Stuffing the offensive pipeline

Last week, I wrote an article about Virginia Tech loading up at the running back position.  Now, I think there’s a lot more to it than that.  It really seems like the Hokies are trying to load up at every position on offense.

The news that Virginia Tech secured a second quarterback commit for 2014 wasn’t very shocking.  Somebody told me a couple of months back that Scot Loeffler would like to find a second quarterback for 2014.  I went through the list of 2014 uncommitted quarterbacks, and I didn’t find anyone who I thought Tech would pursue, so I never bothered to write about it.  Little did I know that Scot Loeffler would pursue a quarterback who had been committed to another school since March!

We’ve said since last season that the Hokies needed to improve their talent level on offense, and that the coaching staff didn’t have much to work with this past season.  Apparently the coaches agree.  They’ve recruited a full starting lineup for the offensive side of the ball, and even a two-deep at some positions.

QB (2): Andrew Ford, Chris Durkin
RB (2): Marshawn Williams, Tabyus Taylor (Taylor’s position could change)
WR (4): Javon Harrison, Cam Phillips, Kendrick Holland, Jaylen Bradshaw
TE (1): Xavier Burke
OT (2): Brady Taylor, Tyrell Smith
OG (2): Colt Pettit, Billy Ray Mitchell
C (1): Eric Gallo

Also, the Hokies could potentially add a couple of more players on offense as well.  It’s obvious that the coaching staff is making a big effort to stuff more talent into the pipeline on that side of the ball.  Let’s talk about each position.

Ford, who was just named Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year, will enroll at VT next month.
Ford, who was just named Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year, will enroll at VT next month.


Quite frankly, I’m glad to see the Hokies get a little cutthroat on the recruiting trail.  Sure, they’ve taken committed prospects before, such as Jayron Hosley and Jonathan McLaughlin.  However, going into the state of Ohio and stealing a quarterback from Michigan State is different.  Tech just starting recruiting Chris Durkin a few weeks back, and I’ll bet the Spartans never saw it coming.

In the past, I feel like the coaching staff would have shied away from tricks like that.  They were pretty honorable, which is a credit to them.  However, in the end they are paid to win football games.  Scot Loeffler has coached at Florida and Auburn, and he played and coached for Michigan.  He understands that.  I’ve said before that the staff needs to use every legal means at their disposal to improve recruiting, and it looks like they are finally doing that.

Durkin and Andrew Ford are very different players.  Durkin is a big (6-4, 230) quarterback with very good athleticism, and who is very physical when he runs the football.  He has a strong arm, but he’s raw as a quarterback in terms of throwing motion, footwork and pocket presence.  I would describe him as a right-handed, poor man’s Tim Tebow.  I think he has a high ceiling, but he’ll be in a competition with a more advanced passer from day one.

Andrew Ford isn’t the big, physical runner that Durkin is, but he’s got excellent pocket presence, he sees the field very well, and he’s a very good pocket passing quarterback.  He and Durkin couldn’t be any different.