Virginia Tech has plenty of talent returning on the offensive side of the football, but they also have brought in plenty of talent via the transfer portal, JUCO additions, and high school signees. Of course, some of those additions, especially ones via transfer, have the potential to have more impact than others.
So with that said, here's a look at our ranking of the top 5 impact offensive newcomers for Virginia Tech this upcoming season.
5. WR Dallan Wright
Dallan Wright may be a surprise inclusion on this list, but Tech's late addition right before the February Signing Day was a steal for the Hokies.
Wright was extremely productive as a senior as he had 87 receptions for 1,508 yards and 25 touchdowns. More impressive may be the fact that he averaged 17.3 yards per reception, showing his big play potential that can translate well to the next level.
Not only were his numbers impressive, but his tape also backs up that he's a high end playmaker on the outside with great speed who may have been underrrated by the recruiting services. You can see more on Wright in our scouting report on him here.
Tech also has a reputation for giving opportunities to wide receivers to earn playing time as true freshmen with Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson both earning starting roles as true freshmen in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Additionally, Tech has plenty of opportunity at their two outside receiver spots after Tre Turner with a true freshman like Wright or Tyree Saunders (who could also end up in the slot) both having the opportunity to earn playing time this season.
Wright has impressed me with the tape and even with guys like JUCO RB Marco Lee or Kansas grad transfer WR Evan Fairs, Wright has the greater upside to be the Hokies' next breakout wide receiver.
4. QB Braxton Burmeister
Braxton Burmeister could end up being worthy of the top spot or not make an impact at all which makes #4 feel like a reasonable spot for the Oregon transfer.
After sitting out last season, Burmeister is seen as the top challenger to potentially knock off incumbent starting QB Hendon Hooker. However, the lack of spring practice has likely hurt Burmeister's chances of being able to make a significant push to usurp Hooker for the currently scheduled 2020 season.
Even if Burmeister isn't the day 1 starter, he does appear to have a good chance at beating out Quincy Patterson for the backup QB job and being ready to go at a second's notice in case of injury or other reason for absence for Hooker (or Patterson if he were to usurp both to earn the starting job). In a season that is already as unpredictable as any without even being within a month of the first game, having quality QB depth will be extremely valuable.
Additionally, having multiple quarterbacks pushing each other and also able to help each other develop areas that may be strengths for one and weaknesses for another is always a boost as a whole for the room. Healthy, competitive environments are always a plus for development and Tech has that here with their QB room.
Burmeister could end up anywhere on the board, but he should be able to make a positive impact for the Hokies even if he isn't on the field that much. However, the low floor and high ceiling for this specific season could have us looking back and having him at the top or outside of the top 5.
3. WR/RB Raheem Blackshear
Raheem Blackshear comes in at #3 despite the fact that it's unclear if he will even being eligible for the upcoming season. However, Blackshear should have a good chance at receiving a waiver given how frequently we see waivers handed out to players who transfer after a coaching change and use that as the reason for pursuing a waiver, something that Blackshear and VT are likely doing especially after the Brock Hoffman debacle last year.
Blackshear is a very intriguing offensive weapon who seems certain to be used in a multitude of ways both out of the backfield and in the slot. Additionally, Blackshear could have the potential to be a kick return candidate after returning 30 kicks during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
His versatility could allow him to be a second slot receiver especially after the transfer of Hezekiah Grimsley while also giving Tech lots of speed when they have him, Tayvion Robinson, Tre Turner, and Keshawn King all on the field. His versatility also makes him a good fit to be used in some of the offensive things they love to use with their speedy, versatile athletes including bubble screens and jet sweeps.
Blackshear may not be a starter for the Hokies, but if he is eligible this season, he should be a very versatile weapon that sees the field a lot in many different ways, giving the Hokies more suble wrinkles they can add to their offense.
2. C Brock Hoffman
Brock Hoffman is finally eligible after last year's debacle and though Tech returns last season's starting center Bryan Hudson, Hoffman is poised to usurp the rising sophomore and take over at center.
Hoffman proved himself to be more than capable and worthy of a shot in the Power 5 in his two seasons at Coastal Carolina. Since arriving at Tech, Hoffman has immediately come in and become one of Tech's most popular players outside the locker room and one of VT's strongest leaders inside of it.
Leadership matters at the center of the offensive line and Hoffman appears to have some natural leadership characterisitics that could make him a captain at some point in his Hokie career whether that's this year or next. Additionally, Hoffman has plenty of experience from his time at Coastal Carolina and should be more than ready to go to slide right in to a Tech offensive line that seems poised to be as good as any we've seen from the Hokies in at least a decade.
The long wait for Brock Hoffman's Virginia Tech debut is almost over with the Coastal Carolina transfer poised to strengthen a Tech offensive line that already returns loads of talent headlined by potential Preseason All-ACC member Christian Darrisaw.
1. RB Khalil Herbert
Coming in at #1 is Herbert who comes to Virginia Tech after being the #2 back at Kansas behind two-time All Big 12 First Team RB (and potential 2020 All-American) Pooka Williams Jr.
Herbert was productive in his four seasons at Kansas (played 4 games in 2019 and used the new redshirt rule) as he ran for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. That includes an impressive 4 games in the 2019 season as he ran for 384 yards and 2 touchdowns on 43 carries averaging an insane 8.9 yards per carry including an impressive 11 carries for 187 yards and a touchdown against Boston College.
Herbert is definitely the frontrunner to start at running back for the Hokies though Keshawn King showed lots of potential during the 2019 season and seems also poised to take the next step in his second season. However, Herbert is quite talented in his own right and should have the inside track on earning the job.
Herbert also is a more well-rounded back who has great top end speed, but also has the strength and physicality to handle a high volume of carries between the tackles. He also had 24 receptions during his 4 seasons at Kansas and has shown the potential to be a threat in the passing game for the Hokies even if that may not be a strength of his game.
It's easy to imagine Herbert being the bulk carry guy with King being the speed/change-of-pace #2 back who gives Tech one of the ACC's best 1-2 backfield punches this upcoming season.
Khalil Herbert is ready to not only be Tech's top newcomer this season, but also have a breakout season that could be the best season for a VT running back in years and draw plenty of NFL scouts' attention.