Tag Archives: hokies football

Pulling for Justin Jackson to Win the Virginia Tech QB Job

Basketball has ruined me for life on kids signing with colleges and then staying only one season before declaring for the NBA Draft. They are called One and Doners and I am sick of them. I am really sick and tired of them. They are ruining college basketball. Oh wait, they have already ruined college basketball.

It’s not really their fault. The NBA is the blame by throwing out millions of dollars at these kids and some are ready for it. Some, really are not and they get paid millions while sitting on the bench and learning.

Football is getting more and more like basketball every year. Once again, it’s not the blame of the kids playing the game. Who wants to walk away from millions of dollars especially when coming from a background of poverty?

But, football is a totally different game than basketball, obviously, and a lot of these players leaving for the greener pastures of the NFL never play on that level and they don’t even finish their college

degree. They certainly don’t get the big bucks they dreamed about.

Sure thing players like Leonard Fournette need to go ahead and go to the NFL. But, there are a lot of young players that need to stay another year and work on their skills, mature, and obtain their college degree on somebody else’s money. Or, they need to just wait until there are fewer top players in their class at their position. Try telling that to a college player with financial needs, or any number of internet football couch gurus.

In this year’s NFL Draft class there are two Quarterbacks that only played one year before leaving for the NFL.

Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina was a back up in 2015 to long time starter Marquis Williams. Trubisky started only one season, in 2016, but he flashed so much potential and talent that he should be either the first, or second Quarterback taken. Once again, this is not the fault of Trubisky, but of the system which causes it, plus the high demand for quality Quarterbacks in the NFL. They are so scarce and they are so much required to challenge for championships.

Trubisky leaving for the NFL makes all the sense in the world, even if college football fans such as myself do not like it. Trubisky is clearly a talented player and will be taken early in the 1st round. There are not a lot of potentially good Quarterbacks in this class.

Virginia Tech Quarterback Jerod Evans also only played one season before his departure surprised many.

Evans had a great one season in college football throwing for 3,552 yards and 29 Touchdowns and running for 846 yards and another 12 Touchdowns. I blogged earlier that he reminded me of Dak Prescott of Mississippi State and the Dallas Cowboys. The Dak Attack

Football drafts and recruiting are generally like playing poker, or a crap shoot. However, some people have a knack for poker and are hard to beat and some people know how to cheat at cards. Jerod Evans could be an outstanding NFL Quarterback, or he might have to convert to Tight End to keep receiving a pay check.

Dak Prescott played 4 years at Mississippi State and Jerod Evans played only one year at Virginia

Tech. That’s scary if I’m drafting for my NFL team.

Cardale Jones from Ohio State is the perfect example of this. In 2014, Jones had to come on in the Big 10 Championship game after starter JT Barrett was injured. Jones ended up leading the Buckeyes to the Big 10 championship and then wins over Alabama and Oregon to win the national title. Jones decided to return to school even though NFL teams supposedly would have taken him in the first round, probably. By coming back, his inconsistencies were exposed and he was still drafted but not in the 1st round. Some say he made a horrible decision and he probably did, financially. Some NFL team would have also come out of it with egg on their faces with Jones’ flaws being clearly demonstrated in the NFL. It’s just unclear whether a year’s playing time is enough for NFL teams to gain full knowledge of the prospect.

To replace Jerod Evans, the Hokies signed another Junior College Quarterback hoping with crossed fingers that it might work the same magic twice.

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente and his staff signed A.J. Bush from Iowa Western Community College. Bush is 6-4, 220 which is comparable to Evans who is about 6-3, 235 to 240 pounds. Originally from Norcross, Georgia, Bush began his college playing days at Nebraska before taking the Junior College route. While listed as the 5th rated Dual Threat Quarterback in Junior College ball, Bush may not be nearly on the level with Jerod Evans.

But, if he wins the job in the summer, will he take off after just one season as Evans did?

Bush is far from a sure thing. After sitting on the sidelines for two years at Nebraska and a coaching change, Bush decided it was time for a change. He did not dazzle at all at Iowa Western Community College and some may have wondered why the Hokies even pursued him at all.

Supposedly, going through the winter workouts at Virginia Tech, Bush showed a fantastic work ethic and that’s a really good step toward earning playing time in a totally wide open situation.

The Hokies signed three Quarterbacks in their last class and I believe Evans’ departure caught the coaching staff off guard as well as the fan base.

Last year’s back up, Brendan Motley, was a senior. The Hokies need a Quarterback and they need one badly.

Besides JUCO transfer Bush, they signed Herndon Hooker who was a 3 star recruit out of Greensboro, North Carolina and Dudley High School. As an early enrollee, Hooker has been on campus and competing for the starting Quarterback this spring.  Hooker is supposedly about 6-4, 200 with plenty of room for growth.

But, also, in the 2017 recruiting class, the Hokies signed Caleb Farley who was another 3 star Dual Threat Quarterback from Maiden, North Carolina. When Farley arrives, probably a redshirt season will be his best option. You never know, but more than likely he will need to sit and learn the system better.

Back in Fuente’s first recruiting class after being hired in 2016, it included the aforementioned Jerod Evans. But, also included was Joshua Jackson from Saline, Michigan. He was a 4 star guy and ranked as the 8th best Dual Threat Quarterback, but I am amazed that he escaped either of the Michigan schools.

Apparently, neither Jim Harbaugh of Michigan, or Mark Dantonio were as surprised as I was because neither bothered to even offer him a scholarship. Michigan signed Brandon Peters from Avon, Indiana and Michigan State signed Messiah DeWeaver from Huber Heights, Ohio.

Supposedly, Joshua Jackson, at 6-1, 210 has a really good shot at earning the starting role this summer.

Probably, whoever becomes the starter will be a step down from Jerod Evans, at least this season.

But, Jackson has the ability to be a long term solution at Quarterback. Jackson obviously lacks that prototype size that coaches long for and supposedly his speed is only in the 4.7 range. But, his big advantage, as of right now, is having a year in the program under his belt already and he knows the system better than the other two Quarterbacks.

Herndon Hooker may have the most upside of the three candidates, and he clearly has the best name of the three. But, he’s a true freshman with much to learn. In high school, Hooker ran and passed for over 9,000 yards and over 100 Touchdowns while leading his team to two state championships. Clearly, Hooker is a talent and he is a winner. Coaches rave about his raw athleticism, his release and the skills that make him a threat to become a difference maker at the college level.

They have three potential starting Quarterbacks and not a single college snap taken for any of them.

I’ve been blogging about how great a coach that Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente is.

Now, he has that shot at proving himself to Virginia Tech and college football fans. Can he find a solid starting Quarterback out of this group that can lead the team to anything close to the 10-4 record of a year ago?

Stay tuned. More to come.