Leal waits his turn

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Mark Leal made a rare media appearance on Tuesday afternoon.

Mark Leal

On his relationship with Logan Thomas: “He’s really taught me a lot, as much as he could, with him being the starter and I’m the backup.  Off the field, we hang out and do stuff.  We’re in the classroom together, going over stuff.  He just tries to teach me as much as possible.”

On how he keeps himself ready: “I wouldn’t say there’s any one thing I do.  Every play, after it’s called, I’m just ready to get in, because you never know what’s going to happen.”

On being coached by Omar Jacobs in high school: “It was really fun.  Back in high school, I was able to learn a lot from him.  Omar had a lot of success in college.  He was able to come in when I was young in high school and pretty much teach me as much as he could and get me ready before I got here.  He really helped me a lot.”

On whether being coached by a guy like Jacobs got him more prepared for the college game: “Yeah, it did a little bit.  We pretty much had a college system.  So with him there I was able to really learn a lot, rather than just coming here and starting from the bottom.”

On how tough it is to pick up a Scot Loeffler offense: “You know, it’s tough at first, but the way he preps and all the walk-throughs we do, the meetings, he really emphasizes the details in how we prep.  Loeffler, he’s a really good coach, I love him.  He just makes you understand the game of football rather than just going out there and doing it.  Before we do anything, he explains to you why we do it.  I think that’s been really helpful with picking up the offense.”

On how the offense has been installed: “In the spring it was all brand new to everybody.  From the spring until now, I think the offense has made a huge jump.  I think we’re a completely different team.  We’ve kind of picked up on the concepts and the basics of the offense, so we’ve really been coming along and I think we’re ready.”

On whether he’s 100% confident if he had to go into a game: “Yes, as of now I do.  Like I said, I’ve been able to pick up the offense pretty well.  I’ve been prepping every day and just getting ready.”

On whether it’s hard to be the backup for so long: “Not at all.  I’ve been doing it for awhile now.  I have no problem with it.  I have patience.  Like I said, I just prep, get ready, because all it takes is one play.”

With so many guys transferring because of lack of playing time, did Leal ever consider doing the same?: “Uh, no, like I said…well, it’s briefly crossed my mind.  But I never really took it into consideration like ‘I don’t think I want to be here’ or ‘I think I want to transfer out’.  I’ve never really thought about it.  I love the school, I love the coaches.  God has a plan for everybody, and it’s part of my plan to just wait my turn.”

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28 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I officiated a couple of his games when he was at Atlantic HS in Palm Beach County. I was under the impression prior to those games that he was a passer only but I was impressed with his footwork and ability to run the ball as well as pass. He was really calm under pressure and didn’t lose his cool which is somwhat unusual at the high school level. I look forward to him getting his turn under center…

    1. Logan is a tank. He will not get hurt. Unless, of course, you meant mop up duty……hopefully we see him often…..

      1. I have what may be a stupid question Has Leal taken a RS season? I just wondered if you could RS him, let him continue to prepare, and yank the shirt if he IS needed. We’ve sure done it before; even with Michael Vick, granted it was his freshman year.

        If he HAS that available to him, why NOT? Your question about “mop-up duty” made me think of that. I don’t think we will have many games where he could conceivably GET mop up action.

        If last year is any indication, he essentially is red-shirting until LT graduates anyway! I would sure like to have the few plays he got last year back! If the same thing happens this year, it would be a terrible waste.

        If he IS a RS-Jr….then …never mind………………

        1. Even if he had not redshirted, I don’t think a team redshirts their clear #2 guy, because that gives the #3 guy reps during mop-up duty instead of the #2.

          I think he has looked good as a backup for the last two years and think that the coaching staff will make a point to get him on the field more this year in anticipation of a greater role by him next year. I think there’s a chance we even see him a few times outside of mop-up for that exact purpose.

    1. If backups are the most popular guy on any football team, Leal might be the most popular QB in college football. And that’s without QB controversy in his favor.

  2. We’re really fortunate to have a back up QB of his caliber and I’m really looking forward to next year when its his offense. I think he will be prepped for an outstanding senior season.

  3. He will be leading the offense against Ohio State next season. I think that the offense will be in good hands.

  4. I look forward to seeing this Young Man get his chance. IMO, He has all the tools and could be starting at lot colleges . Thanks for the good article.

  5. I hope he gets plenty of time on the field this year. I’ve always been disappointed with how we utilize our backups as you have to get these guys ready in case of an injury and to prepare for the next year. Get Leal in the game when you can and get him as much experience as possible.

    1. Agree 100%, he should have been on the field more last year during the few games that we had control of before they ended.

  6. Love his attitude…hope he gets his spotlight in the sun next year. Great player and great team player. I think he’ll be awesome for the Hokies!

    1. Most will attack me for this, but I hope he gets his shot this year. Always thought we were a more dangerous team with Logan at TE, gives a real receiving threat, and Leal at QB.

      1. So you are one of the few… I’m not in favor of Leal being QB until the OL can protect the QB. We need LT’s size and durability, plus LT needs VT to follow through with their experiment, converting him completely into an NFL QB.

        I am not against Leal seeing time this season, especially if LT is off, and out of sorts, just to get LT refocused, and energized. I don’t think that will be nearly the problem that it was last season, just because of Loeffler. It would be great for Leal to get some mop up duty, or additional playing time down the stretch, to ease into the starting role next season.

      2. There are a number of things that could put Leal on the field this year, but the coaching staff deciding “you know, maybe we DID make a mistake 4 years ago. Logan SHOULD be a Tight End. Let’s move him there now, in his last year” is NOT one of the possible reasons.

  7. Met him before in a non football setting. What you heard in this article is the same impression I got. He does love everything about VT. He wishes he could play more, but he does know how important to the team he could be/is.

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