MG VT ODU Players 091019

Virginia Tech center John Harris (center) goes into protection mode after snapping the ball during the first half of last Saturday’s game against Old Dominion in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech won 31-17.

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech backup offensive lineman John Harris has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Harris, who was a three-star signee coming out of Mill Creek High School in Georgia, played in six games this season with most of his playing time coming at center. He started Tech’s Week 2 game against Old Dominion, but was replaced in the second half by true freshman Bryan Hudson, who went on to start the rest of the year at center.

The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder is the fourth player to transfer from the 2018 signing class joining defensive lineman Cam Goode (UCF), wide receiver DeJuan Ellis (Maryland) and offensive lineman Joe Kane.

The transfer portal is a database that notifies other programs of a student-athlete's interest in transferring. Players that enter their name into the transfer portal can withdraw from it and stay with their current team (given their coach's approval) as Hendon Hooker and Deshawn McClease did last year.

The interior of Tech’s offensive line will be a crowded place next season with Harris behind a number of teammates with starting experience.

At center alone, the Hokies have Hudson, Brock Hoffman and Zachariah Hoyt. Hoyt started much of 2018 at center while Hoffman was the expected starter this fall until the NCAA denied his transfer waiver.

Tech started true freshman Doug Nester at right guard for most of the 2019 season with Lecitus Smith starting on the left side. Austin Cannon, who was put on scholarship during fall camp, also received significant playing time at both spots.

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

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