After Frank Beamer announced his retirement and it became clear that Scot Loeffler wouldn’t return as the offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech, quarterback Josh Jackson wasn’t certain where he would end up.
The Virginia Tech commit started to figure out a backup plan. But once Head Coach Justin Fuente was hired, Jackson knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
“Within a day or two of him being hired, he called me,” Jackson said. “The first chance he got to come see me, he came and saw me. It was a really easy transition, to be honest.”
Fuente remembers that visit, and was impressed by Jackson and his family.
“I was struck by his demeanor, in a positive way,” Fuente said. “Just how he carried himself and seemed to be mature beyond his years.”
Jackson, who originally committed to Loeffler and his more pro-style offense, wasn’t worried about the differences between the two schemes.
“I feel like I can fit in most offenses,” Jackson said. “As long as it isn’t a Wing-T or anything like that, I’ll be fine.”
Fast forward to now, and Jackson is firmly in the competition to start at quarterback for the Hokies. After naming Jerod Evans and Brenden Motley as the top two contenders fighting for the job in the spring, Fuente told the media two days ago that Jackson had placed himself in that battle as well.
Things Slowing Down for Josh Jackson
Jackson says that things have really slowed down for him during camp and he feels more comfortable on the field.
“I’ve been really able to understand the offense and slow things down,” Jackson said. “Now, I know it well enough to where I can help out other guys and do my job.”
Jackson said that he didn’t come into Blacksburg expecting to start, and that he was perfectly fine when Motley and Evans were labeled the two competitors for the starting position in April.
“I thought they deserved it,” Jackson said. “They’re two great quarterbacks and I was the early enrollee freshman whose head was spinning, trying to get everything down.”
Now that’s there’s a very real possibility that he could start, Jackson has continued to try and build a rapport with some of Virginia Tech’s offensive weapons, including Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips and Bucky Hodges.
“I try to get as much reps with them as I can,” Jackson said. “When we were going 1-on-1s, or routes or anything, I try to get in and get routes with them so I can work on timing and everything. During the summer, we did a lot of 7-on-7 and that was mainly the time where we got to work on that type of stuff. Now, it’s just trying to get some reps with them and see how it goes.”
Jackson believes that his skill set meshes well with Fuente’s offense.
“When we do zone-read stuff, that’s obviously good,” Jackson said. “I think I’m pretty comfortable in the pocket and I can throw on the run. I’d say I’m pretty accurate, so I think it fits this offense and it fits most offenses.”
There’s no timetable regarding when the starting quarterback will be announced, but if Jackson doesn’t win the starting job, he said he won’t feel disappointed, and that he’s open to redshirting his freshman season.
“I’m just doing the best I can,” Jackson said. “I’m the young guy, so I’m going in to try and be the best I can be and if that means I get on the field or it doesn’t, I’ll be fine with it.”