Hokies Football: Why Virginia Tech Should Consider Moving Brenden Motley to Wide Receiver

We are now 40 days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies kicking off their season in primetime on Labor Day night in Lane Stadium against the defending national champion and likely preseason number 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. There are plenty of headlines going into that game with many fans on both sides wondering who will be the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes.

That debate changed some when it was announced that Braxton Miller was going to move from quarterback to wide receiver. Meanwhile, the Hokies seem almost certain to have Michael Brewer be the starting quarterback though Dwayne Lawson or Brenden Motley can’t be ruled out, especially if Brewer were to have a bad fall practice.

However, could the Hokies follow the example of the Buckeyes and move Brenden Motley to wide receiver? Right now, there is no sign that the Hokies have even thought of that, but is it something that could actually be worthy of consideration?

First, this definitely depends on how strong of a transition Dwayne Lawson makes to the collegiate level. If Lawson is able to make the strong transition that many expect him to make, then Motley’s chances of ever starting at quarterback will likely go down a lot. Lawson has also been on campus for over a month, and has had more time than normal for a quarterback that does not enroll early.

Coming out of high school, Motley was seen as an athlete that played quarterback and safety for Christiansburg High School. Motley may not have played wide receiver while he was in high school, but his athletic skills and toughness make him a player that can definitely make the transition to wide receiver.

Brenden Motley’s size at 6’4” and 228 pounds make him a blend of a wide receiver and tight end that could definitely work out of the slot as a big, physical target over the middle, or on the outside when the Hokies want to give Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips some rest or use them from the slot. Motley doesn’t have great speed for a wide receiver, but his speed is good enough especially for someone that has his size and build.

The Hokies also have not found a great answer for this season at the slot receiver spot with Kevin Asante and Demitri Knowles leading the battle. Motley definitely would be a very raw wide receiver, but his athletic skills and size along with his work ethic and toughness make him someone that could be a solid answer in the slot or on the outside as the third wide receiver behind Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips.

Moving Motley to wide receiver would also not prevent him from being the quarterback on “Wild Turkey” plays, or being an emergency quarterback if Michael Brewer and Dwayne Lawson got injured. At the collegiate and NFL levels, there have been players who have made this same transition and had plenty of success including Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El, Brian Mitchell, Patrick Crayton, and Julian Edelman.

It seems unlikely that Brenden Motley will actually move to wide receiver, but with the size and athletic skills he has, it makes you wonder if Motley and the Hokies could follow the example of Braxton Miller and Ohio State, and add some much needed depth at wide receiver behind Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips.

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