Brent Pry made another splashy addition to his staff by bringing a Hokie home in former standout WR Dyrell Roberts to be an offensive analyst for the Hokies.
Having Roberts on staff undoubtedly evokes many strong memories from his days in Blacksburg as a player including his famous game-winning touchdown reception against Nebraska where Bill Roth had the iconic "Tyrod did it, Mikey" call. However, Roberts has proven himself as a young, rising coach who is a sharp addition to this staff as a coach and not just because he's a former Hokie.
Roberts was someone we previously spotlighted as a rising assistant Tech should pursue for an analyst type role, a list which also included Xavier Adibi who has since been hired as a defensive analyst.
Roberts chose to return to Virginia Tech over multiple on-field opportunities at the FCS level including one with a prominent FCS program that has finished in the top 10 in FCS 7 times over the past decade. He also had interest from multiple FBS programs though Roberts made a strong impression on Brent Pry that made it a priority for Pry to find a way to get Roberts on his first staff in Blacksburg.
Prior to returning to Blacksburg, Roberts had been the WRs coach and pass game coordinator for Western Illinois over the past three seasons and though Western Illinois had struggled, his passing attack had not with 3 WRs ranking in the top 135 in the country including Dennis Houston being one of only 16 over 1,000 receiving yards.
His passing attacks also ranked in the top 12 in FCS both in the spring and fall 2021 FCS seasons while Houston earned All-American honors this past fall.
Prior to that, Roberts spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons at Norfolk State where he was the WRs coach and special teams coordinator with the Spartans leading FCS in yards per punt return for the 2018 season. He also had a pair of All-MEAC receivers during his brief stint at Norfolk State.
Roberts has been a grinder as well working his way up the ranks after starting out his coaching career at Smithfield HS in the 757 before coaching at Earlham College and Saint Joseph's College before making the jump to Norfolk State.
There's no doubt that Dyrell Roberts has paid his dues over the course of his career and shown that he has what it takes to be a big time coach. This jump to Virginia Tech gives Roberts the perfect chance to grow as a coach while providing lots of value on the offensive side and could lay the groundwork for him to be promoted into an on-the-field role down the road should Tech have some offensive staff turnover in the future.
The best programs in the country know the value of being able to find talented young coaches, develop them, and then be able to promote them as other coaches go on to claim larger roles. We've seen it at Clemson this offseason especially with the internal promotions for both their coordinators including one from an off-the-field staff role while the "Nick Saban coaching rehab school" has proven famous for that at Alabama.
Tech also followed that model under the previous coaching regime with Justin Hamilton and Jack Tyler who proved to be two of the better Tech assistants at the end of the Justin Fuente era.
Dyrell Roberts has paid his dues and now, the former Hokie WR gets to return home as a coach who has earned his way to this point in what is fitting for someone bred and built by the lunch pail mentality.