Justin Fuente: Hokies in transfer portal will not be allowed to return

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said Wednesday that Hokies players who have recently entered the NCAA transfer portal won't be allowed to return.

Fuente, speaking to reporters on national signing day, said the coaching staff recently decided that players who enter their names in the portal cannot come back to the team. Although the large majority of FBS players who enter the portal end up transferring, some return to their original teams, if scholarships are still available.

Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker and running back Deshawn McClease both entered the transfer portal before removing their names and returning to the team last February. Hooker became Virginia Tech's starting quarterback last season.

"We talked about that. We talked about it as a team," Fuente said. "We talked about Hendon and Deshawn last year and how that was me not doing a job educating them. We'll take all of them on a case by case basis, but we're moving forward."

"It's all individual," Fuente said at the time. "I think it would be foolish to do it any other way."

Virginia Tech has had 12 players enter the transfer portal since the end of the 2019 regular season. The Hokies on Wednesday officially added running back transfer Raheem Blackshear, the former starter at Rutgers.

Fuente's comments drew attention because of his recent discussions with Baylor. He told reporters Wednesday that Baylor and Virginia Tech are the only schools he has talked to about jobs while already serving as an FBS coach. Fuente went to Virginia Tech from Memphis in November 2015. He declined to say Wednesday whether Baylor had offered him the job.

Connecticut coach Randy Edsall also is taking a hard-line stance on transfers, saying Wednesday that the Huskies likely will no longer be pursuing players from the transfer portal. Edsall told reporters that players in the portal have "got issues," and UConn's staff prefers those from high schools or junior colleges.

"Those guys have a little more edge to them because they want to play right now," Edsall said. "Sometimes these guys from the portal think that they're enabled or entitled to something. You know, maybe it didn't work out because you didn't stay there and finish."

Edsall said that unless UConn is previously in contact with a player in the portal and sees him as a good fit, the team will look elsewhere. UConn has had 24 players enter the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.