In 2008, we told you that Sean Glennon was set to be the first r-senior
starter at quarterback for Virginia Tech since Al Clark in 1998. That didn’t
quite work out, as Tyrod Taylor’s redshirt was pulled after the season opening
loss to East Carolina. This time we can say with confidence: Taylor will be
Virginia Tech’s first senior starter since Bryan Randall in 2004, and just the
fifth in the Beamer Bowl Era.
In the 1990’s, quarterback development at Virginia Tech was simple. Maurice
DeShazo, Jim Druckenmiller and Al Clark all followed the same path of
development. They redshirted, backed up the starter for at least one year, and
then took the reigns as a r-sophomore (DeShazo) or r-junior (Druckenmiller and
Clark). Dave Meyer was on pace to do the same thing in 1999, until phenom
Michael Vick came along.
After Clark, things sort of got off track. There was no way that Michael Vick
was going to stick around for his senior season. His replacement, Grant Noel,
started as a junior and was set to start again as a senior until an ACL injury
in the spring of 2002 ended those hopes.
Bryan Randall filled the void for Noel that year, and went on to become a
senior starter in 2004. Marcus Vick took over after Randall in 2005, but was
kicked off the team before his senior season. That led to an early beginning to
the Sean Glennon era, which actually ended with Glennon coming off the bench as
a senior. That marked the beginning of Tyrod Taylor’s days as a starter, and
barring injury, he’ll be Tech’s first senior starter since the Hokies’ first
year in the ACC.
Of Tech’s four senior quarterbacks of the Beamer Bowl Era, only two enjoyed
good senior seasons. Maurice DeShazo suffered through a change at offensive
coordinator as a senior in 1994, and struggled as a result. Al Clark only
started seven games in 1998 thanks to injuries, and he spent most of those games
limping around the field on one good leg.
The two quarterbacks who stayed healthy for their senior seasons went out
with a bang. Both Jim Druckenmiller and Bryan Randall led their teams to
conference championships and a berth in the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl,
respectively. They both had outstanding seasons from a statistical perspective,
and were among the best quarterbacks in the college game as seniors.
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