pressure of needing one of them ready right now but still having space for one of them to go earn it.