top of page
  • kinghunfer3

Virginia Tech football transfer makes PFF's College Football Top 101 Players of 2023

Former Duke football defensive lineman Aeneas Peebles is ranked 82nd in Pro Football Focus's top 101 players of the 2023 season. Peebles is the only Blue Devil to make the list in 2023, respectively. The 6-foot-2, 288Ib lineman will transfer to Virginia Tech football in 2024.

Peebles was one of the best interior defensive linemen this past season, as he garnered 40 total tackles, one forced fumble, and five sacks, respectively. As a unit, the Duke football defense ranked in the top 50 in rush defense (45th) and allowed only 3.9 yards per rush.

The former Blue Devil earned a 90.1 pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus and earned Third-Team All-ACC honors, respectively. Now, the Raleigh, North Carolina native will take his talents to Blacksburg, VA with Hokies head coach Brent Pry entering his fourth season at the helm. Virginia Tech football finished 7-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play in 2023, respectively. Defensively, the Hokies gave up an average of 4.2 yards per carry last season.

On the defensive front, Peebles will be paired with edge rusher Antwuan Powell-Ryland, who recently announced he will be returning for his senior season for the Hokies in 2024. Powell-Ryland earned Second-Team All-ACC honors after tallying 23 solo tackles, three forced fumbles, and 9.5 sacks in 2023, respectively. The 6-foot-3, 244Ib defensive end played linebacker for the Florida Gators before transitioning to the defensive line at Virginia Tech.

Since the departure of Peebles, the expected Duke defensive line will consist of redshirt sophomore Wesley Williams (left defensive end), redshirt freshman David Anderson (left defensive tackle), redshirt junior Aaron Hall (right defensive tackle), and graduate transfer Anthony Nelson (right defensive end), respectively. Williams garnered 11 solo tackles and 1.5 sacks in 13 games last season, Anderson recorded 3 total tackles in 2023, Hall tallied 10 solo tackles and two pass deflections in 2023, and Nelson contributed 9 solo tackles, one forced fumble and no sacks last season.

The Duke defense might take a step back from their 10th-ranked red-zone defense last season, but new head coach Manny Diaz has a knack for coaching defense (former Penn State defensive coordinator, ranked 2nd in total defense in 2023).

Duke football has suffered prominent talent loss since the 2023 season concluded. Former Duke head coach Mike Elko signed with Texas A&M to be its next head coach, former Duke pass thrower Riley Leonard committed to Notre Dame via the transfer portal back in December, and former Duke leading rusher Jordan Waters transferred to in-state rival N.C State.

0 views0 comments


bottom of page