The Tech Lunch Pail is excited to announce the launch of the new TLP Insider subscription. Sign up for an account and get the best news, inside scoops, and analysis on the Hokies! Learn more

UCLA QB Transfer Collin Schlee Commits to Virginia Tech

Cheerleaders 1 VT Wofford TS
Photo Credit: Taelor Shema

Virginia Tech made their first transfer portal addition of the spring window as they landed a commitment from UCLA QB Collin Schlee.

Schlee spent one season at UCLA after spending the rest of his prior collegiate career at Kent State including as the starter for the Golden Flashes in 2022. He has one year of eligibility remaining and chose the Hokies over Kentucky. This puts the Hokies at 83 scholarships based on our accounting, with two open spots remaining at this time.

The Ijamsville, Maryland native was a productive dual-threat starter in 2022 at Kent State throwing for 2,105 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions with a 59.0% completion rate while running for 489 yards, four touchdowns, and an average of 5.0 yards per carry. In a part-time starting/backup/etc role at UCLA this past season, Schlee threw for 217 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 53.2% completion rate while running for 425 yards, three touchdowns, and 10.1 yards per carry.

Dylan Wittke's transfer departure made Virginia Tech's need to add QB depth even clearer, especially someone with more significant experience than redshirt freshman Pop Watson and incoming freshman Davi Belfort offer.

Schlee is a perfect fit for the type of veteran backup QB that the Hokies were looking for given the starting experience that he has at Kent State, the Power 4 playing experience he has at UCLA, and the dual-threat skill set that is in a similar mold to Kyron Drones. In terms of skill set and experience, this is about as well as the Hokies could have done during this window.

It's also a strong transfer portal victory for the Hokies who hosted Schlee last weekend and beat out Kentucky, where he also visited, to land his commitment. It's notable that Tech was able to convince Schlee to use his final year of collegiate eligibility to be a backup rather than go land a starting opportunity at the Group of 5 or even low Power 4 level, though his list of contenders suggests that this may have been his preference anyway.

Now some may wonder what this means for Pop Watson, especially those who are the biggest on his potential. A great comparison is 2022 NC State where they added Jack Chambers, a veteran Charleston Southern starter, to their QB room to be the backup. Chambers was able to give the Wolfpack a solid floor of QB play when Devin Leary went down with injury, before the Wolfpack turned things over to the higher-ceiling freshman MJ Morris after that.

Watson will have every opportunity to complete with Schlee for the backup QB job and if something were to happen to Drones, it's not crazy to think that Watson could be the guy.

But if you're Brent Pry, it would be taking a massive risk to have only three scholarship QBs this fall, two of whom are freshman and have none or very little actual playing experience. Tech also has their best roster since at least 2016-17 if not the end of the 10+ consecutive win season run in 2011.

Given how important quarterback play is at all levels of football, it would be irresponsible not to add in a veteran backup option who can given you a higher floor should something happen to Kyron Drones.

Another plus with Schlee for the Pop Watson-Davi Belfort side of things is the fact that this is Schlee's final year of eligibility. His addition changes nothing for the Hokies long-term and continues to allow Watson and now Belfort to battle to be the heir to Kyron Drones' QB1 title whenever Drones decides to go pro whether that's in 2025 or 2026.

You must login in order to comment on this post.
Loading Indicator