Virginia Tech DB Khalil Ladler has entered the transfer portal according to reports.
OK, two more portal entries today as well. Senior S Khalil Ladler and WR Phil Patterson, Virginia Tech confirms. (Not Quincy.)— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) January 22, 2020
Ladler was a backup whip to Chamarri Conner. Playing time might have been an issue there. Patterson had 289 receiving yards in four years. #Hokies
Khalil Ladler played in 39 games, starting 15, over the past 3 seasons as he was the starting whip linebacker/nickelback in 2018 with 66 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 pass breakups. Ladler saw his playing time drop this past season after losing his starting spot to Chamarri Conner, finishing the 2019 season with 18 tackles and 1 pass breakup. Ladler will have one year of eligibility and is a grad transfer.
Given Conner's impressive play and Devon Hunter emerging as the future at rover, Ladler's road to a starting job for his senior season appeared to evaporate. Ladler's decision to move on shouldn't be seen as a surprise given his likely hopes of having a pro football future and also having the talent to start next season at a Group of 5 or probably some Power 5 programs.
Ladler's departure will also push guys like Brion Murray and Nasir Peoples into greater backup roles behind the aforementioned Chamarri Conner and Devon Hunter. Murray and Peoples have gained some past experience with Murray receiving lots of playing time at cornerback in the Belk Bowl and being more of a coverage option as a backup nickelback.
Ladler's departure (along with multiple others) also help open up scholarships to make sure that Tech can fit in this year's small recruiting class given the lack of seniors while also opening some doors to add a couple more players, possibly via the transfer portal.