2014 Preview: Quarterbacks


Logan Thomas must be replaced, and there are multiple candidates at the beginning of August.

Virginia Tech’s quarterback depth chart technically looks like this:

1: Mark Leal (r-Sr.) and Brenden Motley (r-So.)
2: Michael Brewer (r-Jr.)
3: Andrew Ford (Fr.)
4: Chris Durkin (Fr.)
5: Travon McMillian (Fr.)
6: Matt Hill (Fr.)

In reality Leal, Motley and Brewer are all getting equal reps with the #1 and #2 offense, while those other guys aren’t getting any at all. There simply aren’t enough reps to go around. If one of the true freshmen wants a legit chance to start, then he has to really stand out while running the #3 or #4 offense. None of them are going to get reps with the starters unless they prove they deserve it, except for maybe Andrew Ford, who did a pretty good job in the spring.

Besides knowing the offense, another thing that will hold the freshmen back is the speed and tempo of a college practice. That’s something that doesn’t get covered a lot. Tech’s practices under Scot Loeffler operate at a very fast tempo, and you have to actually see it to appreciate it. A lot is getting thrown at these guys, and they most likely aren’t going to be able to adjust to it quickly enough to challenge for playing time this year.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the main competitors in this race. First, a comparison of their college stats:

Mark Leal: 28-of-48, 334 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Michael Brewer: 41-of-58, 440 yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Brenden Motley: 0 career snaps

That’s not very much experience. Michael Brewer has certainly had the best “career” of any of those three guys, though he previously played in a system that is designed for the quarterback to post good numbers.

Let’s take a deeper look at each guy.


Brenden Motley (6-4, 214, r-So.)

Brenden Motley played in a Wing-T offense in high school and never threw for 1,000 yards in a single season. He was injured for spring practice in 2013, so nobody really knew anything about him until the spring of 2014. In scrimmage action (including the Spring Game), he was 28-of-49 for 314 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.

Nobody was sure how advanced Motley would be in the passing game. The only previous time I had seen him throw was at Tech’s recruiting camp back when he was in high school, and his accuracy left a lot to be desired. I still wouldn’t list accuracy as one of his strengths (he manages to overthrow 6-6 Bucky Hodges quite a bit, which is pretty hard to do), though it has certainly improved since he started working with Scot Loeffler.

What impressed me most about Motley in the spring was his good decision making and field recognition. He seemed to have a pretty good idea of where he needed to go with the ball, and he did a good job of avoiding turnovers.

Motley can