Baylor Kansas Football

Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs (19) is tackled by Baylor cornerback Grayland Arnold, back, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Virginia Tech has addressed some areas of need out of the transfer portal in recent weeks with the additions of Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs and Youngstown State defensive end Justus Reed.

Tech coach Justin Fuente didn’t close the door on signing another player out of the transfer portal before the 2020 season to address any remaining needs.

“We are currently not involved with anybody else, but we monitor it every day and we all know things could all change with a single phone call,” Fuente said in an interview on Friday.

The departure of Damon Hazelton, Hezekiah Grimsley, Phil Patterson and Jacoby Pinckney in January left the coaching staff concerned about the team’s depth at receiver behind returning starters Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson.

Redshirt freshmen Jaden Payoute and Elijah Bowick will be part of the mix, but adding Fairs adds some valuable experience to the mix. Fairs caught 28 passes for 392 yards in 25 career games.

Reed, a one-time Florida signee who has 19 sacks in 30 career games, was signed in hopes of bolstering the team’s pass rush on the defensive line. The defensive had 38 sacks last year, but the team’s defensive ends combined for only 7.5 of those sacks.

They had similar struggles in 2018 getting to the quarterback.

Fuente confirmed that Fair was put on scholarship as was Reed (both are grad transfers with one year of eligibility left), giving Tech a projected 83 scholarship players for 2020 – two short of the 85-player limit.

“It’s all fluid,” Fuente said. “You know we got a deserving guy or two on our team that those things have to be taken into consideration.”

Offensive lineman Austin Cannon, wide receiver Kaleb Smith and defensive back Ishmiel Seisay were awarded scholarships during fall camp last year.

One other reason Fuente is hesitant to rule out the possibility of adding an additional transfer is the possibility of a wave of transfer portal activity in the fall when players return to campus. In a normal year, that would happen right after spring camp concludes once teams start forming depth charts.

“As of this moment in time, right now, we are not in the middle of anything, but it’s kind of been interesting there has been no spring ball, so have less guys left?” Fuente said. “I don’t know how the numbers shake out to be, but we will continue to monitor it going forward.”

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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