Friday Q&A: May 1, 2009

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Coverage of spring practice continues in today’s Friday Q&A. Raleigh
Hokie joins us and discusses some key positions. He talks about Ju-Ju Clayton’s
development, concerns on offense and defense, as well as Virginia Tech’s deep
wide receiver corps.

1) After seeing the Spring Game and the scrimmages, what’s your take on
backup quarterback Ju-Ju Clayton?

Ju-Ju has some good skills to work with, but he needs more developmental time
before he will be ready to play. He is not very athletic, but he is a
savvy player with a good feel in the pocket. I like his poise and
composure — he is not a guy that struggles with “happy feet”.
He has enough arm and the mechanics to work with and he appears to be a hard
worker with natural leadership qualities.

Right now, the results are wildly inconsistent because he is still very raw
and inexperienced. He is just starting to get used to the speed of the
game and to all the disguised coverages and pressure packages that defenses
bring at this level. Ideally, he would get at least another year and
another spring practice to develop before having to see prime time. With
more time, I think he can be a QB that can manage the game and distribute the
ball effectively.

He has been compared to Bryan Randall and I think that comparison has some
merit. Randall was bigger and much more athletic, but I think Clayton has
a little bit better arm and better feel in the pocket at the same point of his
career. Of course, Bryan Randall’s development as a QB was tremendous —
JuJu has a long way to go and a lot of work to do to keep up with Randall’s

2) At this point, what’s your biggest concern on offense? And defense?

Of course injuries at certain positions (QB, Center, DE, LB, FS) would be a big
concern, but let’s assume everybody stays relatively healthy. Given that,
I have three primary concerns on offense — pass protection, pass protection and
pass protection. Last year, the Tech offense gave up 42 sacks in 14
games. For the last five years, the Tech offense yielded 194 sacks, an
average of 39 sacks per season. The