Campus Life / Sports / Virginia

Quarterback spot remains up in air for Hokies

Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker (2) celebrates with his offensive teammates after throwing a touchdown pass to end Dalton Keene during a college football spring game in Blacksburg, Va. Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech will head into the summer with three quarterbacks vying to be the starter, and the Hokies’ second-year coach has said repeatedly he has no timetable for when he will make the final decision.

Sound familiar?

The Hokies had the same scenario last season, but at least then they were returning the previous season’s starter. Brenden Motley didn’t wind up winning the job, beaten out by junior college transfer Jerod Evans about two weeks before Virginia Tech’s season opener.

Evans had a stellar season, leading the Hokies to a 10-4 record, then made himself available for the NFL Draft.

Virginia Tech has another junior college transfer in the mix in left-hander A.J. Bush, who started his career at Nebraska then spent last season sharing the job at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

They also have redshirt freshman Josh Jackson, a mid-year enrollee who was in the mix until two weeks before the opener last year, and freshman Hendon Hooker, who also enrolled in January and had the best spring game Saturday.

Unofficially, Hooker was 10-of-11 passing for 113 yards with an interception and a touchdown.

Jackson was 4 of 8 for 87 yards, and Bush was 4 of 6 for 70 yards.

Fuente had said beforehand that he wasn’t sure Saturday would have any greater influence on how he and his offensive staff grade the quarterbacks.

“I don’t think we grade them any different” in the spring game, he said this week. “… We’ve had two episodes of live quarterback play so far this spring. I think that’s the best indication that you can get. … But no, we don’t look at it any differently. To me those are the best evaluations you can get and we’re done with those, so there’s plenty of evaluation time ahead of us, but I don’t think the spring game will be any different.”

After the game, won by the offense 20-18, he was equally noncommittal.

“I have been pleased with all of our guys in terms of picking up what we are trying to do,” Fuente said. “That hasn’t been a huge issue for any of them. Continuing to have us be more consistent is the key.”


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