During his weekly press conference on Monday, Head Coach Justin Fuente formally announced that quarterback Quincy Patterson will be transferring from Virginia Tech.
“I just want to publicly thank Quincy for everything he has done in his time here. He’s a fantastic young man who played a vital role in our football team,” Fuente said. “Quincy knows how I feel about him, and his folks and we stand ready to help him in any way we can moving forward.”
Shortly after, Patterson released his own statement on social media, explaining his decision and thanking Hokie Nation.
“First and foremost, I want to thank everybody at Virginia Tech for standing by me and my team. I want to thank Coach Fuente and Coach Cornelsen for giving me an unbelievable opportunity to do what I love at such a high level,” Patterson wrote. “I would also like to thank all the other coaches and staff members who were a part of my growth at Virginia Tech. Lastly, I would like to thank all Hokie fans for simply being you and always having my back.”
The timing of this decision seems strange, considering the Hokies are entering the stretch run with two huge games against No. 3 Clemson and Virginia over the next two weeks. Fuente provided some clarity, divulging that Patterson hurt his thumb in Tech’s last game against Pittsburgh.
“He couldn’t really grip a football, so I’m not sure that he would’ve been able to play for us these last couple of weeks,” Fuente said. “I think that aided in that decision.”
There was plenty of hype around Patterson when the Chicago-native committed to the Hokies in the class of 2018. He was the first Hokies’ quarterback to be selected to the Elite 11 since Tyrod Taylor and was rated a four-star by all major sites.
However, after three years with limited playing time, the redshirt-sophomore has decided to move on with three years of eligibility remaining.
Updated Quarterback Situation
Over the last few weeks, Patterson had been acting as the backup to starter Hendon Hooker with Braxton Burmeister sidelined with an injury. Fuente disclosed on Monday that the former Oregon Duck broke three toes during practice earlier in the season and hasn’t been ready to play.
However, Burmeister is back and should be able to fill the void left by Patterson over the last two weeks of the season.
“He’s been able to be out there in practice, we haven’t been able to feel good about — you know, he gets tackled one time and you can imagine the pain he goes through,” Fuente said. “We just bumped him down and put Quincy in there at the two, but Braxton has been practicing the whole time,” Fuente said. “I don’t think he’s missed a practice, so he’s been in there, and he’s been feeling good for over a week now. I feel good about it.”
Burmeister started the first three games of the season before being benched at halftime of the Hokies’ matchup with North Carolina. He went 2-1 as a starter completing just 45.1% of his passes with one touchdown and one interception.
Fuente also announced that the hole left at third-string quarterback will be filled by redshirt-freshman Knox Kadum. The Hokies hope that the former three-star recruit from Georgia won’t have to hit the field, but Patterson’s departure definitely cuts into the depth in Tech’s quarterback room.
Wide Receivers Transfer To Find More Playing Time
Patterson isn’t the only player who has decided to move on from Blacksburg during the bye week. Wide receivers Elijah Bowick and Darylle Simmons have also decided to enter their names into the transfer portal to find more opportunities to get on the field.
Both Simmons and Bowick joined the Hokies as three-star recruits in the 2018 and 2019 classes, respectively. Each had been dealing with injuries throughout the season and have decided to find a new program to get on the field. During their short time in Blacksburg, Simmons had one catch while Bowick did not see the field.
According to Fuente, Simmons will be exploring options at the FCS level and trying to find a new home before the spring semester.
“My conversation with him was that he desperately wants to get on the field,” Fuente said. “He’s going the 1-AA route to get some playing time, and he’s also dealing with some family issues.”
This has been a trend over the last few seasons with multiple young players, especially at wide receiver, transferring in order to find a team with more opportunities to see the field.
“There seems to be this quest to get on the field. We’re not losing guys who are moving up and performing incredibly well at other places,” Fuente said. “We’re losing guys that are desperate to get on the field.”
While plenty of players have left Blacksburg through the portal over the last few seasons, Tech has also brought in impact players from other programs. This season, multiple transfers have stepped into the starting lineup and had immediate success.
Burmeister, center Brock Hoffman, running backs Khalil Herbert and Raheem Blackshear, defensive end Justus Reed and safety Devin Taylor have all stepped into the starting lineup at some point this year after transferring from other schools.
“It’s not like we have lost guys that have gone on to be productive at other places. In fact, we’ve actually picked up guys that have actually added to productivity here and added to locker room chemistry,” Fuente said. “Overall, I’d say it’s been a net-win for us.”