Star WR Kaleb Smith Hasn't Ruled Out a Return to Virginia Tech

Star WR Kaleb Smith Hasn't Ruled Out a Return to Virginia Tech
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Dec 10, 2022

On Monday, December 5th; the end of Kaleb Smith's Virginia Tech career seemed here as he announced that he was entering the transfer portal with one season of eligibility remaining. This had many Hokie fans disappointed especially given how Smith had been the one consistent and highly productive receiver for the Hokies this past season showing great chemistry with incumbent starting QB Grant Wells.

Recently, we reached out to Smith to see ask if he had ruled out a return to Virginia Tech? His answer likely will intrigue Hokie fans.

"Not at all," Smith said. "They expressed that the door will remain open and they will continue to recruit me."

The first half of that should be encouraging to Hokie fans that Tech indeed has a chance to bring Smith back despite his recent portal entry. Smith is certainly receiving loads of other Power 5 interest as well but is encouraging to hear that a VT return is not ruled out at all.

The second half of his statement shouldn't come as a surprise given how good Smith was this past season. Tech's passing game also could see a lot of growth if they can pair him with another 1 or 2 high end WRs like ODU star Ali Jennings who is visiting Virginia Tech this weekend.

Smith took big strides forward this past season stepping up as a legitimate WR1 with 37 receptions for 674 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns while averaging an impressive 18.2 yards per reception. His 674 receiving yards were the most for a Virginia Tech receiver in a single season since Damon Hazelton had 802 yards in 2018.

More importantly, Smith was a big play machine over a large sample size with his 18.2 yards per reception ranking in the top 10 in the country among receivers who at least 35 receptions during the regular season. While there are no guarantees that Grant Wells is VT's starting QB next season given their desire to add a portal QB to compete for the job, Smith had a strong connection with Wells down the field that there are no guarantees that can be found with another receiver with Wells.

More importantly, Smith has shown the type of big play ability combined with having plus size to compete and win 50-50 balls that has made him a legit playmaker. Pairing him with guys like Ali Jennings in addition to the return of Da'Wain Lofton and at least another portal receiver would be a transformed receiving corps that would take some attention off Smith and make him a bigger threat in some ways.

So will Kaleb Smith return to Virginia Tech? Tech's All-ACC Honorable Mention WR won't rule it out which is absolutely encouraging almost a week after his entrance into the portal.